This one, though, this one has it all. Terror, bloodshed, an hysterical dog, an eleven year-old with a jittery flyswatter hand... Now, I'm not saying that there should be a film made of this experience, but I do reserve the rights.
So, like so many good suburban housewives, I decorate for Fall. This, of course goes against everything that I stand for (and by stand for, I mean I'm too lazy to change out decor), but I have a very good friend, Stephanie, whose house is decorated beautifully (and I mean, it's a work of art, folks) for every major holiday, and I thought to myself, "I can decorate for one, non-Christmas holiday. I like Fall. I'll do that."
It's the thinking that starts it all.
So over a period of a few years, I collected some wicker pumpkins and the like. A fall wreath. A ceramic Jack O' Lantern. And after 6 or 7 years (I believe in curating slowly; there's no need to jump into these things headfirst), I found I had quite the little collection of gourdish decor. Enough that I dutifully purchased three Rubbermaid tubs for the sole purpose of keeping my Fall crap separate from my Christmas crap. I think a little Nolan just crept into my voice there. Sorry.
It's when I took the Rubbermaid tubs out of the attic that was the trouble. I blithely carried them into the house, thinking, "My house will be beautiful (not as beautiful as Stephanie's, but I digress)! Fall is here! And singing, cartoon birds braided my hair as I opened the tub.
That's where the fairy tale ended. For sometime in the last year, a family of wasps moved into my Fall Decor Rubbermaid Tub.
I didn't realize I'd unleashed the horror of late September until I took a super cute pumpkin chiminea out onto the front porch, and screamed a little (like you do) when some bees swarmed me.
Can three bees be a swarm? What exactly constitutes a swarm? Someone look that up.
When AJ heard my scream, he stuck his head out the front door.
AJ. Mom, are you okay? What's wrong? (AJ is sweet. He cares. :))
Me. There's bees out here! (Carrie is hysterical.)
AJ. I hate to tell you this, mom, but there's bees IN HERE! (Aaron goes ahead and moves into hysterics with his mom.)
I believe in 'live and let live' WITH the animal kingdom. Coming from a family of hunters, I'm in the minority. But I draw the line when the fauna try to LIVE IN MY HOUSE AND BITE ME. When that happens, I defy you to find anyone more frightened of me than these bees. Or wasps. Or whatever they are. Sting-y, buttheadish, buzzing, blights on humanity.
I went from hysterical to master wasp hunter in the blink of an eye. Abby tried to eat them. Aaron got two cornered, and I made believers out of them. Abby decided she didn't like them and went to hide. I stalked three others (the buzzing gives you away, you stupid things) and broke my flyswatter on one of them. Aaron went to hide with Abby. ....And lather, rinse, repeat. I did this a bunch, and rolled up last month's Southern Living (ironic) to take down the rest.
Admittedly, the wasps didn't seem to be on top of their game. I don't pretend to know anything about bee/wasp husbandry, but ...maybe they were hibernating or something? They seemed drunk. Or sleepy. Or both. Still, I had to mop up the spots on the floor and the wall where they were squished. (I know. The horror.)
As I sit, here, typing this story, I have to admit, I'm still a little twitchy. There was a fly in the house, and I game a bit unglued, flailing like it was going to eat me whole. Ethan, who wasn't home when the wasp carnage was going on, seems worried about me. Like I'm a little unhinged.
Maybe I am. But honestly, killing a crap ton of wasps will do that to a girl.