Usual Eccentric: The Boy Who Sprayed the Hornet’s Nest

Photo courtesy of Roger Smith

Unbeknownst to me, a very large and extremely volatile nest of yellow jackets inhabited the underbelly of my porch deck. File that under things I wished I knew in advance before deciding to go swimming with my friends recently.

If you are ever stung by an insect pray that it doesn’t happen in front of your friends. Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you how jerky I am, a trait amplified when under extreme insect duress.

I let out a royal howl that sounded more like a death throe as I swatted the air like a maniac possessed. It would later be described as looking like doing the Charleston on my porch stairs, but what are friends for, right?

I thought nothing of it and figured after a dip in the pool it would feel great. It hurt, turned a wicked shade of red and pretty much started oozing all over my camouflage flip flops, but the great thing about camouflage is that it hides stains well.

Unfortunately, and granted I am no expert in entomology, but camouflage only appears to attract yellow jackets to sting your Achilles’ heel. That has to be the worst place to get stung, and this is coming from a guy who has been stung in the armpit before, repeatedly.

When I got back from the pool something stung me over and over again as I entered my porch door. I was enraged because the yellow jackets stung me in the same exact spot, the same! Really, these things have that much time on their mandibles? I didn’t even realize yellow jackets could exact revenge schemes. They must have excellent short-term memory.

At first I thought it was a brown recluse spider bite, mostly because I think everything is a brown recluse spider bite. It wasn’t until tactically and tactfully retreating into my home and later investigating beneath my porch that I learned the culprits were yellow jackets.

I am a man who takes great pride in the number and variety of insect bites and stings I have accumulated over the years. My pale, malnourished body is riddled with scars and reads more like a tapestry of insect-related injuries I have sustained — and miraculously survived — over the years. So please believe me when I tell you a yellow jacket sting is extremely agonizing, especially on the heel.

Upon making my ankle his own personal voodoo doll it felt like the yellow jacket crawled through the wound and entered my blood stream by means of my femoral artery before expelling himself out my posterior.

To say this yellow jacket merely stung me is like suggesting the Titanic struck an ice cube. Cleary the yellow jackets aimed to kill me, which meant war.

I hate yellow jackets on account of how worthless they are. Bees at least make honey. The only thing yellow jackets make are swollen and seeping leg wounds that itch uncontrollably.

Thanks to a batch of homemade insecticide and a nine iron I thought my problem was solved. However on a cursory examination around my house I noticed an enormous nest — it was the Death Star of yellow jacket nests — situated on the highest portion of my two-story home, though easily accessible via my balcony.

I spent the better part of a day planning my attack to stir up the hornet’s nest, which primarily involved running away and screaming like a little girl should things go awry. In preparation of the attack, since referred to as B-Day, I purchased a can of legally-authorized and jet-propelled insecticide and first aid supplies.

Some people, I’ll refer to them as morons, might have chosen a more environmentally friendly and humane way of properly disposing of the nest, which is a great if you enjoy getting stung by yellow jackets and falling off roofs.

There is only one thing more disturbing than witnessing a crazed man perched on a roof dressed in three layers of clothing, wearing a leather jacket and sporting a ski mask on a summer evening as he is about to go to war with a tribe of hundreds of ornery arthropods.

And that’s being that crazed man.

To quote Shakespeare: Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.

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Chuck Briese, Oak Ridge Now

[avatar user="cbriese" size="thumbnail" align="left"] Chuck Briese has been a resident of South Montgomery County since 1988. He and his lovely and patient wife, Leslie, have six sons, with only one left to finish high school. Chuck has been a Cub Scout leader, a Little League baseball coach, a church youth leader, and a general troublemaker over the course of the past 25 years. He is obsessed with his lawn, and likes restaurants that serve food that fills up the plate. He has a tendency to tilt at windmills, which may explain why he started Oak Ridge Now.

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