I keep my coffee in a ceramic jar. I usually make one cup at time, because some mornings need an extra jolt and some don’t and why waste most of a pot if I’m not going to drink it.
So on Wednesday morning, I made my first cup and took it back to bed to sip it with my eyes shut while I pretended that I didn’t have to get up.
After bathing and dressing and the usual morning stuff, I felt I needed a second cup. Since the canister was nearly empty, I opened a brand new, sealed up tight, bag of Starbucks Italian Roast and dumped it into the jar. A scorpion crawled out over the lip of the jar and landed on the kitchen counter. Yes, you read that correctly, a scorpion. About an inch and a quarter long, translucent rust colored, with a spiky little tale waving at me. It seemed a little disoriented and who wouldn’t be after being sealed up in a bag of coffee and transported to a strange place. I was a little disconcerted myself. Actually, it took me a minute to realize what exactly I was staring at.
I looked around the room. What was at hand to whack it with? Plate? breakable. Glass, ditto. Potholder? too soft. Knife? Not really the right tool for the job. I grabbed the roll of paper towels, turned around and it had gone.
Gone where???? They like dark crevasses. Under the lip of the counter? The drawer below it? The toe space between the counter and the floor? Under the burners on the stove? Is it hiding, lurking, on the backside of the oven door? Am I going to put my hand in the drawer and find it running up my arm? Am I going to walk into the kitchen in my bare feet in the middle of the night when I can’t see because my contacts are out and…
I had fallen into my very own horror story. When will it strike? And how will I know? There will be no warning. My head was a litany of B movie trailers.
I emptied the drawer and the cupboard below it very carefully, lifting things out with tongs. I moved all the cat stuff to another room. I banged on doors and surfaces and poked knives into crevasses. I took out the emergency spider spray, blocked off the kitchen, and sprayed the vicinity of the creature’s last known where abouts.
I told myself it would probably creep into a crack and stay there. I told myself I could get a second cup of coffee on the way to work. I told myself I would email a complaint to Starbucks from work. I reminded myself that I was in dress rehearsals this week and I had to get into the shop early. I went to work. I told myself it would not be there when I got home.
I arrived home, late, after a 3+ hour rehearsal, and all seemed normal. The cats were a bit shaken to find their food bowls in the living room but food is food. After eating Lilith disappeared back to her hiding place and Imp went to sit on the work table where she usually likes to look out the window. Only tonight she was facing the wall, almost as if she had put herself into time out.
I was just beginning to feel like I really needed to go to bed when there was a crash from the vicinity of the work table.
I went to see what had happened. Imp was leaping from the table to the TV cabinet to the sofa, oblivious to everything in her way, eyes glued to the ceiling, tail twitching. I looked up. There it was, the scorpion, scurrying along the top of the wall. I was faced again with the question as to what will be the most effective and handy object to use. It needed reach. The broom? Too flexible and full of places to hide. I grabbed the swifter from the closet. I whacked it. Clearly not hard enough. I believe I heard it swear at me and then it dropped down behind the wall art over the sofa. I pulled the sofa away from the wall. I piled the cushions (after a good shake) on a chair. I needed to get at the wall. I bent to pull the sofa a bit further out. There was a bit of fluff on one corner. I pulled on the sofa and the bit of fluff had legs and was over the side before I realized it was my prey. I banged the sofa up and down, I hit the wall art with the handle of the swifter. I swept under the sofa. It did not reappear.
It is now 12:30 am. My neighbor whose bed is on the other side of the wall probably wants to kill me. I’m going to kill myself in the morning if I don’t go to bed as there is another dress rehearsal tomorrow night. I left everything pulled out into the middle of the room and went to bed. And I left the light on.
Imp is still waiting for it to come back out. She has staked out a spot on the sofa and is staring intently over the edge.
Dear Starbucks Customer Service:
I don’t want to sue you. I am not seeking monetary compensation for more than the cost of my bag of coffee. What I really need, what will resolve the matter to my satisfaction, is for someone from Starbucks to get over here RIGHT NOW and get rid of this thing.