How Not To Care For A Pet Scorpion
By Al Murray-Lawson, Illustration by Jimmy Decaire


know fuck all about scorpions, except that they’re badass. So when I saw that PJ’s Pet Centre was selling emperor scorpions I was all ‘why the fuck not? They’re totally badass and so am I’. Well, let me tell you why the fuck not: they’re delicate. Yes, scorpions are a menacing breed of animal, and at first glance you’d think they’d be considerable competition for cockroaches in surviving a nuclear fallout. That is where you fail. Scorpions- as I have so painstakingly learned- are delicate little flowers disguised as badass killing machines. So coming from a man who has lost two pet scorpions (Manthor and Killer Claws McQueen) in less than one week, here is a guide of how to (not) raise your pet scorpion.

"I’ll feed him mealworms because crickets could jump out of the tank!"

No, crickets are retarded. They could spend fifty years in a tank and not learn to jump upwards instead of straight out headfirst into the glass. There are, however, actual benefits to feeding them mealworms. If you put a lot of mealworms in their tank, any worms that escape the vicious onslaught of the scorpion will burrow into the ground and soon become beetles.

Now all you have to do is feed the beetles a piece of lettuce every now and again and then they’ll bang and make more mealworms which will make more beetles and, provided it’s hungry enough, the scorpion will eat all of these things (except the lettuce, that’s for rabbits and other douche pets). It’s kind of like having an almost self-sustaining ecosystem right in your own home that smells like steaming shit.

"The safest way to pick up a scorpion is probably by the tail!"

Yeah, safe for you. Comparatively it’s like picking a dude up by his dick. Sure, it’s funny to hold a scorpion by the tail and watch him squirm, but eventually the bastard is going to squirm too hard and his tail will be mangled for life. The best way to handle a scorpion is to make absolutely sure that he’s dead, or try crushing up some sedatives into his water. Even poking your scorpion with a pencil is risky, as they’re like the kid who always made it to the top of the rope in gym class, only with a stinger. I’d recommend just getting a really aggressive breed so you’re less inclined to fuck with it.

"They say emperor scorpions are the most docile breed, so I figure that means I can just pick them up and fuck with them as much as I want to!"

This is a wonderful strategy if you want a cool Facebook album, but not if you actually want your scorpion to survive. Eventually you are going to get shitfaced and let the bastard crawl all over you. After one or two falls from shoulder-height you’ll think the scorpion is invincible, until one night he falls from two feet off the ground and smashes his demonic face in and starts bleeding clear liquid all over your new Ikea coffee table.

"Give it a funeral!"

Congratulations, you have just fucked up your first attempt at owning a scorpion. Embrace the condolences of your loved ones, and give it a Viking Funeral. Here are the items I included in Manthor’s funeral: a coffin made out of an empty Marlboro carton, a ship made out of empty Newport carton (dubbed the SS Newport), lighter fluid, lighter, and one body of water.

The Viking funeral is very basic. Just find a body of water that is suitable for your funeral needs. Make sure you can get close enough to the water to comfortably light a boat full of lighter fluid without setting yourself on fire. Now take your boat and place the coffin - complete with scorpion corpse - inside the boat. Heartily douse the whole shebang with lighter fluid and place the boat into the water. Light the boat, and as soon as you see the first lick of flames, let it drift gracefully down the river.

Originally published in Spring 2009, Issue 3.2.