Bugs / Costa Rica

Shake, Shake, Shake!


Yes, there are scorpions in Costa Rica. It’s a good practice to shake out your shoes before blindly sticking your tender toes into your sneakers. I know somebody who forgot to shake, shake, shake out her shorts that were crumpled in a heap on the floor. She stepped into them, zipped them up and the stinging began. The shorts were too tight for the poor scorpion to drop out. By the time she could unzip and wiggle out of the shorts, she had been stung six times. SIX! One is bad enough. Six put her in a bad state requiring immediate medical attention. Fortunately, she was within range of a clinic or the outcome might have been disastrous.

I am no expert. I have never been stung by a scorpion, knock on wood! Living in Atenas, I have been concerned with snakes, especially the infamous Fer De Lance, which translates to “iron of the lance”. These venomous vipers with triangular heads are aggressive, prevalent in moist conditions, hide out in the grasses during the day and start their nocturnal hunting at dusk. The good news is they eat rats. Now, if we could train them to eat robbers, then we’d have something to write home about.

So, the other day, I bent down to pick up a heap of towels that were left on the floor. Gasp! A scorpion scurried out. I jumped back in time, threw the towels back over him so he would stay put while I went to the kitchen for Baygon. Realizing we didn’t have any, I grabbed the spray bottle of Lysol for banos and a kitchen knife. I figured if I could get him wetted down enough I could stab him. The bathroom cleaner didn’t kill him. Stabbing him didn’t stop his pinchers from frantically waving in the air looking to make a stinging connection. It’s not exactly “slaying the jabberwocky” (Alice in Wonderland) but it’s better than letting him scurry off to a new hiding place where he could linger until his next striking opportunity. I didn’t take pleasure in chopping him into pieces, but his parts kept moving. Even after being completely severed, his stinger continued to undulate as though looking for something, anything into which to deposit his venom. I was beginning to think it was a mutation and new parts would be springing from his tail and he would grow to giant proportions and start chasing me around the house.    The fer-de-lance would.  Chase you down, that is.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Finally, movement ceased. I tossed my weapon down, scooped up my adversary with a pancake turner, put his parts back in what may or may not be the correct order, and took his picture. I tell you, a boomer-woman’s work is never done. At least I didn’t have to pull out the machete. I’ll save that for the snake.

Blogging in the jungle

31 thoughts on “Shake, Shake, Shake!

  1. Bill was born and (mostly) raised in Florida. After Bill and I married, and moved to Florida (where we lived for 15 years) his good advice was to shake, shake and shake. Basically, if I was wearing closed toed shoes to bed, I would put them up on my nightstand before retiring and would shake them anyway when I woke, because creepy crawly critters can go “up” too. Great advice Carole, keep up the good work.


    • I thought I would bust my guts I laughed soooo hard!Thak-you Doll face! (U R) You really are very clever as a writer and a computer expert to put these capers’ on soooo very well! I am astonished well not really you always do different intriqing spectacular feats… sooo
      much! YOU are great sista! Beautiful a dare devil talented! YOU got it all! Watch out
      make sure your MACHETE is close! Fer de Lance? OMG!


  2. Well Carole, all too much for this wimpy city girl…I love nature, but like ocean waves and breezy days…autumn leaves and singing birds, roses blooming and rivers running……and so I guess I am in my own little paradise…you are amazing!!


  3. Carole, these are getting better and better, and you are writing all the time. I am really excited for you! This blog has become a source of real entertainment…especially since I was there and can just imagine what a nice Jewish girl from New York is coping with the the jungles of Costa Rica. You are both brave and awesome.xxx


  4. I have unknowlingly showered more than once with a scorpion. I don’t leave clothes on the floor (not bragging) but I do have mud shoes that I leave outside that I shake shake shake. Saw my first tarantula just a month ago walking past me as I’m surfing the web. No snakes yet. But I’m looking!


  5. Love that you “put his parts back in what may or may not have been the correct order and took his picture”. You are an original, Carole! Please don’t stop making me laugh!


  6. Well done….you boomer, slayer of scorpions!!! I can so picture you doing this….I think you may have to take the show on the road…you could do standup….keep on keeping us laughing!!!


  7. Carole….I’d love you to write about the “Kathy Moler, Kathy Moler run you endured on the beach in Costa Rica…makes me laugh whenever I think of it and I think our U Haul truck journey has alot of “mileage” in it!


  8. Great story…I am now a shaker as well. 3rd day here (Grecia) I put across my lap, shorts that had been on the floor, to take the belt out and BAM. Felt like a wasp sting. My wife brought the scorpion kit – duct tape attached to a broom handle. Stick the dude with the tape so that he is stuck then you can fold the duct tape in half (his stinger can’t poke through) then you can pound the crap out of him any way you see fit.


  9. Wow! I’ve been told that a Scorpion with small pincher’s is the most venomous and vice versa. They look like small pincher’s on her. I must say, being a Scorpio, I feel for your victim. She was at the wrong place at the wrong time. I’m glad she wasn’t carrying her babies on her back. She might have been invincible. I always hate being surprised like that. The snakes sound rather unnerving as well. Keep up the capers!


  10. Carole, I don’t know if you know this, but the Ticos always refer to the Fer de Lance as a Terciopelo. So, when you hear them say terciopelo, you’ll know what they are talking about.


  11. I’m with Nita,I don’t want to be tested by any varmits,esp. snakes.By the way,next time you come across a scorpion throw something over it and step on it. You’ll hear a pop.No chopping. “)


  12. That is way too much for me to even think about dear Carole….I only get Crickets in the house and want to jump out the window…and so we are all settled where we belong…great read.


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