Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday rerun: Hornet of Plenty

Out on the deck, where stand the grills where I grill all year long, I built a little table with a stainless-steel top, and shelving to hold Rubbermaid tubs. In the Rubbermaid tubs, I have charcoal for those times when I just feel like grillin' it old skool (there's a gas grill for when time is a factor) and all the implements of meat preparation: tongs, spatulas, squirt bottles, basting brushes, aprons, and I don't know what-all else.

For some time, Peggy has been kindly and diplomatically pointing out that the Rubbermaid tubs were looking sort of, well, all beat to hell. After a few gentle prods (148) I finally got some new tubs and brought them home. Today, I went out to make the switch.

I should have known that something was up when, as soon as I started moving the tubs around, some hornets showed up, with unhappy looks on their tiny faces. They were beating their wings in a most unfriendly fashion, zooming in to remind me of their presence and then holding mid-air conferences over by the cupola atop the shed.

They look like this
(shown here one-billionth actual size) and they fly in packs of a thousand or more. Their sting can be lethal unless the victim has recently consumed a can of beer.

Nature boy Mark cleverly deduced that it was time to make a tactical withdrawal and assess the situation. Had I been writing this blog 50 years ago, there would be an entry detailing how I was climbing a tree in a neighbor's yard and stuck my hand in a hornet's nest as I ascended. My descent was rapid, and there was an abrupt end to it when I slammed into the earth, disturbing Mrs Gallup, who was baking a pie or something. She ran out and tended to me, and I have never forgotten the lesson that hornets do not care to have their space invaded by

I came back from the garage with a can of Raid Garden Mist, and laid down enough haze from that aerosol dispenser to cover me while I reentered the battle zone. I found a hornet's nest under construction in one of the old rotten tubs. Peggy was right! Old cracked beat-up tubs are just an invitation for ne'er-do-wells to set up shop where they ought not.

Everything old is out for the trash; everything new is in place and ready to grill again. But the lesson is learned: do what Peggy tells me the first time! She is always right!

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