July 8, 2015

Here begins my story about the epic battle with the wasps. No Doctor Who jokes while you read, please and thank you.

It all began on this lovely evening in July, when I had the insane desire to not only eat salmon but grill it first. I had an amazing filet of the pink deliciousness, as well as an awesome sweet and tangy glaze and a few choice side dishes (including brown rice and the tastiest of the green vegetables - broccoli). I journeyed to the deck to prep the grill and decided it was a lovely day to eat outside. I immediately moved to open the umbrella above our outdoor table, and was not happy to find some unwelcome visitors perched there.

Upon inspection, it became clear that not only were the black-and-yellow wasp demons perching, they were nesting. Or, whatever the wasp equivalent of nesting is. There were three wasp nests started within the folds of the umbrella, and the wasps present were clearly upset that I had found their new construction site.

Their first instinct was to stand still, possibly petrified by my beauty or maybe the movement of the umbrella as it opened (most likely my beauty). I took this brief moment to run. I ran to the kitchen, found a can of Raid, and return to wage a bloody bloody war. As soon as I got out the door to the deck again, the wasps were in full attack mode.

Let me assure you. When people show bug-spray in ads or pictures, the bugs die instantly. This is not real-life. The wasps did not die. They hovered in the spray and moved closer, threatening. They were organized; while I was preoccupied with one, another would buzz up behind me. Only my ears saved me, since they truly did buzz. It was the loudest of war cries. Louder than street cats screeching at night.

I protected my rear by backing into a wall and spraying wildly at the wasps who flew at me like missiles. My dogs stared and barked. The chemical droplets landed on the hot grill, popping and sizzling. Bug spray has a smell. It is sticky-sweet and made me nauseous. I dropped the can on the table and ran inside, but not before sending a powerful spray up the folds of the umbrella, hopefully discouraging the winged demon insects from ever returning.

The next five minutes, I watched from inside as the wasps dove and hovered. They flew up the umbrella and out again, and circled the table as though they'd find me lurking on the other side. At this point, only three or four remained. Though I could not spot any wasp carcasses, I hoped the others had flown away to die alone somewhere.

As I type this, the remaining wasps are alternating between circling the table and standing watch by the door. I am hoping they give up before we run out of grill propane.

My salmon is dripping with glaze and the rice and broccoli are already cooked. Why did I ever open that umbrella!