If I were stranded alone on a deserted island, I would need to bring some sort of industrial-strength aerosol insect repellant. You see, I am afraid of bugs. Especially the kind that sting. And fly. Ever since I was a child, I would succumb to a fight-or-flight panic response every time a bee or wasp came near me. In fact, I was never stung until I was 32 years old. And while it was not pleasant, it was by no means as horror-inspiring as I would have imagined. I think that half of my fear is that, given that I have so many allergies, I am unknowingly allergic to bee stings and would die should one sting me.
You might think that having been stung once would alleviate my sheer terror when a bee or wasp flies near me.
You would be wrong.
Last summer, as we stood on our backyard patio drinking beer with some guests, a wasp began to stalk me. We had an herb garden that was much too close to the patio, as it attracted a disturbing number of bees and wasps. (Said garden shall be planted elsewhere this summer.) Those bastards swarmed around whomever was enjoying a beverage or snack at the patio table all summer long. I began to panic as my enemy circled my bottle of beer, and in a true fight-or-flight moment, I threw my glass bottle and fled.
Unfortunately for me, I have extremely poor coordination and spatial skills, and the bottle that was intended to land in the grass actually landed on the concrete and shattered into a hundred tiny pieces. Oops. I’m not sure my husband has ever been quite so
horrified and disgusted perturbed by any of my peculiarities as he was in that moment. I’m not proud of my overreaction, but hey, we all have our little quirks. Part of being married is taking turns freaking out, in my opinion. My husband isn’t a big fan of snot. Bugs are my thing. (Come to think of it, I may have more than one “thing”.)
Last weekend, I was home alone with the girls while my fearless bug protector was at an appointment. I noticed a wasp crawling along the windowsill, just inches from where my daughters and I sat on the couch. Given the fact that I am so level-headed in a crisis, I immediately barked, “Goddammit! Quick- get out of here! Hurry! Run!”
I ushered my children to safety and armed myself with a fly swatter. It was time for me to face my fears and protect my family. That stinging SOB evaded me by crawling behind the blinds and burying himself deeper in the windowsill, just out of my reach. Another mother may have shrugged it off and decided to try again later, but not this woman. There was no chance of me being able to relax, sleep, or pee (Because you never know when an insect might be lurking underneath the toilet seat. Just sayin’.) until I had assassinated the perp.
I mentally catalogued our list of possible household weapons: hairspray, (ran out months ago) household cleaner, (too toxic) Armor-All (in the garage- too far)… that left Pam. You know- Pam. The cooking spray.
I grabbed my Pam in one hand and the flyswatter in the other and headed back to the living room. I sprayed the hell out of that sucker until he stumbled disoriented into my reach. I pummeled the dazed wasp with the flyswatter while continuing to spray him with Pam, all the while unleashing more GD, S, and yes, even F bombs.
The injured predator fell uselessly to the couch, at which point I began shrieking (try to channel Cam from Modern Family or Nathan Lane in the Birdcage for a more clear image) and leaping around, swatting frantically. He was still not dead.
“Izzy! Get me a dishtowel!” I commanded authoritatively. My stunned offspring stood motionless, rooted to her spot. “Hurry!” I ordered, and she obediently fetched me a dishtowel. I gingerly nudged the wasp until he perched precariously between the swatter and the dishtowel, placed him on the tile floor, and smacked him with the flyswatter. It was finished.
Satisfied, I deposited the carcass into the trash, where he remained, surrounded by these items:
Oh, by the way, this was part of Finish the Sentence Friday. The prompt this week was:
If I were on an island, I would bring…
Not quite what you had in mind? You thought perhaps I would say a book, my ipod, and a purse full of booze? Well, I guess that would be nice, too. As long a there was room for my
insect repellent cooking spray.
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