Moments ago I was out mowing our yard. The trimming-stuff I do with a push mower. As Iâ€™m walking around cutting off wayward grass tufts, it occurrs to me I could drag the mower over a weedy/bramble area taking hold in the corner of our dog Bookerâ€™s fenced area.
While the idea may have been sound, Iâ€™m quickly having trouble because Iâ€™m going over a lot of mulch I donâ€™t want to chew up, and there are a lot of shrubs blocking where I want to go. Iâ€™m getting sweaty. My sunglasses are sliding down my face. A vicious bramble branch scratches my leg as a warning. I donâ€™t listen.
Sizing up my options, it makes sense that I should move the bench that sits in the corner past the fire pit. Easier access? Maybe?
I have the mower handle in one hand as I push the bench with the other. The bench feet are caught in weeds and are resistant. I lift it up on one end. Just as the bench starts to flip over I see a healthy sized wasp nest underneath. Oh oh. I let go of the bench, which immediately falls onto the mower handle and pins it to the ground. The mower deck is up in the air with the blade running. Oh oh oh! This is bad. If it were a movie tiny drips of gasoline would suddenly turn the lawnmower into a grand explosion. People would die. I don’t want to die.
Wasps start swarming. Wasps with unhappy faces and twitchy stingers. I jump back as far as I can go, but what to do? I had just filled the mower with gas, so it was going to keep running.
I couldnâ€™t get close enough to attempt to push the bench off the handle and grab the mower without getting multiple stings, and yet I had to do something. I was worried Booker would wander over and either get hurt by the mower blade whirring in the wind, or by the angry wasps.
Under the kitchen sink was a â€œusedâ€ can of wasp spray. Last yearâ€™s model. I shook it up and squirted it at the nest from a distance. It was good for about ten feet of spray oomph. Just as I was getting a slight hit on the nest the spray gave out. Pfffft. sppsssss. Darn it! It appears the sprayed waspsâ€”more offended than poisonedâ€” arenâ€™t getting any happier, or any fewer in number.
I spy a hoe leaning on the flower box and decide to use it to hook the mower handle and pull it towards me. I knew my odds of getting stung were good because the wasps were covering more ground than a handle width from the scene of the crime. Nonetheless, resolved, I hooked and pulled. I prayed I was blending in with the scenery and cleverly fooling the wasps.
The bench came off with a thunk, which roused any slacker wasps hiding in the nest. The air turned black with undulating spots. I weaved and dodged and came out unscathed.
The lawn mower was now upright, but still running. My husband has a small bungee cord wrapped around the bar that gives it gas because that allows us to move a hose or whatever without having the mower stop. In this case, it was more hindrance than help. I used the hoe once again, jiggled, poked, pulled, and dislodged it. The mower gave a sigh then sputtered to a stop.
The wasps, however, were still mad and making ever larger circles now that the crazy motor-god was silent. Suddenly Booker shows up and wants to check out the upended bench. Iâ€™m chasing him around, which he finds both fun and confusing. â€œNoooooo! Booker! Nooooo.â€ I finally grab his collar and put him in his pen by the garage until the bees calm down. Assuming they ever calm down.
Bottom lineâ€¦ I didnâ€™t get stung. But the lawn mower is still by the bench and will need to be retrieved. Itâ€™s not supposed to be cool tonight, so hopes for sluggish wasps are unlikely.
Ah yes. The adventures of home ownership! The best part of my day.