Saturday, August 9, 2008

The War Zone



Every morning when I go out onto the porch with my coffee, it looks like a war zone. I have to pick up the broom and sweep all the bodies away. Waspy looking things. Funky things with pinchers. Blue bees. Spiders. If it was up to me, I wouldn’t kill any spiders but Kurt keeps insisting I’m going to get bit. He says, “Okay then, but don’t come crying to me when you get a bad spider bite and you’re in the hospital with a gnarly infection up your arm and they might have to amputate.” So I don’t say nothin’ when he kills the spiders. I don’t kill them though. It’s kind of a compromise.

Then there’s the king bees. Kurt looked them up on the computer. They’re really Japanese hornets. But he calls them king bees and he’s got everyone calling them king bees like that’s really their name. Eldon, whistling, “Them there king bees are mighty pesky this year.” And Kelly’s friend, Heather, “Mrs. Van Cleave, I would have picked you more apples from my apples trees for your horses but there were king bees all over the place!” And Kurt’s boy at work, “I mighta coulda come into work but there was a swarm a king bees chasin’ me and I ran down yonder in the wrong direction.”

At any rate, he dubbed them the king bee because they put all queens to shame. These suckers are big. They’re about as big as a man’s big toe and they have a stinger like you wouldn’t believe. For some reason, they are dying to get into this house. They crawl up the window screens and stare longingly at my family eating dinner inside. They hang onto the edges of the door waiting for someone to innocently step outside for a smoke and then wham! They hitch a ride inside and they’re flying all over the place, crashing into my lampshades and denting the walls. They’re so big, the cat thinks they’re flying mice and he leaps up into the air, tries to bat them, twists and misses.

Kurt tries to get them before they come into the house. He is on his third electronic fly swatter. I admit, I broke one of them in a panic swinging it around blindly when a wasp kept coming after me. He broke the other one whacking it on the post on the railing. You don’t use them like a traditional fly swatter. You swing gently with no flick of the wrist and let the bug sort of float into it and get electrocuted of his own free will. Kurt and Kelly jump up and down with glee when one of them gets fried. Zzzzzzz! Then they examine the bodies. Sometimes they make me look. That’s how I know the king bee has a stinger like you wouldn’t believe.

I don’t know what the neighbors think, the ones who don’t know about the electronic fly swatter, when they drive by at night and Kurt is out there smoking and swinging. It looks like he’s got a tennis racquet and he’s hitting invisible balls. Sometimes he does something fancy. Makes a big loopy swing, seeing how many he can get at once. When he’s feeling really creative, he might attempt a swing from behind his back or under his leg.

In the morning, I get out the broom and sweep away the casualties.

15 comments:

Latigo Liz said...

Hahahahaha! Love it! King bees! I’ll bee using that in the coming weeks. I have a “king bee” allergy! Bwahahahaha!

Jamie Ferraioli said...

I love when you talk about the king bees. ...denting the walls, looking like flying mice. I can picture it so vividly! Very funny post!

Mrs Mom said...

There are a few things we miss about VA... those giant "king bees" (we called the Bell Hornets, cause they sound about like a Belljet Ranger chopper buzzing around,) and the freaking HUGE (and huge numbers of) spiders are NOT on that list. At ALL.

Have fun with the swatters! ;)

Are your horses telling you to stock up yet on your fire wood? ;)

Amy Hanek said...

I don't know if they are King bees or not, but we have the same thing over here. Big huge things with eyes that look at you. Luckily, I've only noticed a few - not a swarm of them or anything.

My husband could use an electronic fly swatter (while he smokes on the back porch). Where'd you get that?

Debi Kelly Van Cleave said...

Okay, I'll tell you my electronic fly swatter source if you promise to punch in my club's code so we get credit. Our code is nbhava-01. (FYI that's for the National Barrel Horse Association, Virginia district 01) You get the fly swatters from Country Supply. Their website is www.horse.com

CountryDew said...

That is some story!

Amy Tate said...

Debi, you've just GOT to camcord Kurt! That is HILARIOUS. That could be great black mail material! lol I'm crying I'm laughing so hard. When I was in highschool, my sisters and I used to let those giant moths that linger by the door, come inside the house. Our Himalayan cat gave us a great show! She'd leap up in the air and make all sorts of funny noises. Hey, when you live in the country, what else are you going to do on a Friday night?

Amy Hanek said...

Cool - thanks!

Debi Kelly Van Cleave said...

Amy, I tried to get him to let me take a picture of him doing one of those fancy moves, swinging the fly swatter under his leg or something, for the blog, but no way. I'd have to hide behind the bushes to get him with the Camcorder!

Kristine said...

LOL, GREAT story!

Sloan said...

I laughed so hard reading that. I need one of those swatters!

gingerhillery@mac.com said...

We had one of those swatters last years and people fought over the fly killing job! Unfortunately it met an untimely death(the flyswatter) when someone got a little carried away. Wish we had another one!

Debi Kelly Van Cleave said...

I just bought Kurt another one for his birthday. And the neighbors one for Christmas!

Giulia said...

"In the mountain villages of Japan, the huge hornets are part of the villagers' diet, being eaten deep fried or as a sashimi."

Yum yum!

Pony Girl said...

Oh funny, I have never heard of one of those electronic zappers! I can just imagine Kurt swinging wildly! I do that when I walk out of my place onto my patio. There are spider webs everywhere across my walkway. If I knock down their webs they rebuild in like two hours. But I hate walking through one. Those outside web spiders don't bother me too much though. But the fast indoor giant house spiders do. Those things must die, sorry!