If I were stranded alone on a deserted island, I would need to bring some sort of industrial-strength aerosol insect repellant. You see, I am afraid of bugs. Especially the kind that sting. And fly. Ever since I was a child, I would succumb to a fight-or-flight panic response every time a bee or wasp came near me. In fact, I was never stung until I was 32 years old. And while it was not pleasant, it was by no means as horror-inspiring as I would have imagined. I think that half of my fear is that, given that I have so many allergies, I am unknowingly allergic to bee stings and would die should one sting me.
You might think that having been stung once would alleviate my sheer terror when a bee or wasp flies near me.
You would be wrong.
Last summer, as we stood on our backyard patio drinking beer with some guests, a wasp began to stalk me. We had an herb garden that was much too close to the patio, as it attracted a disturbing number of bees and wasps. (Said garden shall be planted elsewhere this summer.) Those bastards swarmed around whomever was enjoying a beverage or snack at the patio table all summer long. I began to panic as my enemy circled my bottle of beer, and in a true fight-or-flight moment, I threw my glass bottle and fled.
Unfortunately for me, I have extremely poor coordination and spatial skills, and the bottle that was intended to land in the grass actually landed on the concrete and shattered into a hundred tiny pieces. Oops. I’m not sure my husband has ever been quite so
horrified and disgusted perturbed by any of my peculiarities as he was in that moment. I’m not proud of my overreaction, but hey, we all have our little quirks. Part of being married is taking turns freaking out, in my opinion. My husband isn’t a big fan of snot. Bugs are my thing. (Come to think of it, I may have more than one “thing”.)
Last weekend, I was home alone with the girls while my fearless bug protector was at an appointment. I noticed a wasp crawling along the windowsill, just inches from where my daughters and I sat on the couch. Given the fact that I am so level-headed in a crisis, I immediately barked, “Goddammit! Quick- get out of here! Hurry! Run!”
I ushered my children to safety and armed myself with a fly swatter. It was time for me to face my fears and protect my family. That stinging SOB evaded me by crawling behind the blinds and burying himself deeper in the windowsill, just out of my reach. Another mother may have shrugged it off and decided to try again later, but not this woman. There was no chance of me being able to relax, sleep, or pee (Because you never know when an insect might be lurking underneath the toilet seat. Just sayin’.) until I had assassinated the perp.
I mentally catalogued our list of possible household weapons: hairspray, (ran out months ago) household cleaner, (too toxic) Armor-All (in the garage- too far)… that left Pam. You know- Pam. The cooking spray.
I grabbed my Pam in one hand and the flyswatter in the other and headed back to the living room. I sprayed the hell out of that sucker until he stumbled disoriented into my reach. I pummeled the dazed wasp with the flyswatter while continuing to spray him with Pam, all the while unleashing more GD, S, and yes, even F bombs.
The injured predator fell uselessly to the couch, at which point I began shrieking (try to channel Cam from Modern Family or Nathan Lane in the Birdcage for a more clear image) and leaping around, swatting frantically. He was still not dead.
“Izzy! Get me a dishtowel!” I commanded authoritatively. My stunned offspring stood motionless, rooted to her spot. “Hurry!” I ordered, and she obediently fetched me a dishtowel. I gingerly nudged the wasp until he perched precariously between the swatter and the dishtowel, placed him on the tile floor, and smacked him with the flyswatter. It was finished.
Satisfied, I deposited the carcass into the trash, where he remained, surrounded by these items:
All that was left to do was wipe the copious amount of cooking spray off the window, ledge, and couch.
Oh, by the way, this was part of Finish the Sentence Friday. The prompt this week was:
If I were on an island, I would bring…
Not quite what you had in mind? You thought perhaps I would say a book, my ipod, and a purse full of booze? Well, I guess that would be nice, too. As long a there was room for my
insect repellent cooking spray.
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So with you on the fear of Wasps. I was stung in my knee back in middle school and remember the pain and swelling in my leg quite well after all this time. Recently there was one on the inside of the passenger’s seat window in our car while we were driving somewhere. I was the passenger (Kevin was driving). I opened the window just enough for that Wasp to get out and then quickly closed the window, but apparently the Wasp got stuck in between the window and the door frame. It died a painful death that way, because there was no way I was opening that window again to help him!!
