As a matter of fact, I was trying to save the bee from drowning, but had not recognized it as an enemy; it was in poor light and I thought it was a harmless sort of bug so I used my finger to lift it out of the water, my typing finger.
For years we have been telling tourists about the snakes and scorpions hereabout. That the small colored snakes are poisonous but very shy and that the big black ones are harmless and also very shy. We say that in a two-week holiday you would be very lucky to see a snake.
This year we told a lady tourist that stuff on a Monday and on the Tuesday one of the big black ones dropped out of a tree and landed on the terrace table in front of her. We heard the scream from 400 meters away; it quite spoilt her breakfast.
We have been told by reps about tourists who seriously complain about the presence of creepy-crawlies in or around their holiday cottages. What do they want us to do, fumigate the whole coast? I say we breed more nasties and frighten that type of tourist back to where they came from.
We have heard tourists complain about the noise of a neighbor’s chickens, which is ironic, because chickens kill scorpions. We are thinking of breeding scorpions ready for our full-scale war on Jeep and quad safaris. I’m also trying to design a snake catapult, but I’m not getting very far, there are technical difficulties. (Perhaps a snake longbow?)
According to the Internet, all spiders are poisonous, but some more than others. We generally dismiss the Turkish ones as harmless. Don’t you believe it! The one that attacked me was as big as a Buick and packed a wallop like a steam hammer. If the snake catapult doesn’t work, then I’m going for a spider version.
There is a Web-site-forum thingy on which some wimp from around here was reporting his scorpion sting; he was rushed to hospital, had hours of treatment, etc. Listen. If you are between 13 and 70 and in reasonable health, here is what you do. Eat one each of every pill in your medicine cabinet and drink a whole lot of gin with tonic. You are allowed to cry a little and curse as much as you want, but you won’t die and the whole thing will be over in a day, unlike a spider wound. Of course I am speaking from experience.
Do I feel persecuted? Well actually, no. These attacks have been over many years. Mosquitoes don’t bother me too much; the ankle-biters have been fairly moderate in their assaults, and the recent bee sting was the first for perhaps five years.
Now, broadening the subject somewhat: Have you heard about the person who bought a pot plant (or cactus) and (cutting a long story short) it turned out to have a nest of tarantula spiders (or scorpions) in it? Please, don’t pass the story on without checking its truth. Google “urban legends” and you’ll find that the amazing and scary event which happened to a friend of your friend almost certainly never happened at all.
Funny end to my attacks: I had to write instructions to my bank in Europe to send me money; they take a first instruction by e-mail but require a written and signed paper version. Fine, I was to get on with that after the weekend. The bee sting, which I explained was on my typing finger occurred, on a Monday morning. I was able to type out a letter, but when I came to sign it, my signature looked like a plate of burnt spaghetti. I did the best I could after practicing for a while and then posted the letter, but first I e-mailed the bank to explain that my signature was not entirely accurate. Brain wave! I then photographed my swollen finger opposite the non-swollen one of the opposite hand and sent them that.
Yes thanks, the money came through on Thursday.
John Laughland – AKA The Old Groaner