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Invasion of the Hornet Snatchers

: Tracy Beckerman on

I discovered the squatters when I was outside watering the flowers on our front porch. I heard a slight buzzing sound, and since I wasn't asleep, I knew it wasn't me snoring. Suddenly, there was a fly-by buzz over my head, and when I followed the path of the buzzee, my eyes landed on a wasp nest, roughly the size of Rhode Island, under the portico above the front door.

I assessed the situation and then, like any rational city-turned-suburban-turned-rural woman, dropped my watering can and ran screaming into the house.

"I think I know why we haven't received any of our packages recently," I said to my husband over the phone.

"Why is that?" he asked.

"Because there is a wasp condominium over our front door."

"If they're not paying HOA fees, then they have to leave," he said.

"How do we get them to do that?" I asked.

"Call the pest control people and get them to come over and get rid of it."

To me, the nest looked pretty big, but you know you really have a substantially sized wasp nest when the pest control person takes one look at your nest, steps back and says, "Whoa!"

"Those are hornets," he said, ducking down as one of said hornets emerged from a hole in the mothership.

"Is that different from a wasp?" I asked him.

"It's a kind of wasp. Except they're bigger and meaner. But don't worry. I'm a hornet removal specialist."

"That's great,' I said wryly. "You know, I was thinking about getting a guard dog to protect the house while we're gone, but a swarm of mean, angry flying insects with enormous painful stingers on their butts seems much more efficient."

Wasp man went back to his truck and came back wearing a hazmat suit with a mesh helmet. I was standing there in a T-shirt and shorts and suspected, based on his wasp-fighting wear, that I was probably underdressed for what was about to happen next.

 

"What are you going to do?" I asked him.

"We're going to spray it, and then the wasps will die and fall out of the nest."

"Fall like where? All over my front porch? I don't think that's going to be a real selling feature for my house either. Can't you just take the whole nest away and relocate it someplace, like that neighbor around the block who reported us to the town because our fence was an inch too high?"

"Nope," he said. "If I try to move it while they're all in there, it will make them really mad."

"You mean madder than they already are?" I asked, taking yet another couple of steps back.

"Right," he said.

I looked back up at the alien hornet nest mothership and thought for a minute.

"Okay, here's what's gonna happen," I finally said. "You're going to do the thing you specialize in. You'll spray and then clean up the hornets when they fall out and then take the nest away when it's all done."

"Got it," he said. "And what about you?"

"I'm going to do the thing that I specialize in," I replied. "I'm going to leave."

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Tracy Beckerman is the author of the Amazon Bestseller, "Barking at the Moon: A Story of Life, Love, and Kibble," available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble online! You can visit her at www.tracybeckerman.com.

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