It’s Friday. Pondering the possibilities, I’m perched at the kitchen counter in a mismatched bikini. (Near top of the list to-do is get some sun.) Behind me, through the open sliding-glass door, the little waterfall trickles into the pond. Suddenly – on a subtle summer’s morning breeze – in floats a wasp.
His legs dangled indirectly towards me, sending me into instant action. Escape! I ducked around to hide behind the basement door. Somehow, from somewhere, Dad appeared.
“A wasp?” He brightened. “I’m great at these!” He grabbed a magazine. I peered out from my hiding place to watch him herd the giant beast towards the open back door. First it was near the ceiling.
“Uh oh,” he said, “Where is it?”
My throat tightened. I looked down the basement stairs, reassuring myself that I still had an out.
“Just a second – it’s going to be dead in one second… There – no wait, he doesn’t want to die! I’m going to have to remove the head.” He promised it was safe to come out now and proceeded to clip the wasps head off with some gardening shears. He was proud.
“You can tell he’s done this for many years,” I said to Megan, both of us impressed. (She was also taking cover nearby.) Pops was explaining that the body continues to move and that we should keep Peaches (Peachie Poochie) away, so she won’t get stung trying to eat it. I wasn’t much concerned about her though. Her tail wagged gently at the mention of her name, but she was clearly just there to watch. What bothered me was the writhing wasp body just inside the back door… Finally Dad got rid of it.
He went on to tell us about how back in the military, there were wasps around all the time. It was Memphis, where they thrive. Apparently he was somewhat of a hero among his enlisted comrades for his wasp killing skills! In fact, they had so much time on their hands (and so many wasps), that he’d taken to making teeny tiny trophies out of the wasp bodies and severed heads. Dad had one of those trophies… or who knows? Maybe a few, on a window sill.
Finally, the major noticed.
“Whaaaaaaaaa?!” Dad’s superior moved his face in close for a detailed inspection.
“They help scare the wasps away,” Dad explained.
“Well,” said the major, with a cock of his head, “whatever works!”
Who knew? Learn something every day.