Oh, GAWD, don’t even get me started on bees in the car! I become a raving lunatic!
My snotty self feels compelled to tease you about the bug phobia and the cooking spray however if you would have replaced “bug” with “bird” I would have been freaking out right there along with you.
Did the girls know how you ended up killing the beast? You would be a good example for them of resourcefulness!
Oh yes… the girls witnessed every single GD-S-F filled moment of my triumphant struggle. Not sure they were impressed by my resourcefulness as much as they were horrified by my hysterical determination. And OMG, my oldest is afraid of birds, too! 😉
It’s not quite as bad, but I’m allergic to Horse Flies! I was bit by one once and got “minor elephantitis”. Sucked really bad. One of my ankles was the size of a fat man’s head. GROSS. It hung over my shoes…ICK!
No way! That is terrible. Seriously terrible. Poor you. 🙁
OMG, what are you talking about? This is hilarious!! Pam cooking spray turned bug-repellant. I was laughing out loud reading this. So funny!
Oh phew! You know how sometimes it’s hard to tell if your stuff sucks? Yes, I know you do. Glad this didn’t totally suck.
Hahahahahaha. You are my people, Stephanie. Shrieking like Nathan Lane in “The Birdcage” is my specialty when it comes to bug of all sorts. I think the Pam was a damn stroke of genius. I’m keeping that in mind the next time I see a critter. –Lisa
Cooking spray? huh! I’ll have to use that! We have a lot of wasps/bees/flying monsters around here. I tried hanging up those stupid wasp traps but the things are too big to fit into the little openings. I’ve only caught gnats with it. I’m heading up to the Walmart to stock up on cooking spray! 🙂
I’ve used PAM too. I don’t know why, but when you need something fast and “Sprayish” it works. I snorted my tea when I read your 8000 irritating tweets about HerStories. That was hysterical. 🙂
This is hysterical! I am fortunately not afraid of bugs, but I seem to surround myself with people who are and I have seen plenty of the Nathan Lane Birdcage jumping!! I am going to recommend PAM to them! By the way I love the new HerStories project and I am going to take your survey. I look forward to being involved.
I’m afraid I’m going to have to use LOL here. I didn’t think it was possible to love you more but I do, kindred spirit. Cam is exactly how I react to bugs and I am so familiar with all the mental/physical/emotional processes that a mama has to go through to protect her offspring. Great post!
Appropriate use of LOL granted. Sometimes it has its place! 🙂 And thanks for the high praise… I love you too, kindred spirit!
Huh. Pam. Who’d a thunk it? You’re hilarious! I’m the same way with spiders. When I see one, people gasp and stop in their tracks when they hear the shrieks of me leaving.
Thanks, Gina. I feel better knowing that I’m not the only grown woman who acts like a jackass around insects. Or arachnids, as it were.
We all have ‘something’ don’t we? I don’t like ANTS. Really? How can I possibly conquer this? They are EVERYWHERE. But that’s the problem- everywhere, and their are SO many of them and they actually have a system within their hives, or mounds, or whatever. I wonder if PAM would work on them?
OMG that’s something I would do. I’m terrified of bugs, too. Shudder. We rented a house for Tucker’s birthday last year and invited a bunch of family to come. They still give me a hard time about the freaked out dance followed by running like 1/4 mile up the hill when I encountered a wasp in the key’s lockbox. You. Are. Awesome. Always.
…a scene from the movie ‘True Romance’ comes to mind. (Won’t spoil it for you if you haven’t seen it… (screenplay Tarantino))
…excellent Post (…plus I am old enough to have a voice-over in my head from the Mutual of Omaha TV nature series. I will leave it to you to decide which perspective it is coming from….your’s or the wasp’s)
As always…love your comments. Thanks, Clark!
What the hell is the point of a wasp anyway? Them and bugs in general. I think they were invented by men to make us feel we needed bug warriors.
