We’re kicking off Giving Tuesday early this year! Your donation today will be matched up to $10K, doubling your impact! If you donate $50 today, the Reader will receive $100.

The Reader is now a community-funded nonprofit newsroom. Can we count on your support to help keep us publishing?

Continued from last week . . .

So this guy was standing there with a live scorpion in a box shining a light on it, and it was moving its legs and tail and I was shrieking, “It’s alive!” “Shhh!” he told me, looking over his shoulder, and I grabbed a camera so I could take a snapshot. Then people in the room started gathering around to see what all the commotion was about. Pretty soon a cocktail waitress was talking to the guy–I couldn’t hear what she was saying, but she looked pissed. The guy stood there quietly, and the box had disappeared back into his pocket. Then suddenly, in one swift movement, he threw his head between his legs so far back that his elbows locked up with the back of his thighs. Like a Chinese contortionist, you know? My jaw just dropped. I was thinking, What the hell was that?! So I started to clap and cheer, and everyone joined in while security escorted him out. He waved good-bye and blew kisses to us–he was the rock star now. As far as I know the scorpion was fine. I was tripping out when I developed the film and found the picture. You see a lot of things in my job, but something this wacky I couldn’t even make up.

–Dave Avalos, fireman