I’m breaking up with Tucson

I attended a conference in Tucson this week and while the conference went well – the Tucson experience did not. Getting to Tucson was the first issue. I hate driving – mostly because it’s boring so I asked DSR to ride down with me and then hitchhike home. He refused. It wasn’t a horrible drive but I did get a little punchy as I passed Picacho Peak and pondered, for quite some time, if the flat area just off the freeway was called the Picacho Peak Patio. I get bored. Anyway, as I got closer I noticed it was a really nice area leading up to the resort and I thought maybe the long drive was worth it and this will be a nice little getaway. However, as I rounded the corner and saw the actual resort I was a little concerned – it totally reminded me of the Overlook Hotel… in the desert.

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But that might be a cool thing so I continued on, checked in, parked the car, and lugged my suitcase to my room. It was a great room and since I was on the ground floor, I had a patio. I had to check out the patio… maybe after a long day of conferencing I could relax on my patio with a glass of wine. I opened the curtains and saw this sign. “Caution! Snakes and Wildlife Present!”

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Not only do they put a picture of a snake on the sign but it’s trying to bite your face off. I didn’t even go outside. Every morning I checked (from the safety of my room) to see if any snakes had made their way to my patio. They did not. However, on day three of my little getaway I walked out of my room and into the hallway and almost stepped on a scorpion. It was sitting (lurking) right outside my door – like it was waiting until I left so it could come in and clean the room. I wasn’t fooled. I put a flyer from the conference on top of it (I was wearing sandals) and stomped on it as hard as I could. And then I heard it scurrying under there. So I frantically stomped on it a whole bunch more and it scurried out from under the paper and into MY ROOM. As luck would have it (for the scorpion), it blended in perfectly with the carpet and it took me several seconds of spinning around in a panic in the entry way to find him. Then I had to find a killing device and since he was on the carpeted base board in the corner, my paper covering shoe stomping method wasn’t going to work (again). I find that hairspray works well in these situations, so I coated him with about 6 ounces of fragrance free hairspray. It didn’t kill him but he was stuck to the wall so I had a chance of killing him without all the scurrying. I still needed something that would get into the corner so I used the notepad holder conveniently provided by the hotel. I slammed it into the corner repeatedly while apologizing to the scorpion. “I’m sorry. I know you don’t want to die but I can’t have you in my room.”

I left a note for housekeeping – “Dead Scorpion” and an arrow pointing to the dead scorpion – so they could dispose of the remains and clean up my exterminating mess.

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I’m happy to report that when I returned to my room the mess and the deceased scorpion were gone but I was still freaked out and decided this is where shoes belong when you’re under attack from wildlife.

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I’m definitely requesting at least a fourth floor room if I return.

PS – I keep feeling things (hopefully imaginary) crawling on my feet while I write this.

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