Here’s the story of bugs, fear, and a frying pan.
Is it strange that a crying wasp makes me feel guilty? I mean, they always say ‘we need the bees’, but nobody ever says ‘we need the wasps’, do they? So why should we feel sympathy for this vermin? Yet this week, a little crying wasp had me on the brink of slight empathy. It flew in through my open window and landed in a glass. Being all big and brave, I put a coaster on top and trapped it. I then remembered I’m a total coward so I ran with the glass and put it in the bathtub. And as I left, I heard a noise. “WAAAAAAH! WAAAAAAH! WAAAAAAH!” Holy sweet Jesus, is that wasp crying? It was only a baby, it was tiny. I was planning on going to bed, wake up, smack it stupid with a slipper and live happily ever after. But it was making a crying noise. But if I let it out, it’ll attack. I contemplated taking the glass outside and, hiding behind a window, use a pole to knock the glass over, throw the pole clear of the house and slam the window shut. In the end, I resolved the problem with earmuffs. Worked a treat it did.
The problem is that mother and father argue a fly screen would look ugly and devalue the appearance of our pleasant suburban dwelling. It’s remarkable, they didn’t show the same concern when a storm blew half our roof tiles off a few years ago. They have their priorities wrong if you ask me. Thank heavens I don’t live in Africa. “Well, I know you have malaria, but I still maintain a bug screen is a bad idea.” Yet they can sleep soundly at night whilst I’m engaging in a panicked swatting frenzy. Heck, when that wasp came through my open window, I almost screamed myself out of my underwear. But they didn’t notice. It’s not as if I’m in the flight path of the largest swarm of bugs ever witnessed, is it?
I’ve only ever been stung by anything, in this country, once. A bee. Right on my big toe. It ballooned to twice its size. There was a brief moment I believed I was turning into a balloon. It was in my slipper. Apparently, father tried to kill it with my slipper and he lost the bee. He presumed it had flown away, or was stunned or killed and rolled under the counter. Nope. IT WAS IN THE FRIGGIN’ SLIPPER! And it was very much stunned! There I was, standing in the kitchen, six years old, screaming, holding on to my slippered foot, with a loud buzzing emanating from the toe end. When mother ran in the room, it was as if a piglet had just run head first into an electric fence. It was a scene from Alien. It got much worse.
We took the slipper off, something mother was reluctant to do since she has a crippling fear of them, and threw it outside like a grenade in a Bruce Willis movie, although the slow motion dive never came. I tell you what did come. The friggin’ bee! It lurched out of the slipper and started attacking my face, like those sucker things from Alien, charging head first for me. I thought he was supposed to die! I later found out only honeybees die after a stinging. I suppose I was lucky on the one hand, because a honeybee sting would’ve meant I’d lose my foot, but on the other hand, I had a very angry bee trying to eat my face. Would I sacrifice my foot to save my face? It’s something I never thought I’d need to think about. And mother wasn’t much help. “Stay there! I’ll get a frying pan!” “HANG ON! MY FACE IS IN THE WAY!” “It won’t hurt that bad!” Jeezum crow…
It’s not like she was joking. She actually had two hands on a frying pan. At one point, I considered ducking and mother taking a swipe at the bee, so fat it would be unable to follow me down. At the end of the day, I punched it. Lucky swipe. One in a million chance of hitting it. It was stunned. We picked it up and threw it outside. They say we need the bees. Whoever says that can shut up. They’ve clearly never been hit with a frying pan. I mean, I wasn’t hit with one on that day, but I have been hit with one before, and I can verify, it does hurt quite a lot.
That incident occurred 18 years ago. 18! And I’m still traumatised by it. I often wonder if mother would’ve hit me with a frying pan, but she did once throw a plate of fish and chips at father’s head, so I’m willing to bet ‘yes’. Oh, he’s had his fair share of mishaps, too. When mother went into labour with me, he dropped her off outside the hospital’s main entrance and went to park the car. Hmm, she was only standing there for 10 minutes. And I turned out fine. Right? Please say yes.
I haven’t even mentioned the time a pigeon got into the living room. I don’t know if you’ve ever experience a pigeon in your living room, but it’s very hard to get a pigeon out of your living room. We should’ve really called RSPCA, but the phones weren’t working because when the landline phone is off the hook, none of the other phones work. And the pigeon had knocked it off the hook. And nobody in this family has a mobile phone. Again, it was just me and ma, and thankfully, the frying pan was still in the kitchen. Our biggest concern was dad. Who was due home from work very soon. I will admit, there was a part of me thinking, ‘I could get help or I could video this’.
I got a broom for me and a mop for mother. And together we fought the pigeon like Superman fighting the urge to throw up after an eating contest. It was taking a long time. There was a point when I considered sharpening the end of the broom and trying to harpoon the pigeon. But obviously, that would be insane for the one and only obvious reason you’re all thinking of. I’m a terrible shot. Although I did once harpoon my gym teacher with a javelin. It’s a shame harpooning isn’t a job. I’d quite like to try it.
The pigeon left. I’m sure it was fine. He won’t get broomed again…
I suppose we have to be thankful for pigeons and bees. They say the bees are disappearing. No pollination, no crops, no food, starvation crisis, panic, the devolution of society and the ultimate breakdown of all we hold dear and love. But is it just me, or are the bees getting bigger? Maybe they’re eating too much. Or they’re eating so much one day they’ll all just pop. They’re definitely bigger now than when I was little. In the same way clouds irritate me now but when I was little, I thought nothing of the sort. Quite the opposite. I believed I controlled them. What? The ‘90s were crazy, man.
Because you’re probably expecting it now, and this will probably become a running feature, yes, I’ll briefly inform you I am still coughing. And I’ve had two more migraines this week, taking my 2014 migraine count up to nine. Two away from beating my record. But at least my food poisoning has gone. I’ve accepted my 24th birthday in a few weeks will be nothing but a coughy nightmare. It’s just great, isn’t it? Wasps, bees, pigeons, rope burn, crotch burn and a cough from hell the doctor refuses to help me on. I’m not having a great 2014, but if there’s a message here, it’s that all you healthy people reading should. Be happy you’re healthy, have a great year. Tell those you love you love them. Enjoy the world. Because you never know when a ten-week super-cough is going to paralyse you and stop you doing anything fun. Enjoy life.
What? Oh, you want me to explain crotch burn and rope burn? Dad asked me to pull on a rope this week tied to a tree to bring it down so he could reach it to cut it, ripping my arms to shreds, making my arm look like a barber’s pole. So I had that to deal with this week, too. On top of crotch burn. I spilt my tea. Boiling hot tea. All over my crotch. I actually have some bad burns around that region. Crotch burn. Wonderful.
At the very least, next time a wasp flies in through my window, I’ll be prepared.
To run as fast as I can for the hills…
American actor, director, screenwriter, comedian, musician and playwright, Woody Allen (b. 1935), once said: “I’m not afraid of death; I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”
Peace Out :|:
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