When I briefly co-managed a campground in Northern California, I spent a lot of time on the computer – tracking registrations, automating the bookkeeping, creating brochures. I was new to California, and spent time off the computer learning what to plant to dress up the campground, mindful of the salty air, temperate climate and the voracious appetites of the deer.
I was outside discussing plants with the owner when I noticed and commented on the strange looking crab that was walking a few feet away from us on the road. The strange looking crab, as it happens, was a scorpion. The owner cautioned me to check my shoes each morning before putting them on, because it was one of their favorite hiding places. I never forgot.
My office was the size of a small bathroom, but the views of the Albion River kept it from being claustrophobic. And I had a little friend to keep me company, a colorful, quarter-sized spider that was missing two legs, who seemed to love to just sit a few inches from the computer mouse and watch me move it around. I’m not at all fond of spiders, but this one seemed sickly, and in need of a friend.
I was doing the books one day – little friend at hand – when the owner came in and ordered me to freeze.
Scorpion afoot? Nope. The owner grabbed a book from the shelf next to me and smashed my colorful little friend. I’d befriended a black widow.
I missed it every day. I knew from how clumsily and slowly it moved and from the hours that it stayed motionless by the mouse pad that it was more likely to fall over dead than it was to strike me.
We have instincts, and they’re often sound. Those instincts tell us that sometimes dangerous things and even dangerous people outlive their dangerousness. And it’s okay to let them just sit a spell when they do.
Doyle Lee Hamm is dying. There’s not a whole lot of sense in killing him. Here’s hoping that Alabama Governor Kay Ivey’s instincts finally kick in, and that she decides to just let him sit a spell longer.