August 27, 2008
Originally published June 30, 2004
I had a dilemma on my hands. My doorbell rang this afternoon and it was Young Jack, all excited and bouncing up and down as if he needed to pee really bad. "Mr. Rob! Mr. Rob! Come look at THIS!" He grabbed my hand and tugged me around to the side of my house. "SEE! LOOK!" I looked. Jack gave me an "I TOLD you so" grin.
Bejus. I had a hornet's nest the size of a pineapple hanging from the eaves of my roof right beneath the satellite disc. I know a hornet's nest when I see one. My friends and I used to throw rocks and dirt clods at them when we were kids. We'd knock one down and run like hell. Then, we'd meet back in the woods and compare stings. (Note to ALL little boys and young men: I don't care how fast you think you are--- you ain't gonna outrun a pissed-off hornet.)
I looked up at the nest. One scout was circling lazily around the hole at the bottom as I calculated what to do. "Let's get a stick and HIT IT, Mr. Rob!" suggested Jack. I grabbed Jack by the neck and choked him to death.
Okay, I didn't choke Jack, but I thought seriously about doing it. Get a stick and HIT IT? Got-dam! That boy obviously never disturbed a hornet's nest the size of this one before. I told Jack to get in the house. "But I wanna watch," he whined. "Yeah, and I want you to LIVE to watch," I replied.
I put Jack in the house, donned a pair of blue jeans, a flannel shirt (it's only 95 degrees outside) work gloves and hiking boots. I grabbed my shepard's crook and a can of Raid. I started to get my damn safety goggles, too, but I wanted to act while the weather was right. A rainstorm was coming and most of the hornets would be back in the nest now. I pulled a camoflage hat low over my brow, and out the door I went. "I'll be back," I told Jack.
I snuck up to that nest and nuked the scout with a Raid-blast. He fell from the sky. I nuked the nest next, and saw some gasping refugees attempting to escape. I nuked them some more. Then, I took my crook and smashed the nest to the ground. Whoa! That's a LOT of hornets! They resembled boiling water! I ran like hell, leaving a trail of Raid-fumes in my wake as cover fire.
I didn't receive a single sting, although a couple of those angry bastards buzzed pretty close to my head before I made the front door. Jack asked, "Did you get them, Mr. Rob?" I told Jack that I thought so, but the most important thing was that they didn't get me. I went out later and set the nest on fire. I am a killer of baby hornets.
And I feel good about it.
All content © Rob Smith