September 15, 2021
  • September 15, 2021

Wasps, or how to see what’s there

By on August 22, 2021 0

Did you miss the warning that this summer was especially bad for wasps? Yeah me too. Even though our 115 year old farm has all kinds of eaves and hollows, places where wasps congregate.

Although you believe it, don’t you? Of course you do. If you’re like me, the one damn thing after another quality of the past year has led to a lackluster acceptance of almost every horror.

If I met a neighbor who was carrying a bucket of water and a ladle and he explained to me: “It’s for the burning frogs falling from the sky. They scorch the lawn, but a small ladle of water fixes that, “I shrugged and thought,” Oh okay, burning frogs. Better take a bucket … “

So it’s me. I watch people who simply deny one obvious situation or another – COVID, global warming, systemic racism – with flashing misunderstanding. It’s just … the. Just … open your eyes and … look.

No? You can not do that ? Not in the whole game of perceiving what is in front of you? I guess that’s your way of dealing with the stress of the bad things: “If I can’t see it, it’s not there.” But come on buddy, kindergarten graduate, put on your big boy pants and join the adults.

Yes, grasping the issues can be a process. The tendency is to ignore or minimize the problems. Most summers, wasps spring from a crack in the brick foundation in front of our house. Out of danger.

This summer, of course, the wasps have taken up residence under the planter that juts out onto the porch, a few inches from our front door. As we came and went we saw wasps come and go, a wasp parody of our routine. Still, a situation I can handle, at least I thought I would. I am not immune from underestimating the dangers.

Head to Ace Hardware for a few boxes of missing wasps. Then two more. Then four more. Then three more. I pulled the deadly moss into the hole, then stood as the alarm went off and the wasps arrived at their besieged home, to be eliminated one by one. There was a grim satisfaction.

My wife wondered if maybe we should call the exterminator. No need, honey, I told her. Why spend a fortune when a few cans of Wasp Away at $ 2 for $ 5 will do? Caution! And patience!

After a few days of this, I thought I was repelling the wasp horde. Yes, I have been bitten twice. And when I went to paint the porch steps, I noticed a second hole where the wasps came and went too, so I started to shoot wasp spray in this.

Then, as I stood patiently killing wasps against the planter, I saw a straggler fly, not from my side of the box or steps, but from the other side of the planter. . A third Entrance. So I moved there, and I was spreading liquid death on the flying beasts.

My wife was inside, looking at me through the picture window, an expression of worry – unnecessary worry, I felt – on her face.

Then she did something that I wouldn’t have done if I had dealt with this problem for 100 years, because she is a genius. Or maybe because she’s a woman, with all the resourcefulness that allows women, on average, to live five years longer than men.

She put her ear to the wooden seat of the planter and listened. I reacted – and that’s why I’m writing this, so be careful – with a scowl and thought to myself: to listen The wasps.

When I finished spraying wasps and stepped inside, I leaned my ear against the window seat as well.


To say it “buzzed” would be a parody of the terrifying sound I heard. It looked like all the wasps on earth gathered in one place. A low roar. I haven’t been to hell yet, but I’m convinced it sounds exactly like this.

“Call the exterminator! I announced, straightening up. She did it. Only $ 125. “They’re deadly this year,” said Bob of Aerex Pest Control. “They are going to kill you.” Not unless I kill them first.

Watching this trip, from Why-is-she-listening-at-the-window-is-she-mad? to My-God-Call-the-Exterminator-NOW I wonder why so many of my fellow citizens can’t follow the same path regarding, say, COVID.

Perhaps because I am trained, by disposition and by profession, to assimilate new information, however intrusive it may be, to process it and then to act. Even if it requires changing your mind and course of action.

I’ve said before: once you start ignoring reality, then ignoring reality doesn’t matter whether it’s 630,000 American deaths, regular firestorms, or an ocean. of transparent fanaticism.

We need to find the COVID version of the sound of thousands of wasps living in your planter. Maybe get some videos of intubated kids on Twitter. It might not work either, when it comes to stone deniers, the guy who called Sandy Hook a hoax played by crisis actors. Hard cases. They can die on their own, and they still don’t realize that COVID could be real.

The cold response would be, “Let them die and increase the average intelligence of our nation.” But it’s heartless and it stinks of the callous cruelty that the right has already filed. I hate to imitate them.

Plus the kids are involved, and it’s not their fault their parents are dumb. Let’s put it this way: the wasps were there, whether I was listening or not. A problem does not cease to exist just because you do not perceive it. To wake up.

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