SUCH a good point. On both counts- their pointlessness and the reason for their existence! 😉
Crying with laughter at this entire post!! I just had to kill a wasp recently with hair spray, and I will tell you that it took almost the entire bottle to do it…that wasp had some super stylish hair/fur/fuzz by the time it was dead! ;)-Ashley
That is so awesome! Glad I’m not the only crazed mama with an aerosol can!
Short of spraying to death with Pam, I think you did what any other mother would do protecting her baby. I beat a yellow jacket to death (not really) a couple weeks ago. I beat it with a broom SEVERAL times. It finally got knocked to the floor where I beat it again and it was still moving. It was close to our back door so I opened it and swept it out. Do you know that thing got up a flew away!? If he had of got up again and flown in the house I would have had a Cam or Nathan moment. LOL!!! Do you remember the Modern Family scene where the bird got in the house with Mitchell. That was HILARIOUS!!!! I love that show!
I love that show, too! I wish Cam and Mitchell were my neighbors…
I can’t believe it flew away! You are kidding me! Glad you avoided a Nathan Lane moment… 😉
OMG! So I lived on an island for most of my young life and you’re right! I HATE flying things too! However… butterflies and birds I can handle :).
The Wondering Brain
You are quite heroic with your bug eradication abilities Stephanie. This made me remember something that happened eons ago. I got in the shower at my childhood home in Florida and there was one of those huge pool spiders up in the corner. I swear these things are the size of a dinner plan all collapsed and tucked up in there . I freaked and ran to kitchen. No bug spray but I did find an aerosol of over cleaner and I sprayed the dickens out of the thing. It didn’t survive. I felt bad about it because they are huge but harmless and eat bugs. Funny story. You toss the beer bottle. hysterical.
Seriously, I thought my husband was going to lose it when I broke that beer bottle! And the oven cleaner may be even better than the PAM… the spider in the shower would have caused me to shriek and panic for sure!
Visiting from FTSF. I love your bug repellent!
I would be able to handle insects much better than I could handle rodents- those freak me out! I bet islands have lots of them too 🙁
Oh my god, I’m still laughing as I wrote this because that is totally me, I would definitely shatter my beer bottle too after panic wasp escape mode. I hate bugs, any bug, and here I am with my bug loving husband (ok maybe that’s a slight exaggeration) in our country house !! hiding inside on a gorgeous day, encouraging my daughter to watch more tv while we hide from wasps, biting flies, ants, among other things.
I’m so relieved to hear of other women who are as spazzy as I am and hide inside on nice days! Glad to have given you a laugh today! 🙂
I laughed until tears ran down my face – esp. the part about a wasp lurking in the toilet.
Thought you might like it! Not shocking, huh? xo
That was a fantastic post! The ideas you Bloggers come up with! Very enjoyable, especially after a hard Saturday teaching, teaching and teaching! I loved the toilet scene (the one in my mind I mean). See you soon!
You just reminded me of a hornet’s nest I was looking at recently! Thanks for sharing, Stephanie1
OMG, that’s hilarious, and I can just see the scene you describe.
I’m with ya, sister. Allergies and the general creep-factor make me super afraid of wasps, too. Yesterday, while pulling weeds, my daughter found 2 dormant wasps (they moved, but only a little, and we didn’t find any nests). I had the hedge clippers in my had and swiftly separated their heads from their bodies — with great satisfaction.
Me, the new-age om-ing yogini. Ha! Take that you SOBs!
This was hilarious!!! I think I have a lot of “things” too. The visuals of you throwing your drink off the patio and smashing the bottle into pieces and fleeing the house over a bug… You are too much. Loved this.
This post is brilliant! I am fed up with people labelling this as an “irrational phobia of wasps”, there is nothing irrational about it. The monsters can sting and even if you try to ignore them they will drive you crazy by buzzing everywhere so you have to keep nervoulsy twitching to check where they are.
I work in a school and have no qualms asking students or janitor to get rid of them for me. If Im working alone in the office I will grab my stuff and vacate the room leaving all windows and doors open.
I always poke my head around the door on a hot day just to check there arent any ready to fly out at me. Ugh! I hope my unborn child doesnt inherit my spaz behaviour 🙁