Doug Melvin, general manager of the Milwaukee Brewers, usually has a routine spring training that involves meetings, decisions, games and so forth.
But Melvin got whacked on the finger by a scorpion Wednesday evening in his condominium, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which obviously isn’t part of his normal routine. Veteran Brewers beat writer Tom Haudricourt reported here that Melvin reached to pick up a bug with a tissue, was stung by what turne out to be a scorpion, and spent about three hours at the hospital receiving care before being released.
Having lived in Arizona for several months, back in ’94, my wife and I learned pretty quickly to check out bugs and don’t brush up against cactus. Or any plants, for that matter. Seems like every tiny critter, cactus or plant west of Arkansas stings, spits, bites, shoots or somehow inflicts pain.
Last spring while turkey and hog hunting at Mellon Creek Outfitters in Refugio, Texas, we went to the ranch’s range range to sight in our Mossberg Flex shotguns. The grass around the wooden deck and shooting bench was knee high, so the guides used a machete to chop it away and check for rattlesnakes.
If that wasn’t bad enough, when they opened the wooden box to get the sandbags and earmuffs, scorpions up to almost 3 inches long scuttled away under the box and inside the box. One of the guides did a scorpion tap dance, smashing a few, and then handed me a set of ear muffs.
“Might want to shake them out just to make sure before you put them on,” he said.
I’m not freaked out by bugs or snakes. But I damn sure didn’t want to put on muffs that might have a tiny scorpion inside the foam. Fortunately, we didn’t find any more of them during the shooting session. We also shook out our clothes, vests and boots each day before heading out to hunt, inside the ranch lodge and on the porch. Just a smart thing to do.
We have a few areas in the Southeast with scorpions, too. I’ve found them in Alabama, so they’re not just a desert critter. Fortunately, they’re not as prolific in the Southeast.
Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada … everything either bites, stings, sticks or shoots out there. Always something to keep in mind, even if you’re a baseball player or general manager or camo-clad hunter getting ready to chase critters.
– Alan Clemons, Southern Managing Editor