Tuesday, July 6, 2010


I got stung by a scorpion today and as I was contemplating writing about it I found myself being drawn back through a complex web of incidents that led up to the actual stinging.

The roots of this story are like some exotic tropical vine that twists and turns in all sorts of complicated and interesting ways.  Along the way they wrapped around me and I became part of the story.

There are many places I could break into this story but I choose to go back to a place where a man named Ramone had a lot of dental problems and not a lot of money.  He worked out a deal with his dentist to trade a small parcel of land for all the dental work he needed.  The land was surrounded by larger pieces of land and one of those pieces was owned by an American woman.  No one knows for sure but the general consensus is that the dentist had a plan to get the American woman to buy the land for a lot of money, a lot more than it was worth.  Over a period of several years he built a tower.  On the weekends he'd show up with his friends some beer and a strange assortment of construction materials.  The base of the tower wasn't very big, maybe 8 feet by 8 feet but it was  3 or 4 stories tall and it leaned a bit.  It had its desired effect.  The lady was very nervous and worried that the tower would fall and perhaps crush her or someone coming to visit her.  It was an amazingly ugly sight.  It defied gravity and all the laws of physics.  You found yourself staring at it waiting for it to fall before your eyes. 

Over a period of 5 years there were many negotiations but nothing was ever resolved.

This morning I decided to pay a visit to someone else who happened to live near the tower.  I had some spinach vines that I'd started and I wanted to give him a couple.  I pulled into his driveway and got out to look for him.  He wasn't in his house but both of his trucks were there so I figured he was somewhere on his property.  As I was walking around looking for him I heard the sound of loud pounding.  I headed in that direction.  He and 3 other men were in the process of knocking down the tower.  They had already knocked down half of the tower and were making short work of the rest.  It turned out the dentist had finally decided to sell the property, tower and all, to my friend for an undisclosed amount.

I sat and watched for a while but soon found myself drawn to participate in the destruction.  I started out by moving ruble out of the lady's driveway and advanced to actual removal of parts of the tower left standing.  Some of the blocks came loose simply by my pulling on them.  they were, more or less, just sitting there.  When the guy with the sledge hammer set it down to take a break I picked it up and took my turn on knocking down the tower.  I'd been working for about 10 minutes when I felt a sharp stinging sensation on the back of my thigh.  I've been stung by scorpions 20 times in the past and I recognized the sensation.  I put down the sledge hammer, climbed off the rubble and headed around the corner of a nearby wall.  I quickly removed my overalls and searched their interior for the culprit.  It was hiding in one of the folds.  I dispatched it to another plane of existence, put my overalls back on and headed for home and a big gulp of kombucha tea.
kombucha tea is the antidote for scorpion venom.  It completely eliminates any reaction to the scorpion venom if you drink it soon after getting stung.    Unfortunately,  It took me  about a half hour to get home so I was already feeling the effects.  It's like getting a shot of Novocaine at the dentists office.  I drank the kombucha which helped keep the venom from spreading, but it's till pretty uncomfortable.

So, I ended up getting stung by a scorpion which made me feel like I'd just been to the dentist, while tearing down a crazy dentist's tower.  Wasn't there an episode of "The Twilight Zone" like this?

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