As I mentioned last month, the weather is getting warmer, which means all the critters of spring are beginning to arrive.
With a relatively mild winter in my area again it means we have more than usual (the same was true last year…and these critters included MICE but maybe that’s next month’s story…) and they start arriving earlier. Though spiders tend to freak people out more, nothing causes fear and panic through a school playground, office parking lot, or park picnic spot more than wasps buzzing through.
It could be because they seem to come right at you. It could be because, with their natural red and black costuming (or yellow and black depending on the species and area), they seem to be DRESSED like villains from an 80s action movie. But they seem to radiate aggression.
I’d managed to live 30-some-odd years on this planet without ever feeling the wrath of their terrible sting…until last month. Stepping barefoot into my closet to read the back of MUSTARD (of all things….) from my mini-fridge I felt a sharp pain. Like I’d trod on glass. Glass sculpted into the shape of a fanged thorn. Glass sculpted into the shape of a fanged thorn and dipped in molten lead. And venom. And HATE.
I immediately jumped back and saw I’d stepped on a wasp who stung the $#!* out of me. As the pain sunk in I vented it by brutally crushing the life out of it with all the antagonism I could muster. I spent the morning hopping on one foot, and the rest of the day refilling bags of ice and resting my foot on them to keep the pain down.
My friend Mike says being stung builds character. Bollocks to that!
After the initial wash of rage had subsided it dawned on me…that wasp stung the crap out of me…but only because I’d stepped on it. I’ve lived with venomous spiders, aggressive frogs, feisty turtles, and attitude-y cats, but only this little critter managed to really inflict serious pain. But essentially, I started that fight. Though I ended it with extreme prejudice as well, it did make me realize that reaction is essentially the same anger I get when the gate to my station wagon closed while I was getting my guitar in high school and smashed me in the head (seriously happened) or when I stood up underneath my pull-up bar and it crashed into my neck (that also happened). The immediate reaction is irrational rage at the inanimate object…just for existing… (I punched the metal pull-up bar. Yeah that was smart…) I became one of those idiots I hate who hear a bear has killed imbecile that was trying to get a picture hugging said bear and immediate go out to kill all bears.
In retrospect, I got stung, it hurt like a *&%^!#$^&#@ but I can’t blame the evil little monster who assaulted me as it was reacting to my actions. Who knows how many times I’d stab some big oaf that tried to step on me.
I’ll keep that in mind the next time a vicious, little, fire-red demon attempts to do me in via near-microscopic venom shard…