First it was the june bugs, hailing against the windows at night. They whirred and clicked, slammed their cockroach-brown bodies against the glass, suicidal. Every morning, the deck was littered with june bug corpses.

Now it's the grasshoppers, locusts, and scorpions. A dozen or so scorpions have made their way into our house, skittering over tile and carpet, wraith-like and sinister. Local lore has it that they come in pairs -- that if you see one, you'll see another soon. I'm always relieved when we're at an even count, but I think what the saying implies is exponential growth. When you see one, there are always two. I shake out my Nikes in the morning before I put them on, and look suspiciously behind the cushions on the sofa.

I can overlook a Gregor Samsa-sized cockroach or two, or the clouds of grasshoppers that hiccup up from our mangy patch of lawn. But scorpions... It's like the spirit of lobsters (the Ghost of Surf and Turf Past) seeking a violent revenge.

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