Chapter 1d
Scorpions, Scorpio
The Tales of Texas

1a - The Mysterious Ski Rack
1b - Wheres the Other Half of That Moose
1c - The Waiter Who Didnt Yall
1d - Scorpions, Scorpio
2a - Diet Soda
2b - Riding into the Sunrise
3 - Modest Magazines
4 - Down to Houston
5a - What Does That Sign Say
5b - Just Follow Your Nose
5c - They Call It the Sunbelt
5d - The State Tree
6 - The New House
7a - Billboards
7b - Billboards Again
8 - Stereo Upgrade
9 - Wineries
10 - Unintentionally Left Blank
11 - CBW in TX
12 - Ice House Radio
13 - Goats and Cotton
14 - Dig We Must
15 - Dan Moody
16 - Dry Heat
17 - Dead Animals
18a - Bookstore Culture
18b - On the Open Road
19 - Weather
20 - Sightings in Bertram and Buchanan
21 - Too Many Birds
22 - Road Hazards
23 - Sightings to and from Houston
24 - The Great Wall of Train
25 - In the Heat of the Day
26 - Bite Me
27 - Bid on This Skeleton
28 - Willie
29 - Rural Countryside
30 - SUV SUX!
31 - Kinky on the Texas Monthly Hour
32 - Strange Yellow Sky
33 - Football is a Serious Enterprise in Texas
34 - Remember the Alamoo!
35 - What's That on the Radio
36 - Trip to Houston through the small towns
37 - Shoe Story, an Austin Anecdote
38 - Unintended Fireworks
39 - Flash Flood Warning
40 - Sin City
41 - Live music in Austin, but in theaters not in clubs
42 - Fear of Overpass
43 - The Big Sneezy
44 - New Texas
45 - Front Ended by the French Fry Mobile
46 - Dirt Farm
47a - Heard at the Texas Book Festival 2008
48a - Texas Book Festival 2009
49 - Central Time Sucks
50 - Temple Texas
51 - Christmas in Austin
52 - Pennants in the Wind
53 - The Road Less Traveled
54 - Texas-size Thunderstorm
55 - Cool Van
56 - Your New House Is That-A-Way
57 - C.S.I. Austin
58 - New MTV Game Show
59 - Equine Technology
60 - Look at That Prairie
61 - Get Your Water Here
62 - Corporate Anniversaries
63 - College Sprawl
64 - Hire These Guys
65 - Preparing for Winter
66 - Careful What You Overhear
67 - Bonnie Raitt
68 - Perfume
69 - Questionable Skills
70 - All-American Day
71 - Read Me
72 - Weird Fog
73 - Overpackaged Food
74 - What Town Was That
75 - Texas Book Festival 2010
76 - Bulletproof Roof
77 - The Oldest Photo
78 - Cheesesteaks Part 1
79 - Cheesesteaks Part 2

Scorpions, Scorpio, must be some connection

We have heard a lot about the snakes and scorpions in this area. Oh, and the fire ants. Jokingly, people say that the rattlesnakes keep down the scorpions. At some point, it occurs to me that we have often made much of Ms. Thornton's being a Scorpio. ("Made much" = jewelry designs and such, not astrological crapola.) Soooooo, Scorpio. Scorpions. Yes, pretty lame, but it does seem like fate. Just like the serendipity of my starting work at a new computer company on a date like 01/10/00. Seemed too good to pass up at the time.

There are lots of scorpions in this area, but not a lot of snakes. The local rumor, possibly for the benefit of newbies like us, is that the fire ants drove out all the snakes. Which one would you rather have? B drove A away, so B must be worse, right? So, if the rattlesnakes keep down the scorpions, but the fire ants drove out the rattlesnakes, it is no wonder that we are somewhat overrun by scorpions. And fire ants.

The scorpions are mostly a pest in new housing developments. The sprawl of the city has extended into areas previously uninhabited by people. The areas were inhabited by wildlife of all sorts, however, including scorpions. We moved into their neighborhood.

Fortunately, the scorpions, as scorpions go, have two flaws. One, they are not all that poisonous. Some scorpions are really deadly; one sting and it's curtains. Most of these baddies live elsewhere, outside the US, except for some in Arizona. Very few people here die from scorpion sting, but that is not true of some other countries in Latin America or the Middle East. I had a friend who was in the British army in Egypt, and they lost a number of men to the local scorpions. But the local variety around Austin is pale, almost white, and has a sting like a yellow jacket or a wasp. Unless you are particularly allergic to that minor venom, no problem. A gentleman here relates that he was stung by one his first month in Austin. Thought he was going to die. Called 911 in a panic. They asked what color the scorpion was. Light brown. No problem, put ice on it.

Two, they fluoresce in UV light, so they are relatively easy to find. Just take your UV flashlight, probably called a "scorpion flashlight" when you bought it at the hardware store, and scan the floors, closets, pantry, garage, trash bins, garden every now and then. I'm told that a golf club is an appropriate weapon.