I was in the bathroom, minding my own business. *
I was interrupted by an all-too-familiar call for help. “MOM!! There’s a wasp in the house!!”
Now, I have an unholy terror of stinging insects, but this call did not overly concern me. I get called in to take care of “wasps” very frequently. Most of them end up being beetles, house flies, or suspicious-looking bits of lint. So, I did not spring immediately into action. The following conversation ensued:
“Mom! There’s a WASP in the HOUSE!”
“OK! Just a minute!”
“No, Mom! It’s really a wasp!”
“For Pete’s sake, I am trying to mind my own business! I’ll be out when I’m done!”
Eventually I made my way downstairs, ready to get rid of whatever stink bug or dust bunny was causing the drama. When I got into the living room I realized that this was no false alarm. This was the Real Wasp Deal.
The kids immediately calmed down, as their panic became mine. I asked them to go outside, ostensibly so I wouldn’t accidentally whack them, but really because I did not want them to witness the insane ritual that I go through when there is a stinging insect in my house. I call it The Wasp Protocol.
Phase1: Call for Help
I sent out frantic Snapchats to anyone who might be in the vicinity. Nobody seemed to be nearby. Crap. I closed my eyes and prayed with all my might that God would somehow miraculously cause this wasp to disappear. Opened them up, wasp still there. OK, time for…
Phase 2: Weapon Selection
First, I concocted an elaborate scheme involving a bowl of cantaloupe.
I briefly considered a rolled-up magazine, but decided that a broom would be better. Just as I was about to begin Phase 3, my dad texted me. He told me that he had an electric fly swatter at his house that we could use. Sweet! The kids and I took a quick field trip. Prayed again that the wasp would have decided to leave on its own by the time we got back. It didn’t. It was time for…
Phase 3: Stalking
(This is an important part of the Wasp Protocol that many people ignore. During this phase, you pointlessly follow the wasp around the room. You tell yourself that you are waiting for it to land in the perfect spot, but really you are just working up the courage to strike.)
At this point, I noticed that the wasp was doing something strange with its abdomen. This might sound crazy, but I swear it was twerking. I had no idea what a twerking wasp might signify, but I knew it wouldn’t be anything good. Time for…
Phase 4: The attack
This is where things got intense. Normally during this phase, I would screw up my courage, let loose a William Wallace war cry, and swat away. It would be a terrifying 3.5 seconds, but then it would be done. This was a pretty big wasp, so I was a little nervous, but I had a FRIGGIN ELECRTOCUTING FLYSWATTER. I knew one good zap would take care of things.
The thing did not die. The flyswatter definitely worked, sparks were flying and everything, but this bug just buzzed away like nothing was wrong. It was all “Come at me, bro!”
I swatted it TWO more times and it was still going. This insect definitely should have been deceased by now. So, it was either an Undead Wasp, or a robot assassin sent back in time to kill the future leader of the human race.
I thought about moving to Toronto.
But in the end, I just went about things the old-fashioned way and smashed it with a shoe.
I was rewarded with this congratulatory text from my Dad, who was on a plane during most of the action but landed to about twelve hysterical texts.
And that’s how you handle a wasp like a grown-up.
*In my house, “minding your own business” is code for pooping.