Mom is very silly when it comes to the animal world. She goes gaga for all sorts of unusual creatures. She especially loves her furry friends, but she even loves snakes and lizards and most other reptiles. But bugs are a different story. Even just mentioning the word ‘spider’ gets Mom feeling squeamish, and after a run-in with wasps years ago, she breaks into a sweat at the thought of those flying pests.
Mom’s encounter with the wasps happened in a beautiful campground in Washington State. We had been driving in the motor home for days and when we finally pulled into the campground, we were all anxious to be in the fresh outdoor air for lunch. However, a large swarm of wasps had claimed the area first, and Mom didn’t want to argue with them, so we stayed in the motor home, wishing in vain that the swarm would leave.
When Mom finished cleaning up after lunch, she realized that the trash can was full. We all tease Mom about how compulsive she is about cleaning and having everything neat and tidy. Well, seeing that full trash can was driving Mom crazy. Finally, she couldn’t stand it any longer and decided to face the wasps rather than face a full trash can. Silly Mom.
She got way more than she bargained for. The wasps were even more densely populated near the dumpster than they had been near our camp site, and Mom was on the verge of panic as the obnoxious wasps grew bolder and more aggressive. It was more than she could take, however, when one particularly brazen fellow dove straight down her shirt and into her bra.
The trash now completely forgotten, Mom scuttled back to camp as quickly as she could, trying to move without jostling the intruder. Now, most normal people would stop, open the shirt and release the pest. But Mom is not normal. Fear of the wasp had caused Mom to break out sweating all over her body, and her consuming thought was that the wasp might drown in the sweat collecting inside her bra. But it hadn’t drowned yet. She could feel it crawling against her skin, which brought on even more sweating.
Seeing the look of terror on Mom’s face as she scurried back to camp, Dad knew his services would be required. Somehow, Mom managed to convey her need to Dad and he helped her release the miscreant. Mom shivered in relief, thinking her ordeal was over. Silly Mom.
While Mom and Dad were coming back inside the motor home, a dozen wasps slipped in with them. Dad got out the fly swatter, but Mom was horrified. “No, Ken,” she told him. “That would be gross.”
“What do you want to do then?” he asked.
Her first thought was bug spray, but we didn’t have any. So Mom thought of the next best thing. “We can spray them with hairspray so they can’t fly, and then you can put them outside.”
Strangely enough, we all were happy with that idea and got Grandma’s super strength hairspray for Mom. Armed with the spray, Mom crept up to a wasp and was about to shoot it, when it moved a little, buzzing its intent. Mom screamed, jumped, and quickly gave up the idea that she would be able to aim straight.
The battle against the wasps then became a family affair. We each had our jobs. I took charge of the spray. Kari and Grandma helped find the enemy. Dad scooped up the incapacitated prisoners and released them outside, being very careful to not let any new ones in. And Mom….well, she screamed every time one of them moved.
When I was talking with Mom the other day about this wasp story, and how silly she had been through the whole thing, she laughed and said, “Every time I think about that incident, the main thing I remember is worrying that the poor wasp would drown inside my bra!” Very silly Mom.