In the summer of 2009, my husband spent a stretch of time in prison. To clarify, he was not an inmate, he was a subcontractor installing the alarm system on a new prison being constructed in Dodge City, three hours away from our home. For two months I was a mostly single parent to our two children and three cats. Only a few of these creatures had complete control over their bowels and personal hygiene. It was a busy summer.
One day while calling to check on the kids and find out how I was doing, you know, having to open all the tough jar lids by myself and all, Doug noticed tension in my voice.
Doug: “What’s wrong, Babe?”
Me: *whimpering* “There’s a wasp in the house. I don’t know how it got in. Sneaky bastard.”
Doug: “Well, I know you don’t like them but I can’t come home tonight so you’ll have to kill it. Just grab the broom and whack it.”
Me: “You know it’s more than just not liking them. I’m freakin’ out over here!”
Doug: “I know, but Honey, you – ”
Me: “Wait. Where did it go? Agghhhh, it knows we’re talking about it, here it comes. . . ”
I dropped the phone on the table, crouched and scuttled like a crab to the garage where I plucked my weapon off the wall and went to do battle with the enemy. Fear was replaced with anger as I raised my broom sword into the air, striking the hovering devil with one awkward powerful blow.
When it landed on the floor I struck it once more. That was probably the kill-shot, but I’d seen too many scary movies to be complacent, so I hit it again, and again. I would not be the classic victim, the girl in the short-shorts who turns her back on the bad guy just so he can grab her ankle while manic violin music plays in the background. Hell. No.
I didn’t realize I forgot to hang up the phone so this is what Doug heard from the other end, “DIE! *THWACK* *THWACK* *THWACK* DIE. YOU. MISERABLE. WINGED. FREAK. *THWACK* *THWACK* *THWACK*”
Once I was sure he’d been defeated, I opened the patio door and swept the mangled intruder out into the backyard with one bad-ass flick of the wrist. Then I smirked, nodded my head and willed its carcass to be pissed on by one of the neighborhood cats. I shut the door and looked at the palm of my hand which was beginning to throb from gripping the broom handle during my fit of rage. I felt victorious. And then promptly had nightmares about the wasp’s family coming down the chimney to murder me in my sleep.
Spheksophobia is the smarty pants word for “bat-shit-scared of wasps,” and I’m a card-carrying member of the club. Okay, we don’t really have a club, but if we did, all our ID pictures would look like little Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone.
Any creature that hovers instead of flies, has a stinger on its butt that can inflict pain multiple times, and is not afraid of humans, even though we outsize and outweigh it 100 times over, has got to be respected and feared. When I see one, I have the same reaction every time, including paralysis, flop sweat, near-incontinence and internal shrieking. It’s ugly, it’s embarrassing, and I can’t help it.
“Don’t bother it and it won’t bother you.” Lies. It can do whatever it wants, BECAUSE IT HAS A STINGER ON ITS ASS.
But on that one glorious memorable day in 2009, I faced my fear and committed waspicide. No regrets.
Dani is an author from the great flat state of Kansas. She’s married to her favorite oily beau hunk, and together they’re raising two precocious children who have a wicked sense of humor and smart mouths, courtesy of their mother. She’s a vanilla latte fanatic, carb queen, bookaholic, nervous thumb-picker, Tina Fey fan, nonprofit founder and seafood loather.
You can follow her adventures here: www.danistone.net
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