Scorpions in Black or Blue
Updated: Jan 30
“I have not seen you in a few days, Semple.”
“Been holed up at my nephew’s apartment,” replied Semple as he slid into a familiar seat at the bar. He had me on the Internet.“
“Yeah, man. You can get a lot and get it quick. I’m trying to catch up with that fancy education you got.”
“It is readily apparent to me, Semple, that you do not have much catching up to do, if any.”
“Oh, but I do,” Semple responded authoritatively, as he ordered his favorite rye and cola. “See, you ever study zoology?”
“I took a course.”
“That’s what I mean. I couldn’t be on course like that so that’s why I’m picking up on this stuff now. I’m learning all about scorpions, the whole bunch.”
“So you are getting into classification, phylum, matters like that.”
“File ‘em? I ain’t filing ‘em, Boyd. Not doing office work. I’m seeing how these scorpions operate. You know, they got long game, been around since before the dinosaurs. They predatory because they gotta eat, but a lot of that stinging is a self-defense thing, and they venom usually not gonna take a human down. I do imagine, though, that if a gang attacked all at once it could be deadly.”
“I suppose so, Semple.” Boyd finished his beer and switched over to what Semple had ordered. “But that would be highly unusual, no?”
“Yeah, but I know the key. You have to let them stay regular. You can’t put them in uniforms. Definitely not no black or blue ones."
"I think I understand,” Boyd smiled. “Why would anybody do that?”
“Not knowing the key. That’s why. Purpose gets all screwed up. They just run crazy.”
“Is that a scorpion issue or a uniform issue?”
“It’s a scorpion-uniform issue. Can’t break it up.”
The bartender eased their drinks into place. Boyd called for a toast to Semple’s new investigations. They gently bumped glasses. Then Boyd asked Semple if he has also studied scorpion mythology. Semple said he would do that soon, and he told Boyd to go ahead and show off.
“Well, began Boyd, one story is that the great hunter Orion vowed to kill all the wild animals on earth, a promise which alarmed the goddess Gaia. She thus asked Scorpio, a giant scorpion, to kill Orion. Scorpio was able to accomplish the feat. As a tribute, Gaia or Zeus put the Scorpio in the heavens, the constellation Scorpius seeming to chase forever the constellation Orion. There are numerous other versions, as you would imagine would be the case with the old stories.”
“That’s interesting,” said Semple. “Seems most scorpions I’m reading about ain’t worried about no Orions. But this could be an obsession of the ones you put the uniforms on. You sure Orion wasn’t African American?”
“He certainly was not,” responded Boyd laughingly.
“In any case,” offered Semple seriously, “we got stories to fix.”