Friday, July 28, 2006

The Sting of Summer

Each year during the summer, our town attracts its fair share of tourists. As such, most of the folks living here really get into sprucing things up before the summer rush. Becky is fanatical about it. Our yard undergoes a thorough inspection months in advance to note the list of improvements that I must make before the "season" starts. Then there's Vesta Johnson's yard. Vesta's a wonderful woman, now widowed, who lives three blocks from us. Becky and Vesta teach Sunday School together. Becky always insists that I take care of Vesta's yard too.

One day in early June, Vesta called to tell Becky that a hive of yellow jackets had formed in the gutters above her garage door and wondered if I could come down and get rid of them. Do I know anything about dispatching yellow jackets? No, but that hardly mattered. Vesta was in need. I went into town to pick up some insect repellant and headed over to Ms. Johnson's house. I set up my ladder just outside her garage. It wasn't hard to spot where they were coming from as there was a fairly large hole in the gutter with several yellow jackets dancing around it. Quickly formulating a plan of attack, I decided to spray the repellant directly into the opening of their nest. Simple as pie.

As I climbed the ladder, I was careful to avoid any movements that might alert the insects at the opening of my intentions. When I reached the top of the ladder, I aimed the nozzle directly at the opening and proceeded to unload the entire can of foaming repellant into the hole. Surprisingly, this left me with a surge of manly insect-eliminating pride. That pride quickly turned to fear, however, as the most horrifying sound erupted from the gutter. A sound like a symphony of thundering drums rumbled from the entire length of the gutters as the hive stirred to retaliatory life before my very eyes. Taking a swift glance at each end of the gutter, I was suddenly aware that BOTH ends were open and once dormant residents were now evacuating at an expeditious pace. As quickly as my legs would move, I began backing down the ladder. In my haste, I missed a rung and plummeted the not so short distance onto the hood of my truck, which knocked the wind right out of me.

Needless to say, my enemy was not merciful as the sting-crazy occupants of Ms. Johnson's drains all but ate me alive.

If there is a bright side to all of this, I am not allergic to yellow jackets, so I lived to tell the tale.

This is shaping up to be a very long summer season indeed.

-- Jared

Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 7:00 AM
Y'send these kids to school and they get all smart but y'can't teach 'em a lick of common sense!

And here I thought all those marks was from when you fell into the prickly bushes when Wilbur threw that worm at you.
Posted by Blogger Jake Tremaine : 9:51 PM
You might say you’ve been too beezy this summer and you got stung in the end.

Bee careful now!
Posted by Anonymous Juana B. Skinny : 11:34 PM
YUK! Bees on the one thing that I'm really phobic about (ok, dentists too). I'm glad you lived to tell the tale, and are ya' gonna call the exterminator next time?
Posted by Anonymous karen eve : 10:48 AM
What a hero! I bet Ms. Johnson just loves you. Sorry you had to get stung, though. I hope Ms. Johnson made it up to you with a tall glass of lemonade at least!
Posted by Blogger bumpii : 10:30 AM
Wow Jared! You get the good neighbor award. What is it about men and killing things. When my husband sprays the foundation to get rid of the little black ants, you'd think he was a Navy Seal ambushing the enemy or something. He slinks around with his can of bug stuff like the ants are going to catch him coming and counter-attack or something. Poor little ants.
Posted by Blogger Janet Rubin : 3:01 PM
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