I was recovering from my fourth right foot reconstruction operation. A little over a month after the procedure, I was still wearing the customary surgical recovery boot and hobbling through life.
Wife Patti is many things. She is, however, not an outdoors person. This means my gardens were weed laden and somewhat out of control.
I had enough. Slowly, I began pulling the odd weed, or two in passing, but that was not enough. That stupid eight foot bush was half dead and had to be removed.
The day had come. With boot on foot and long pants on, I decided to attack. Chain saw in hand, I carefully straddled the dying beast, hacking one offshoot after another. I was on the last of the limbs, covered in former bush material when it happened.
It came out of nowhere. I had hit a ground nest of yellow jackets. I received the first wave of the attack with a sting on the nose.
My immediate defense network went into stage #1. I was however, restrained by the fact that I had straddled the stupid bush and could only hobble out of place to beat a quick, semi-quick retreat.
I entered the house screaming, holding my nose,“Patti, I need help”. She quickly put ice in a towel and the stinging pain received the first dose of care.
I sat in my recliner before the second wave hit. Remember, I had long pants on and suddenly realized I had bees in my pants.
I jumped up, removing all clothing as more stings followed on my leg and ankle.
It was at this point that Wife Patti beat a hasty retreat screaming “Bees, bees”.
There I was, standing naked in the middle of the living room, holding one ice pack to my nose and another alternating on leg and ankle bee stings.
Wife Patti was crazed, running around with a fly swatter yelling “Bees, bees”.
As I tried to settle her down I calmly requested some forms of medication. She brought me a tube of antiseptic cream. Being a veteran of previous stings, I firmly suggested maybe she should run to the store and buy some Benadryl.
Wife Patti then insisted she thought there was some Benadryl somewhere in the house and proceeded a drawer- by-drawer, closet-by- closet detailed search. Meanwhile the pain is hitting intolerably and again I pleaded for her to just run up to the store, still standing naked in the middle of the day in the living room, holding ice to my nose and leg.
After a half hour of ignoring my agony, she entered the living room and conceded that perhaps she should just run up to the store and buy some Benadryl.
Another half hour passed Wife Patti, after having a detailed discussion with the pharmacist, came home with both the liquid and pill form of Benadryl. “The pharmacist asked if you were having trouble breathing.” At this point I shouted “How would you know? An hour has passed and you were oblivious to my actual pain and suffering.”
Over the rest of the day Benadryl, along with my proud nature of pain endurance, helped me make it through the day. I asked Wife Patti to at least retrieve my chain saw. She said the thick clou/swarm of bees prevented her from any retrieval attempt. “A heavy cloud/swarm of bees?” I inquired. “Yes, there had to be 25-50 of them,” she replied with a quiver.
Later, I hobbled out and just picked up the chain saw and put it away.
The next day hurt less and eventually the ‘itchies’ followed. I asked Wife Patti to go out and procure enough spray to teach and send those yellow jacket beasts to hell. She retuned after several hours to announce that after hitting a half dozen stores, all such spray eliminators were cleaned off the shelves. She said one store clerk even chuckled at the request for wasp weapons.
A Trooper Sergeant/friend suggested “Seven” powder/spray and along with various other sprays, I immediately went online to Amazon, and had them delivered the next day.
I covered the underground yellow jacket hive with every chemical weapon known to man. I repeated the process, going through six cans and two containers of Seven. By nightfall the activity had subsided, but by morning light, the stubborn enemy was back, perhaps not in the numbers originally, but the activity had returned.
On Saturday morning, Lou Villanova stopped by and suggested kerosene and fire was the only alternative. Lacking kerosene, I called Wife Patti via phone while she was out. “Buy lighter fluid,” came the demand. She was puzzled, but returned with the new weapon.
Obviously the time had come for the nuclear option. I poured lighter fluid down the hatch and gleamed as fire and smoke rose from the enemy tunnels. Their vast network was finally revealed. After smoke and blaze somewhat subsided, I hit the breaches with dose after dose of more of the same.
By nightfall I used a hoe to uncover a huge, deep bunker of hives. I again, with vengeance in mind, doused the uncovered hives with more fire and hell. A few stragglers came home to find havoc and destruction of their empire. I beat my chest with pride and again and again I flamed their once safe haven.
Throughout the day, smoke was seen flittering from years of backed up wood chips and dirt. It was over. The yellow jackets were destroyed.
My two sons watched as I hovered over my success later that day, perhaps thinking I had gone beyond obsessed with my win. They obviously did not realize I am King of the Holdraker spread as I stood in total victory, my chest and nose inflated proudly.