A few years ago I was working in the woods a short distance from the house Around 8 AM, I suddenly felt a sharp sting on my temple. Then another one under my chin. It took me about two or three seconds to realize that a regiment of yellow-jacket wasps were attacking and I was being bitten all over my body. Apparently I stumbled on their nest and the home guard was sent out to teach me what a big mistake I had made. And let me tell you, they sure knew their business.
Three years earlier, when my stepson, Peter, and I were putting in the posts for a pool deck, he had stumbled onto a hive and maybe twenty of them made a nose dive right for him. You never saw anyone run as fast as that boy did but still managed to get bitten twice before he jumped into the pool and the troop of gasps gave up and retreated home. Well, I wasn’t so lucky. On the morning that I stumbled onto my hive, I didn’t have a pool nearby to jump into to save me. All I had was my feet and so, did the only thing I could do; I ran like hell.
What made this “attack of the wasps” worse than the one Peter fought off was that Peter was in his bathing suit while, the brilliant person that I am, I was covered from head to toe with clothes. Smart? No, studied when wasps are after you. By now, those little beasts had maneuvered under my clothes and kept biting me and I had no way to brush them away. Instead I was pounding on myself, trying to kill them. No luck. It just made then want to bite me even more. There I was running, waving my hands wildly trying to brush away the wasps hovering over me screaming”
“Get away. Get Away. Get away from me.”
I can’t even imagine what was going through my head. Did I actually believe that these insects would understand what I was saying and politely go away?
Running faster than I had ever run in my life, I headed straight for the house and with these little beasts making a feast of me, began tearing off my clothes whacking at myself trying to kill them but only succeeded in giving myself some pretty serious black-and-blue marks.
By the time I got to the house most of my clothes were on the path and my wife, having heard me screaming frantically and seeing me wave my arms around like I was, thought a bear was after me. Later, she told me that I looked like a mad man.
What gave the madman diagnosis a certain degree of validity was me standing in front of her, stripped, and screaming for her to get out of the way so I could make it to the bathroom and safety? My wife, finally realizing what was really happening started laughing and teld me as I passed her:
“I never saw you get out of your clothes so fast.”
When I finally got to the bathroom I stripped naked and the damn things were still biting me while others were crawling around looking for a juicy spot to stick in their stingers. By the time I got rid of them, I must have counted at least 12 bites, and those were only on my front.
As hot and angry as I’ve ever been, the next day I bought Wasp killer and I zapped that underground hive with two cans of that stuff. Then with incredible pleasure I watched those little monsters die with the joy of total and complete victory over a vanquished enemy. Now, it was my turn to laugh and all the while I was doing this, I was shouting at them, not caring whether they could understood me or not:
“You think you can screw with me you little pricks! Well, you screwed with the wrong person, so die. You hear me, DIE!”
There must have been a least a two hundred in there and they were, indeed, dying—if you’ll excuse the metaphor—like flies. The ones that kept moving I zapped until they met their maker. I hadn’t felt so good in years. Those devils were gone. I mean gone. I got them back for what they did to me and watched them go onto that hive in the sky with joy. Let that be a warning to any other wasps out there who have similar intentions.
The only problem was that the bites, although they no longer hurt, itched like hell. I suppose that was their revenge…or as it might be called in Hollywood when they producedthe film version, “The Revenge Of The Wasps.”
And that was my battle with the yellow-jackets. Please, God, don’t let it happen again.