This morning I had about half an hour before it was time to start getting ready for work. Decided to use it to water the lawn and the plants for a bit. While I was squatting down watering a potted plant on the ground, I felt something tickling my leg just below my knee. I Thought maybe something had crawled up there so I put my hand up my pant leg and felt around. Didn't feel anything and the tickling went away so I just figured it was some stray leg hairs or something. I finished my watering and came inside to take a shower.
As I was taking off my belt, I felt something rough inside my pants near the top of my butt. I put my hand back there and all of the sudden something bit me hard on my right cheek. I tore off my pants as fast as I could. Standing there in my birthday suit, I looked back at the big red mark on my ass that was starting to burn and throb. I thought maybe it was a bee or something.
"Damn, that's really starting to hurt!"
I moved my pants around a little hoping to shake whatever it was out and find out what got me. Nothing was coming out.Then, all of the sudden from the folds of the denim emerges a giant dragon. OK, it was actually a centipede but it looked like a dragon at the moment. About five inches long. Those things are mean.
While most bugs and spiders don't want anything to do with you, the centipedes here are fearless and known for charging directly at people and carrying off small children (ok, so that last bit isn't true, but I wouldn't put it past them if they could).
I grabbed one of my trusty boots and smashed that sucker 'til he was dead.
I've heard more horror stories about centipede bites than I could recall at that moment. "It'll make you sick for weeks…" "…It swelled up the size of a baseball…" "…she had to have a skin graph…"
I had flashes of what of venom-ridden horrors may lay ahead. I called my boss. He's a local, he'll know what to do. Mostly he just laughed at me. Heh. Then he told me if I wasn't allergic to them he didn't think there wasn't really anything to worry about. Hell, I don't know if I'm allergic to centipede venom.
Just to be sure my internal organs weren't about to liquify, I called poison control. The lady was really nice. She said there wasn't much I could do about the pain. She also told me that it's very rare, but if it started swelling really big, or I got nauseous, a bad headache, dizzy etc that meant it was extremely serious and to call her back right away. She also said that these often get infected, and if it does I'll need to go to the doctor and get some antibiotics. She was more comforting than my boss at least lol.
Anyway, to make a long story short (too late), I took a shower, got dressed and went to work. The pain and swelling mostly subsided after a while. I still have two red holes in my cheek about a centimeter apart, one where each fang sunk into me. I count my lucky stars. If I had to have one of these guys crawling around in my pants, I guess my ass is the best place I could have taken the hit. Criminy.
Driving home tonight after work I was thinking about the incident. I thought about the way the centipede looked when he crawled out of my pants (now removed from my horror of the moment). It looked like he didn't know where to go or what to do. I had the thought that he was probably just scared and trying to find his way out of my jeans when I stuck my hand back there and freaked him out. I felt bad for killing him.
I don't like to kill things if I don't have to. Spiders have free reign in my house for the most part. When I see one build a new web in a corner of the bathroom, I might name him Henry or Sir Charles or Betty and talk to them when I'm in there. If one looks particularly threatening, I'll scoop her up in a glass and relocate her outside.
Don't get me wrong, I'm a meat eater and I'm not loosing any sleep over the death of my assailant. He was a predator in my house (let alone my pants). I thought it interesting though to have such a different perspective from the total satisfaction I got out of smashing it into oblivion earlier in the day, asking it how it liked me now and flexing at it.
Of course if the centipede was 140 lbs and I was 0.5 ounces (shiver), he would have smashed me.
Reminds me of the movie "The Fly" with Jeff Goldbloom
Seth Brundle: Have you ever heard of insect politics? Neither have I. Insects… don't have politics. They're very… brutal. No compassion, no compromise. We can't trust the insect. I'd like to become the first… insect politician. Y'see, I'd like to, but… I'm afraid, uh…
Ronnie: I don't know what you're trying to say.
Seth Brundle: I'm saying… I'm saying I – I'm an insect who dreamt he was a man and loved it. But now the dream is over… and the insect is awake.
Ronnie: No. no, Seth…
Seth Brundle: I'm saying… I'll hurt you if you stay.
Having compassion for a compassionless creature is truly a good way to be. A rare and venerable human trait that brings about a very old and very human grey area – When the insect is awake and he's in your pants, you gotta do what you gotta do.