March 14, 2013

Law & Order: SWU (Special Wasp Unit)

Our household is on a heightened state of alert. No, not for severe weather or burglary. Late yesterday afternoon our six-year-old said she saw -- brace yourself -- a wasp in our house.

If that doesn't sound too worrisome to you, then you've obviously never heard my theory on bees and wasps. I'm not an entomologist, and I acknowledge there is absolutely no scientific basis for this theory. But hear me out. Here's all you need to know about bees and wasps:

If a bee flies near you (as long as you aren't disturbing its nest), just hold still and it'll realize you aren't a flower and fly away. Bees don't like to sting people since it results in their own death. Wasps, on the other hand, like to sting people for fun, and that's what they want to do all day long.

So with that frightening (albeit flawed) fact in mind, you can imagine how we felt knowing that one of these sting-happy insects may have rudely invaded our home.

As soon as I got home from work, I reluctantly armed myself with a twenty-ounce can of wasp and hornet killer, and headed upstairs where she thought she saw the wasp. I had my phone in my pocket just in case I needed to call for backup. With my weapon drawn and finger on the trigger, I cleared each room much like the way police officers go through a home to make sure there's nobody there:

Master bedroom -- Clear!
Master bathroom -- Clear!
Playroom -- Clear!
Baby's room -- Clear!
Older kid's room -- Clear!
Guest room -- Clear!
Guest bathroom -- Clear!
Closets -- Clear!

I did the same thing in the rooms downstairs but didn't find the suspect anywhere. So I started to think through all the possible scenarios:
  1. Was my daughter making this up? No,  she's good about telling he truth and wouldn't pretend to be so scared about something. 
  2. Could the wasp have exited the house in the same mysterious way it had entered? Maybe. 
  3. Could whatever she had seen have been something less menacing than a wasp? Hopefully.
  4. Could the wasp be purposely hiding out and planning to get us all in the middle of the night? Probably.

With the possibility of number three, we showed our daughter pictures of wasps on the internet and asked if that's what she saw. But nothing online seemed exactly right. So then I asked her to draw a picture of it. Here's what she came up with:

The original drawing didn't have legs or antennae since she said she didn't see those. But she went back and added them later, perhaps unfairly influenced by the internet photos.

She insisted the bug was all black. But if you took her drawing and added some yellow stripes, a big stinger on its rear end, some fuzzier legs, scarier antennae and an angry expression on its face, then it would look just like the wasp on our can of bug killer:

Eventually, we went to sleep with the wasp spray within reach on my nightstand and survived the night. It's spring break, so I'm the only one who had to wake up early the next morning. I felt a little more comfortable than the night before, but I still carried around the can while getting ready for work.

Before I departed, I left the weapon on the kitchen table in case the family needed it (and to scare the wasp away in case he was watching!). And just in case, there's extra artillery in the cabinet under the kitchen sink.

I'll let you know if we ever see the wasp again. But if this turns out to be my last blog post, then you'll know he got me. Aaaaaahhhhhh!

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