This was a classic I Tell You What weekend. Sunny skies, light breezes, high temperatures in the 60's. Saturday I did a bit of work outside, preparing the fire pit for an evening marshmallow roast and clearing the corners of our 1/4 acre lot (or the back 0.05, as I like to call it) of vines and such. As I tugged on the very last vine, its roots gave way surprisingly easy, so easily that a cloud of loose dirt was tossed up in my face as the leaf pile above the vine roots was tossed like a salad. This caused me to remove my glasses and wipe my face. I heard buzzing, and looked down to see a bunch of flies coming out of the leaf pile cruising around my knees. Wait a second, those aren't flies...
THOSE ARE YELLOW JACKETS! THEY'RE MAD AND THEY'RE STING-CRAZY! FIREARMS ARE USELESS AGAINST THEM! SAVE YOURSELVES!
I beat a retreat that was beyond hasty. The phrase "asses and elbows" comes to mind. I was stung twice, in the back and on the ear. That being said, I was very fortunate. I had decided to wear blue jeans instead of shorts. I had hiking boots instead of sneakers. I had kept my shirt on through the laborious effort. I picked a bunch of yellow jackets off my pants that could easily have stung me had I worn shorts.
This is why today's entry is under "What's The Good Word". Today's phrase is casus belli. It is a key event that justifies war. It's one of those neat Latin phrases, and fit just that neatly into my frame of mind at the moment. I had all the justification I needed.
Oh, and one other thing turned out in my favor. I had TWO cans of hornet spray in my backyard shed. I got to roll back in, heavy, with twin cannons. Many hornets fell, and I figured I got the entrance to they're little hornet Hades inside my leaf pile pretty good. Nonetheless, I was forced to beat a hasty retreat a few more times due to the hostile vigilance of the beefed up security perimeter.
I backed off from the wasptropolis and finished the rest of my outdoor chores and let the angry insects simmer down a bit. After about an hour, I returned (only one can of insecticide, the other was newly empty) and shook a stick into the leaf pile. A beautiful column of yellow jackets, one after the other, began erupting from the hole in the pile. And they met a sublimely foamy stream of invertebrate death sentence in midair, every last one of them. I must have dropped 50 of those suckers during that little skirmish. It was our Turkey Shoot to the preceding and more close-run Midway, if you will.
I am not foolish. They survive, perhaps even survive under that leaf pile. They may even bee (get it?) subterranean. I could have left them alone, but this aggression will not stand. In the bleak darkness of winter, I will scatter that leaf pile into nothingness when it is so cold that their blood runs like motor oil. They will die, separated, alone, and frozen into little waspbergs of ice. And my heart will be just as bitter.
"...and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, AND SUBDUE IT: and have DOMINION over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." -Genesis 1:28