“Oh, what IS that guy’s name?” Then, OUCH. What was that? I’m getting there. Read on.
Occasionally a wasp will slip in through the doorway and spend the evening floating around the ceiling in a confused and half drunken state. Once in a while it gets too close to the ceiling fan and provides some cheap entertainment. If we’re feeling gracious we may hold the door open and chase it out. In a ruthless mood, we don’t care how many babies she has, we’re getting the vacuum cleaner out.
My interest and subsequent knowledge of The World of the Little Flying Ones is limited to involuntary chance experience. I recognize the fly family in general but not many of the individual names. Their little name tags are too tiny and they move too fast.
I know the mosquito hoard and hate them. I looked at one under a high mag scope once and thought it would make a good 50’s retro horror spoof.
Butterflies are flashier and aren’t associated with spreading plagues like flies and skeets are so I like them a lot better but still haven’t bothered to acquaint myself with all of their fashionable variations. They are all called Pretty. The common moth is the butterfly’s dishwater blond cousin from the other side of the tracks.
I have been up close and very personal with yellow jackets. They’re black with yellow markings, they buzz a lot and move like Japanese zeros in a dog fight. Dad asked me to help him drag some kind of farm equipment from the tall grass one summer evening shortly before sunset. I was 16. As we pulled on it I managed to step on a nest of bees, the same black and yellow variety. Apparently that ticked them off royally. I was surrounded and received, without even saying please, 16 stings on my bare legs. As I was dancing the go-go, missing only the white vinyl boots, and sang off key, I remember thinking this must be the funniest thing this side of the latest ventriloquist on The Ed Sullivan Show last Sunday night. Dad felt bad and wasn’t laughing. I ran for the house and Mom administered something, maybe ice, I can’t remember. I do remember the concern that I would be swollen, nauseous, infected, feverish — something. Nothing. Next day you could barely tell where they stung me.
And so I have lived lo these many years knowing a sting — well, stings for a while but after an ice pack and a good night’s sleep, it just goes away. At least for me. What a strong and mighty nature girl! Except I don’t care for the outdoors without screen walls around me and a cold beverage by my chair. Thirty-some years in upper midwest lake country will do that to you.
Tuesday night I spotted our uninvited guest and reported her flight pattern to The Mighty Knight and Household Hero to the Helpless. We’re easily distracted and lost track of her shortly before I sat down on the reclining sofa and felt something like a stray safety pin in the upholstery. When I lifted my leg I saw the panicked, partially squashed and highly irritated wasp hit the carpet. “Yo, House Knight, defender, and hero! Step on this now!” Crunch.
Would you look at that little red dot on my leg. It stings. I forgot about it and went to bed. Wednesday morning, no problem. Wednesday night, a little red, didn’t hurt. Thursday morning it woke me up. Oh, it’s just the healing process, I spoke in mild denial, the coffee pot in the cross hairs.
As the day wore on, not only did the red area expand, and the itching become intense, but the OMGs virtually flew around Cubie World like my winged attacker. By noon I was being coached through the process of making an appointment with the company’s employee health center which could have been remodeled from an old cloak room. But, hey, who’s complaining about an on site company nurse, a benefit almost completely eradicated form the corporate world. Not only is Audrey and her cohort nurses, but they are nurse practitioners, who thoroughly enjoy giving shots every chance they get. Later, as I leaned my elbows on the exam table, hip bared, I didn’t think to look for the notches in the table leg, but they have to be somewhere.
So after Audrey, the N-PAC took my blood pressure 3 times, chided me for not having had a mammogram since 2000-something or a pap test since a month after that, had me stand on her badly malfunctioning scales. She looked at my sting, laid another OMG on me, poked the sore, swollen, deeply reddened area and said she’d have to give me a prednezone shot. After a short discussion of how a social health care system would make Walter Reed Hospital the pinnacle of government sponsored quality health care control, she sent me on my way with six Benadryls and two ice packs. She really expected me to go back to my cubie and sit on my violated upper bun.
As I was squirming in my seat, trying to type sideways, Pat, the 20 year old granny across from me started sneezing. I peeked over the wall and asked her if she remembered the comedian who was a frequent guest on the Ed Sullivan show who had the head in a box and was always saying “Z’a’right” to it. Do you remember his name? “Oh, him! What is his name?” I asked you first. “Was he Italian?” Dunno. “Senor … something.” Evidently she stewed over his name and his accent all afternoon, and when it was time for her to leave, she looked at me and simply said “I hate you.” Do you have my number? “No.” Good, you won’t be calling me at 3 in the morning when you can’t sleep.
Honey knew his name immediately. Senor Wences, pronounced wen-sess. I poked around and lo and behold found a clip on You Tube. Click on this —- and get ready for a tickle.