A Letter to My Babysitter Regarding the Scorpion Pit

scorpion_pitfrom: Elizabeth McNeal<LizMcNeal72@comcast.com>

to: me<Melissa_Ridge@gmail.com>

Melissa,

Thank you for agreeing to babysit for us on such short notice. My husband managed to get tickets for Burlington Community Player’s sold out staged production of Eyes Wide Shut. And since this is the last performance we can’t miss out! Amanda Simons next door says her kids absolutely love you, so I know you’d be great for our Ethan. I just want to go over all the details in email so I don’t forget anything when we see each other in person.

We’re leaving at 6 and should be home no later than midnight. We’ll leave $25 to order pizza for you and Ethan. Don’t order any soda with the pizza because we don’t give him any refined sugars. If he lies and tells you he’s allowed to have soda, throw him in the scorpion pit. It’s under the couch in the living room. Just pull the sofa back and throw him in for about 30 minutes and then throw the rope ladder down and let him up. Don’t try to give him any medical attention, he knows where the first aid kit is where we keep the ointments, and the bandages, and the antidote for the fattail scorpion venom.

I’ll leave you numbers for my mother, and the police and fire department. I don’t expect there to be any emergencies, but you can never be too careful. Ethan does have a peanut allergy so that’s the one thing to be careful of. If he tries to open the highest cabinet next to the refrigerator where we keep the peanut butter, please throw him in the scorpion pit for an hour or so. I love Ethan so much, I’d hate for anything to happen to him. So please, please, please leave him in the scorpion pit for an hour without the TV on if he even puts his hand on that cabinet.

Since you’re new he might try to test you. He might say things like, “Please don’t throw me into the pit of scorpions,” or “For the love of God, don’t put me in the pit with those scorpions,” or, “Please take me away from my parents. They’re monsters, they throw me into a pit full of scorpions.” If he says anything like that, please just throw him in the scorpion pit.

My husband and I are aware that the scorpion pit is unorthodox. We know you babysit for the Simons’s who still throw their girls into a viper den, but we believe that’s cruel. Vipers are traumatizing for children, and their poison is incredibly painful and often lethal. Scorpions are practically pet gerbils in comparison, they aren’t lethal except for the fattail scorpion, but again, Ethan knows where the antidote is and we always keep plenty of clean, hypodermic needles that he can use to administer himself with the drug.

Again, thank you so much for coming over tonight on such short notice, you are an absolute life-saver! If you like I’ll bring home one of those masquerade sex masks from the show.

Thanks,

Liz