If you want to whine about your alligator problem, don’t come to me
I was recently involved in an email exchange with Joe and some of his friends from Houston. The topic of conversation was a recent news story that took place at a house near where one of Joe’s friends lives, where a woman discovered this in her backyard pool:
After that last set of links was sent around, someone chimed in to say, “Hey, Jen, you should be feeling thankful that all you have to deal with is scorpions!” This filled my email inbox with enthusiastic responses, including one from my own spouse. Witty emails poured in one after another agreeing that, indeed, I should be overwhelmed with ecstatic gratitude that “only” have to deal with scorpions.
A one-upsmanship contest was initiated between myself and the alligator people, which struck me as a total waste of time since I so obviously win. It is times like this when I’m glad that I have a blog so that I can publicly set everyone straight about this kind of thing.
Let’s take a closer look at an alligator infestation. Take this picture, example:
Okay, sure, I see how that situation could be unsettling. You’ve got your swimsuit on, you’re all lathered up with sunscreen, and you head outside to float around in the pool for a while. Just when you’re about to jump in, you notice that there’s a 900-pound reptile in your way. I get it — totally inconvenient. It might even knock over your beer while you’re in your raft. So terrifying!
Meanwhile, take my life, where I open the drapes to gaze at the moon before I go to bed, and have this thing all up in my face instead:
If you want to know true terror, try opening your toilet lid to find this little surprise (then immediately relive the last time you went to the restroom, and become frozen in horror as you think of JUST HOW BAD it could have been).
I’m not saying that there’s no downside to having a 12-foot prehistoric monster in your pool, but evidently a few things need to be pointed out:
- Alligators do not hide in your bed at night.
- They don’t hide in your shoes, either.
- You would not accidentally step on an alligator on your kitchen floor.
- They don’t sting with venom that is specifically formulated to be painful.
- They don’t fluoresce under blacklight. (That I’m aware of. But if they did, MAN that would be creepy.)
- They are not difficult to kill.
- Well, okay, I guess they are difficult to kill. But at least they’re not known for acting all dead and then, just when you touch them with a piece of paper to scoop them up and put them in the trash can, they become very un-dead and START RUNNING AT YOU AND TRYING TO STING YOU.
In case any other alligator people were thinking of emailing me to tell me to be thankful for my scorpions, here’s a handy chart:
So, yeah, nobody likes to have a creature that can bite them in half in their back yard. I give you that. HOWEVER, that is very unlikely to happen. Meanwhile, those of us with scorpions are very likely to be stung in bed, at night, WHILE WE SLEEP. When you Houston people get in bed at night, at least you’d know if there were an alligator under your sheets. Meanwhile, I go to bed each evening with the knowledge that THIS COULD BE THE NIGHT.
Empirical evidence shows that if you have ever seen a scorpion in your house, there is a 90% chance of one ending up in your bed and stinging you, perhaps getting caught up in your pajamas, and continuing to sting you over and over and over again as you throw yourself to the ground and scream in terror as every movement to get the creature off of you only elicits further stings.
Let’s say I’m exaggerating. I know, I know, it’s impossible to believe that I would employ hyperbole when it comes to this subject. But just for the sake of rigorous science, let’s say that it’s more like a 70% chance that if you have scorpions in the house one will get caught in your pajamas and sting you over and over and over again as you throw yourself to the ground and scream in terror as every movement to get the creature off of you only elicits further stings. Which would you take: a 0.01% chance of being bitten in half by a one-ton reptile, or a 70% chance of a scorpion sneaking into your bed and attacking you? (Please wait to answer until you’re lying in bed at night.)
And, finally, when in doubt about any matter, one should always turn to Scripture. So I ask you: Which creatures are decried 12 times in the Bible?:
The answer is B. Hmm. Well, I’ve got the creatures that are specifically mentioned in Scripture as being horrible, so I guess I win.
This post was not sponsored by the Texas Department of Tourism.
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