What Not To Swallow

gilroy    The marauding scorpion stolen by rustlers from his home in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Mountains of Colombia had paused to visualize for purposes of self-improvement a new angle of his heroic escape from a truckload of bananas stopped at a railroad crossing on the outskirts of Gilroy, California when he crossed axial planes with his hated enemies, the couple of happy-go-lucky beavers, Berton and Burton. Self-improvement never ends for a predatory arachnid going places carrying a grudge. A million years is not such a long time for anger to simmer under a hard shell. Check out the crust on a scorpion fed by 400,000,000 years of determination and grit.

years ago

The cursed beavers were bisecting the San Andreas Fault on a muddy night while the marauding scorpion was crawling strong on the summit of the Santa Cruz Mountains. But they saw him first, and ran, the pussies. Nothing new there. Sure, unbalance the planet by showing the apemen how to build and then go dig your precious lodges to enjoy selfish fun and relaxation while the heated mud is still oozing from the plunder. To them, it was all a big joke.


The marauding scorpion continued to reconnoiter on the western slope of the Santa Cruz Mountains after dawn. It was not easy to stay focused on the immediate enemy, humans, when the beavers stirred his bile like that. He had eaten his large insect for the year in the Spring, a crunchy beetle, and he did not want to feel too full. He needed to maintain sinew to maneuver. He aligned his breathing to the stellar pulse of the crab nebula that stirred his stinger. No dull techno trash for him. Every day, there was more havoc to wreak. Later, he planned to circle back to the campus at Stanford and strike some open toes on clueless flip-flop wearers. He was undeterred by the weaponry the pirtful humans tried to array against him, all ideas stolen from his ancestors, masks, shields, spears. The scorpion had never been to the ocean except when stowed on a banana boat but he smelled the brine nearby. He vowed to blaze his trail all the way to the sea before he was done. Multiple targets during daylight was not too much destruction to enjoy while maintaining tangential balance. He had learned how to stay lean and mean as long as he did not swallow.

scorpions aglow

Many pussy scorpions had opted to assist the robots in their efforts to force the humans into a vapid exile on Mars, but the marauding scorpion knew for a fact that none of them had ever been stuck on a banana boat from Colombia. What next for the pussies, dancing to the house beat? Would they learn how to push buttons and play pussy games? An enemy has to be defeated, any enemy. Robots are just as misaligned and dangerous as their stooge makers. They have no affinity for perfectible fig-8’s, deny clear cut contradictions, give silly odds in simplistic base ten on mistakes and unintended consequences, and have no awareness of how to breathe deeply. How much lower on multiple planes can there be to descend than that? Once the electricity is cut, the charade ends for the slippery lot of them.

cut elec

It was just about then, in what conventionally passes for real time, after I had efficiently flipped a circuit breaker that kicked off as it was designed to do for no apparent reason, that I heard in harmony, which is rare where I come from, “Don’t get too comfortable. We’re going to be hungry.”

The spawn of my loins, the teen twins, still had important life lessons to learn. Scarcity leads to deprivation. Guts include gore. Contradictions abound. I believed it was my most important job to stay out of the way. Try a little harder to catch me if you can. I only had two more days to hold out before they were returned to the care and feeding of their mother.

I said”That’s your minor right to be.”

empty head

I had been passively contemplating all of the bad publicity the scorpion was receiving in the local throwaway rag, and though I was thankful I had been spared any pain or anguish due to unfortunate proximity, I can’t say I was surprised. Who more than I had earned dispensation? What is real if not karma? I had many doubts but not about that. The latest endowment fund for wild animals could count again this year on a meager sum from me to assuage any guilt. I continued to feel no antipathy to any creepy crawly scorpions who stayed outside my door. Spiders, too. There were intersecting points in common interest between us that lined well up on my side. There had to be. It was my right to believe my side was right for me.  I had also befriended a waif of a lizard near my back door who is no longer sufficiently frightened to scoot off when I slink past. Plus, I never failed to apologize profusely for shortcomings that might offend. I tried my darnedest to reduce my carbonated footprint at every convenient and self-serving opportunity. While stomping through the forest a tree frog gave me the smooth hairy eyeball which I am able to interpret as another nod in my favor.

tree frog

I began to feel strongly as if what the marauding scorpion needed was better public relations. A diligent pr pro with disbursable funds could no doubt dig up plenty of  positive word of mouth. I paused to consider if this might not be a new calling for me. I had never been interested in that line of work before but how hard could it be to fudge the so-called truth with hoof and mouth? Look at the resurrection in cryogenic technology set off by hopeless cases like Ronald Reagan and Walt Disney. I had plenty of the aptitude required to picture the sprite of a story getting taller over time.


I said, “Pretty soon robots will be serving as skilled waiters in fancy restaurants, bowing and scraping plates.”

“Your point?”

“There does not always need to be an immediate point. Points may develop in time.”

“That makes no sense.”

“That’s a separate point for another time.”

The yin twin stalked off in what appeared to be disgust. By the time she returned I forgot the point I was attempting to defend. She was no longer waylaid, however. When I heard the tone of voice in which she said, “There’s nothing to eat,” I feinted and dodged a little harder. Then I was saved by the bell when the electricity went off again, all of the electricity.

I declared, “Let me think.”

After that, I sincerely asked the yin twin a new serious question which may have been indirectly led to no particular point, though I can’t remember details, and while she carefully considered consequences the yang twin leaped into the void and answered in his own way, making his own pressing roundabout point.

He said, “I picked up a scorpion once. It didn’t bite.”

The yin twin corrected, “Sting.”

He said, “Bite me.”

I said,”Watch it.”

He said, “What?”

I said, “No pushing into neutral corners.”

He said, “Whatever.”

My point made, I transitioned smartly to new business. I wanted to know why I had never been informed of his unwise dalliance with a scorpion so I could tell him not to do that ever again.

He said, “You weren’t there.”

I said, “But, still.”

He said, “I have a touch. There’s this lizard by the back door that knows me.”

I said, “I know that lizard.”

He said, “Yeah, right.”

“The lizard arrived along with the drought a couple of years back and thought, easy pickings, why not? The flies had become indolent in the heat and lost the will to flit. Tree frogs who dig fog did a number on flies too. That’s what used to be called a double whammy of a slamma-jamma. Demographics don’t lie. I’m not blind to patterns. You can check it out.”

“You’re just making that up.”

“That’s what you always say.”

“You always make stuff up.”

“Your point?”

“You’re still not funny.”

“I’m getting hungry, too.”

“I’m hungry for real.”

I said, “I can’t cook without electricity.”

“Taqueria Vallarta.”

“Taqueria Santa Cruz.”

I encouraged them to work it out without me.

About marclevytoo

writer of fiction
This entry was posted in animals, birds, environment, family, fiction, humor, parenting, writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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