I suppose it would be presumptuous of me to suggest to the clergy of Christian denominations everywhere that marriage vows are wanting in that the man’s vows lack an extremely important promise. Love, honor and cherish in sickness and in health till death us do part are important to be sure. Yet I firmly believe there should be a permanent addition to the man’s marriage vows.
The man should vow to be the spouse responsible for killing all manner of bugs, large or small, with or without wings, with or without venom, with or without stingers, bloodsuckers or not, wherever and whenever they may be found, day or night.
There is a very good reason behind that suggestion. Bugs creep the living daylights out of the average woman. Bugs even creep the living daylights out of the above-average woman.
Case in point: A few years ago, while having dinner in the kitchen with Macho Guy, I felt a stabbing pain at the back of my neck. [No, MG was not the pain in the neck I felt.] I cried out and swiped my hand hard across my nape.
ME: I think something just bit me! My neck really hurts.
MG: [Looking around the kitchen.] I don’t see anything.
ME: [Rubbing the back of my neck.] Something bit me. I didn’t imagine it.
We finished dinner and while we were clearing the table, MG peered at my neck and bent for a closer look.
MG: There’s a red spot on your neck. Right there. [He tapped the painful spot.]
ME: Ow! That hurt.
MG: Sorry. Uh, it looks a little swollen.
ME: I told you something bit me.
As I wiped the table down, I glanced toward the windows just in time to notice slight movement on the window ledge behind my chair. I took a closer look and froze.
ME: Is—is that a wasp? [The nasty creature was weaving its way along the window ledge like a sailor after a shore leave pub crawl.]
MG: Yep. It’s a wasp. I’ll bet you sent it flying into the window when you slapped your neck.
ME: You mean—I touched it? I touched a wasp?
MG: You must have clobbered it good. It looks like it had its bell rung.
ME: Eww. Don’t just stand there. Kill it!
MG: Calm down. It’ll probably die on its own. It already looks pretty far-gone.
ME: Then put it out of its misery. Now!
After a major eye roll, MG finished off my attacker but my relief at the creature’s demise was short-lived. My wasp-stung neck continued to swell. Nothing I put on it helped, and MG couldn’t find the stinger to remove it. After 24 hours, the swelling became so severe I needed medical attention to return my neck to its normal dimensions.
Since that unpleasant and horrifying incident, I do not react well if a wasp is anywhere in my vicinity. So it came as no surprise to me that I freaked out last week when a wasp invaded the master bath while I was getting ready for bed. I was about to floss when I heard a buzzing sound overhead. I looked around and up and saw the vicious invader gliding and bumping up against the ceiling.
I’m mortified to admit that although I’m a big girl, I screamed like a little girl at the sight of that wasp. I tore out of the bathroom and slammed the sliding door shut behind me. I stood outside that door, heart pounding and knees knocking. It made no difference that I was a lot bigger than that wasp. It had a stinger. I didn’t, and I didn’t know how to use a gun.
MG had gone to bed earlier while I stayed up to write. He was already asleep. Undaunted by his unconscious state, I dragged MG out of bed to kill the intruder. He is the hunter/gatherer, after all. Let him hunt.
ME: Wake up! Wake up! There’s a wasp in the bathroom!
ME: Get up! There’s a wasp in the bathroom. You have to kill it so I can brush my teeth. Get up.
MG: [Still groggy.] I was asleep. [Looks at his alarm clock and groans.] It’s 2:00 a.m. Why didn’t you kill it yourself?
ME: [I shuddered.] I couldn’t. You know how I feel about wasps. You have to kill it.
MG: I can’t believe you woke me up for that.
ME: Okay, I’m sorry I woke you up. Now get over it, and go kill that thing.
MG sighed, swaggered into the bathroom and shut the door. I recognized that swagger. I’ve seen it before when MG was out for blood, figuratively of course. I knew that in a matter of minutes, the wasp was going down for the count.
Deadly force being necessary, MG needed a weapon of miniscule destruction. I ran to find the flyswatter. When I returned, a disgruntled MG emerged from the bathroom.
MG: I didn’t see a wasp in there. Are you sure you didn’t imagine it?
ME: Positive. I saw it, and I heard it. It’s in there, and it’s freaking huge.
MG: I couldn’t find it. I’m going back to bed.
I was unnerved that MG couldn’t find the wasp, and I was very leery of its return. I kept looking over my shoulder as I flossed. Since it didn’t reappear, I began to relax. Perhaps it returned from whence it came.
No sooner had I begun brushing my teeth than that demonic creature reappeared and buzzed by my head like an F-16. I dropped my toothbrush in the sink, spit, and once again screamed like a little girl. A scared little girl. A terrified little girl. Fortunately, MG was still awake that time.
MG: [He opened the door almost immediately and poked his head in.] Is it back?
ME: [Refraining from asking what was his first clue.] Yes, it’s back, I told you I saw it.
ME: [Flailing my hands as the invader buzzed me again.] There! There!
I shrieked and ducked behind MG. He swung at the wasp several times with the fly swatter and missed. He finally struck the wasp when it alighted on my vanity’s mirror. Ha! It served that vain insect right for stopping to admire its reflection.
MG: Where did it go?
ME: I think it fell on the counter.
We lifted and moved everything on the counter. No wasp. We looked on the floor. No wasp. We checked the wastebasket. No wasp.
MG: I know I hit it.
ME: But where is it? It couldn’t have disappeared.
MG shrugged and went back to bed. I finished brushing my teeth in record time, all the while glancing over my shoulder, dashed out of the bathroom, and made certain to shut the door very tight. I climbed into bed and lay awake fretting for a very long time before I finally fell asleep.
The next morning, I woke as MG was leaving to play golf. He announced that it was safe to go back into the master bath. He said he killed the wasp earlier. When he entered the bathroom after waking, he discovered the wasp was up in the skylight. He tossed a towel up at it several times before knocking it down. He then stepped on it and crushed it. He made it sound incredibly easy and nothing to fear. Sure it was—for him.
So permit me to reiterate: men should be the ones to kill the bugs. They are naturals for the job. Killing dangerous beasts is in their DNA, all the way back to the cave.
I entered the bathroom and found the corpse laid out on a tissue on my sink vanity’s counter top. Such a nice hunter/gatherer touch. The wasp looked so peaceful and harmless lying there that I grudgingly thought I should probably give it a decent burial.
I figured a burial at sea would be easiest, and there was a nearby indoor body of water—the toilet bowl.
I dropped the wasp’s corpse into the toilet bowl, snorted with satisfaction and said “Bon voyage!” as I flushed. I watched it swirl around the bowl and disappear on its way to its final resting place—our septic tank. It was then that I appreciated the irony involved. That wicked wasp nearly scared the shi—uh—poop out of me. Twice, as a matter of fact. No burial could have been more fitting or more richly deserved, don’t you think?