Sunday, June 04, 2006

And now ... ve DAUNCE!

entemologist

"Ow! OW! OWWWW!"
My husband is yelling and dancing around the house in a towel again.

"You know we should really get a disco ball for the shower if you’re intent on practicing your moves," I tell him without ever looking up from my game of "grocery store" with Ittybit. (We're at the part where she is trying to get me to give her $49 for two boxes of pasta and a carton of chicken broth but refusing to bag my purchases just like at the REAL market.) He complains that it feels like something's biting him. I think it's just a phantom sting until he flings down the towel and stomps on it.

He searches gingerly through the trampled terrycloth and extracts a flattened wasp. Proof, according to his side of the story, that the carnivorous insect was in a clean towel he pulled from the laundry basket, already folded but not yet put away.

I’m not sure I can endure any more communal living with the wildlife that migrates through our house each time the seasons change.

In addition to the occasional outdoor-dwelling neighborhood cat that makes its way indoors despite the presence of two loveable but loud dogs, I've put up with visits from bewildered raccoons, discombobulated bats, and off-track birds, not to mention freeloading houseguests such as spiders of all variety; worms I can’t identify; lady bugs, which are cute in small numbers but terrifying in swarms; and ants that fly. Each year brings a new brand of infestation.

The wasps, though, have moved in for good.

I imagine they are building elaborate wasp "condominimums" behind the walls in the rafters. On the sun porch in the evenings, I sip my coffee and watch their enormous bodies wheedle in and out of the light fixtures. I am sure they are studying the sockets so they can bring the magic of illumination to their own more than humble abodes.

I can't get myself to think of these creatures as anything but villainous. Especially when Ittybit comes running to me from the playroom of the same porch, complaining that there is a "weary, weary, scary 'piiider on her duck. And begging me, "Peas, Mama, det it off."

As I go to investigate — fully prepared to relocate a daddy long legs or some other common house spider and explain the family motto: spiders are our friends — I stop mid-thought when I see that what is crawling on the gigantic stuffed animal is a wasp.

I shudder at the image swirling in my head of that inch-long monster driving it's stinger into her bee's knees. I sweep her up in my arms, telling her all the while she was right to call me for help.

While the husband studies the labels his collection of insecticides, carefully deciding what toxins he's willing to unleash on the world to rid ours of the latest infestation, I rush to judgment.

"This time, we disco," I announce and I run to the bathroom for my no-name can of hairspray, rusted from 12 years of styling neglect and shower steam.

"Welcome to the '80s, waspers; I hope you like Extra Hold."

2 comments:

Be Still said...

God, I HATE wasps. I'm pretty much a tomboy regarding fauna, but I scream like the girl that I am when I encounter one of these guardians to the gates of Hell.

Jozet said...

ACK! We only have wolf spiders to deal with. I'd be seriously freaked out by wasps!