When Arizona hands you scorpions, make lemon juice or something

Note: This column appears in the 7/14 issue of The Glendale Star and the 7/15 issue of the Peoria Times

Many thought it wasn’t possible, but here is how you go to the same store four times in the span of about two hours.

We had just returned home from an extended holiday weekend, and there was no food in the house, so I went to the grocery store. When I got there, I realized I had forgotten my wallet. The good news was that it was only 118-degrees outside with 90-percent post-monsoon humidity, so getting back into the car I just finished driving for seven straight hours because I am an idiot was a very appealing and exciting thing for me to do. This was my first trip.

I got my wallet and went back to the store. I did my usual thing that I do at the grocery store, where I walk around confused and buy things and forget stuff. I was almost done when my wife called to see where I was. She was wondering if I could come home asap—she had just been stung by a scorpion.

Had she not sounded so relatively calm and composed, I probably would have reacted even more panicked. As it was, I rushed my cart to the front of the store, located a girl who was bagging groceries, and said something along the lines of, “My wife was just stung by a scorpion. Here’s my cart.” She looked at me with the concern of someone who had just told her, “Today is Tuesday,” and said, “Are you coming back?” I yelled, “I don’t knooooowwww …” as I ran out of the store. This was my second trip.

This was a nice welcome back to Arizona—insufferable heat and scorpions, the latter of which we thought we had rid ourselves of. Freakin’ scorpions. My wife, thank God, was okay. She was well and brave enough, actually, to be upset with me for leaving all the stuff at the store. Chivalry is overrated when it’s time for dinner. I was going back, but because encountering one scorpion makes it seem like you’re under attack, I brought my daughter with me.

They left my cart in the floral refrigerator. After making a scene while exiting just minutes earlier, no one seemed overly concerned about my situation until the cashier looked at my daughter and said, “Is she the one who got stung?” I was like, really? If she just got stung by a scorpion do you think I’d be here buying fish sticks right now? Man. This was my third trip.

My in-laws were concerned, obviously. While video chatting with them shortly after I returned from the store, my father-in-law urged my wife to drink a shot of lemon juice mixed with garlic and honey to ease the pain. The lemon juice with honey and garlic combination is my father-in-law’s cure-all for everything. He has it in his cereal every morning, just in case. If he ever saw a leper, he would douse them with this combination and say, “Don’t worry—you’ll feel better soon.” We didn’t have any lemons, and my wife felt bad that I had already been to the store three times. She asked my father-in-law if the lemons were necessary, and he became increasingly upset at the idea of compromising his cure-all as a result of laziness.

I went back to the store to get lemons. This was my fourth trip. The cure-all made my wife feel better. She is a trooper. I canceled our bug guy and called a new one. It’s good to be back.

This works, too, ironically.