Monday, August 31, 2009
Dancing With Wasps......
Have you ever been stung by an enraged wasp? Enraged because he's trapped inside your baggy old threadbare linen gardening pants? Trouble is, you, too, are inside your baggy old threadbare linen gardening pants, and, baggy as they are, there isn't room for both of you. So, with your pants on fire, you dance wildly into the house, dash to the bathroom, trying to divest yourself of your baggy old threadbare linen gardening pants as you go. As they fall to the tiles, the enraged wasp zooms out and lands on a cabinet door.
Your husband, the man who promised to love you and defend you against all harm, has followed you to the bathroom and is watching your antics with detached amusement.
"What happened?" he asks mildly.
"I got stung by a wasp!" I gasp.
"That wasp," I add, pointing angrily at the cabinet where the dazed wasp is gathering his wits and contemplating his next move.
"I'll get him," says your hero gallantly, but too late. With the single mindedness of the thrice stung, I had already grabbed a tissue, pounced and dispatched the nasty flying criminal to insect hell. None of that "sentient being" nonsense that I sometimes use when escorting captured spiders through the front door. I'm a sentient being. That didn't seem to give the wasp any qualms of conscience.
"How did it happen?"
Does he really want me to explain this right now, I wondered, tenderly dabbing calamine lotion on my nether regions. It would be much more helpful if he would just play doctor, since I'm not quite flexible enough for the contortions needed to actually see what I'm aiming at. But, with no such offer forthcoming, I continue to dab with a little bit more ferocity.
"I sat down on a chair on the porch, and next thing I knew my pants were on fire."
Having just removed one of those hard mud, bug incubator thingies from one of the window screens, I had repaired with my prize to the porch, intent on a little scientific research. I have explained before the science deprivation we suffered at the hands of the holy nuns, so I wasn't exactly on the lookout for evil-minded wasps intent on flying up the leg of my pants the minute I sat down. With a knife, brought from the kitchen for exactly that purpose, I had just poked open one of the mud compartments and was examining, in fascination, the tiny, squirming creatures within, when suddenly, I shot out of the chair in consternation, bugs forgotten. Something very unpleasant and completely unexpected was happening inside my pants. Yes, the baggy old threadbare linen gardening ones.
And that's when he said what no person in his right mind should say to someone still smarting from multiple wasp stings, and even as he's opining, swelling up like a balloon.
"You shoulda looked!"
I shoulda looked??
Why of course, my dear! Because any prudent person, intent on a little natural science, carries a checklist in the pocket of her baggy old threadbare linen gardening pants? Which she carefully extracts and reads before sitting? One of the several precautions advised thereon being to turn the chair you have in mind to sit on, upside down for inspection, since everyone knows that the undersides of such chairs are favourite places for rogue wasps to set up housekeeping and raise their young......
Subsequent investigation revealed that my winged friend and accomplices had indeed built their Taj Majal on the underside of one of the porch chairs. Understandable, I suppose, that they would go into attack mode when an unwary human bottom plonked itself down so unceremoniously right next to where they were grooming their next generation. Understandable too that I showed not a modicum of mercy in my liberal spraying of "Wasp and Hornet Killer." I restrained myself and did not turn the nozzle in the OC's direction, much as I might have been tempted to do so.
Obviously my injuries were not life threatening; I lived to tell the tale. I even lived to laugh about it....Just not right away.
When no helpful, kind, compassionate or sympathetic words come to mind, it is wiser to leave unsaid whatever smart-arse remarks do spring to mind, regardless of how witty they might seem!