A few weeks ago, United Airlines (UA) made national headlines when a passenger was dragged off a plane. The news overshadowed a lot of other airline news. This included the news that a Canadian passenger was stung by a scorpion on a United flight that same week.
I was amazed at how calm the passenger was when I read about the the incident.
Personally, I am quite squeamish about bugs and insects, as evidenced by my post about bed bugs in hotels. A scorpion — and the sight of its potentially venomous stinger — is no trivial matter to me.
My Probable Reaction
I am a relatively laid back and composed person, but I can’t honestly say I would react as calmly if a scorpion landed on my head. I think I would actually freak out. It’s a scorpion! It’s got a mighty stinger and it could be venomous.
I just hope that I don’t end up freaking out too badly.
Given that I have a fear of bugs, I would be rattled by if some “moving” thing falls on my head. I’d probably shrieked first. I’m not sure if I would yell, “Get it off me”. I hope that no one tells me it’s a scorpion since I think I would freak out even more if I knew.
I’d probably jump up from my seat and try to fling whatever it is off from my hair. Rationally, I know this isn’t the best reaction as it might land on someone else and freak that other person out, but sometimes that’s your first instinct…
Once it’s off, I certainly hope it would land on the floor or the food tray. Then I am likely to try to squash it with my shoes or contain it in a jar. There is no way I would attempt to pick it up with my hands as the passenger did.
Not Quite as Bad as This Person
Last year, while shopping at a open-air shopping facility in a foreign country, I came across a a gigantic spider. It’s got immensely long legs which made it look even more daunting. I nearly walked right into its path before I caught sight of the light-colored creature. It was easy to miss as it blended in somewhat against the light colored floor tiles.
My reaction wasn’t as dramatic. At least, I didn’t shriek. I did – however – made an instinctual move. I literally jumped back about 3 feet from where I was standing. A family member saw my reaction (but had not seen the gigantic spider) and looked confused. I simply have to point at the spider hanging out in plain sight and all is clear. It was one of biggest spiders I have ever seen.
I was reminded of the incident because I recently came across a video where a guy freaked out over a snake at Thailand’s Internet cafe. The freak-out is relate-able in many ways, though I just feel bad for the poor guy that accidentally got kicked!
How do you think you might have reacted if a scorpion fell on your head? Have you come across a similar situation where you ended up reacting much differently than you expected?