Sunday, May 21, 2006

Large, swift and scary wasp

What happens when you pit a large, swift and scary wasp against a slow-moving, weak, yet very handsome and intelligent cripple?

See, one evening I opened the window in the study to let in some air, and immediately this very loud flying insect flew in. I thought it was a large fly, and resumed bravely typing my inspirational blog about my heroic and tear-jerking fight with a cruel and implacable disease that wants to leave my children fatherless. You know, that blog.

The loud buzzing continued, and a few minutes later I looked up. Holy cow, a wasp! I was in shorts and bare feet. I had just that very day endured and survived the stomach ache believed to have been brought on by the bittering agent in the hand sanitizer. So I was a bit sensitive about my soma and didn't want to wind up in the ER with some bizarre toxic reaction to a wasp sting. I retreated from the study.

When I returned a few hours later to take my pills, the wasp was gone and I assumed it had flown back out the window, which I then closed.

I tend to get dressed in the study after my morning shower. Doing so, my exquisite naked flesh is exposed to any angry wasp that wants to repeatedly sting me.

After I posted my blog entry, I heard a buzzing, and saw the wasp flying around the lights. I asked my intrepid wife to capture the wasp. You have to understand, this is the woman who I once saw capture a large, ugly spider from a wall using her bare hands!

But she had various duties, so I prepared a weapon, all the while telling myself how stupid it would be for me to get drawn into combat with the wasp, and yet knowing that my hubris would draw me in.

The weapon was a tubular mailing package, about 18 inches long, with concave caps on the ends. I knew how dumb it would be to trap the wasp in the cap gap, and then be stuck holding the tube up against the ceiling while my weakened muscles screamed in agony, and then to be repeatedly stung when trying to flee the room.

So I put overlapping strips of masking tape across the end of the cap, to create a firm mashing surface. Then I put some tape with the sticky side exposed on top of that, to create a trapping surface. I also grabbed an empty 32-ounce yogurt container, just in case. I went into the darkened study and my eyes lit upon a small lump on the carpet, probably a piece of the debris I am always creating during my infusions.

I thought how ironic it would be if the lump were the wasp and my treading near it caused it to fly up my shorts and sting my perineum.

Lo and behold, the lump was the wasp! I readied my weapon. As I lowered the sticky end, the wasp began to crawl over the carpet. If it had flown upward instead, it probably would have stung my conjunctiva.

Instead I quickly mashed it with the weapon. Success! I left the weapon in place, braced by the empty yogurt container, assuming that the wasp was alive, injured, and pissed. Then I went and bragged to my intrepid wife, who was preparing lunches for the kids to have at school. What must it be like to have a cripple whose elocution is worse than that of the village idiot in Monty Python bragging to you about what a daring man he is?

Later I went in the study and looked at the aftermath. The wad of tape completely covered the wasp, which seemed inextricably mashed to the carpet. I flipped over the tape wad and turned on the digital camera, to get a shot of the big scary wasp for the blog. It was still moving, struggling in a hopeless ... wait! NOT so hopeless! The big bad wasp extricated itself from the tape and began crawling on the carpet! I quickly mashed it with the yogurt container, and weighted that down with a 500 mL jar of olive oil that I am going to try using instead of mineral oil.

My admirable wife came into the study to make a phone call about a doctor's appointment I need to address this annoying cough I have due to the reactive airways.

She's beautiful, and she's brave, but she's clumsy, which is why she's covered with scars from childhood accidents. She was standing right next to the container weighing down the big, scary, angry wasp.

I began to try to edge the container firmly away from her -- and the wasp struggled out from under it, and started flexing its wings! I quickly slapped the container lid on top of the wasp and began repeatedly striking the lid very hard with the heavy olive oil bottle. Nothing could survive that! Drool was coming out of my mouth, like it does when I have a really tough poop. I didn't care -- I wanted to kill the wasp! My caring wife had finished the phone call, and she held a napkin under my drool and urged me to finish my breakfast.

Alone again, I decided first to get the photo of the doubtless dismembered wasp stain on the carpet fibers. I lifted up the olive oil bottle with which I had been doing the violent mashing, and flipped over the yogurt lid. Holy cow, the wasp is crawling around again!!!

I smacked the pointy end of the olive oil bottle onto the wasp and pressed with all my might. I was kneeling, and losing my balance. I thought how painful and ironic it would be if I fell on top of the wasp, which would them repeatedly sting me in the scrotum while I yowled and tried to crawl. So I focused my considerable knowledge of physics and geometry on not falling down!

I didn't fall, and when I examined the wasp, it looked dead. Just to be sure, I crushed its head or neck with needle-nose pliers. Then I took this photo.

Once again I triumph over nature, just as I hope to triumph over the natural malady which now afflicts me.
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