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Location: Hamilton Square, New Jersey, United States

Tax guy, host & producer of the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, former co-host of the Wall Street Journal E-Report

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Yellowjackets: Nature's Assholes

As somewhat of a nature lover, me and the outdoors get along just fine. Of course, I'm more of a nature lover from afar. I hate camping trips unless I can be assured of TV and/or continuous air conditioning (or at least the temperature never hovering above 72 degrees). Even buggy days outdoors will drive me back inside.

Nevertheless, I've always been intrigued by wildlife and insects. I'm old enough now to know that these creatures are neither good nor bad, and are merely acting on intuition to survive. Let's face it, none of these critters really want to interact with us and prefer keeping a safe distance whenever possible.

Ditto for the things you find in your house that you really don't want there. Spiders can be a nuisance but they're more beneficial that a person would think and, dammit, how are they going to be able to catch anything to eat when you keep walking into their webs? As much as a pain in the ass that ants are (once, I found them swarming an overturned sippy cup of Matt's at midnight...ugh), you have to admire their industriousness. And if you've got mice well, hey, they're just looking for a warm place to shack up. Bottom line is that as aggravating as these these creatures can be, it's hard to get truly mad at them because pissing you off is not their intention...or at least not directly.

Except for those fucking yellowjackets.

Yellowjackets are nothing more than aggressive, flying cockroaches with stingers. Unlike most insects, they want your food, they want it now, and so help you if you get in their way. The hell with ants, yellowjackets are the biggest picnic nuisance ever. Good luck enjoying your food if they're nearby and have figured out your location. How many people know others who've been stung in their mouths by a yellowjacket that's gotten inside of their soda can? I'd love to know the numbers on how many "bee stings" unrelated to hive disturbances that can be chalked up to yellowjackets. Because let's face take out the "hive disturbance" factor and other stinging insects like honey bees, hornets and even the most physically intimidating wasps are pretty docile. And the hives/nests of the latter are usually pretty obvious so that you usually have ample time to steer clear of it. My guess is that at least 80% would be yellowjackets and even the other 20% by the others could be chalked up to misunderstandings that would have preferably been avoided by both parties (accidentally sitting on a wasp, stepping on a bee in bare feet, etc.)

And where do yellowjackets build their nests? Sometimes underground. Sometimes in stone walls. What dicks. Sure, being hidden protects you from predators but being hidden *too* well means larger creatures can't see you and can inadvertantly destroy your homes. How many times have you heard stories of someone attacked by a swarm of bees because the foot of his ladder fell into a yellow jacket nest? When I moved into my current house, the bastards had already set up shop inside a bush outside of my house. Fortunately, I had seen the telltale sign of them constantly darting in and out of the bush to clue me in, otherwise Debbie's dog or I would have been a victim.

Now I've got a small nest of them outside my garage wall. The little bastards found an opening in a small piece of foundation block that had crumbled away and set up shop. Fortunately, although I can't see the nest, it never appeared to have gotten that big (no more than one darting in/out in 15 second intervals) and it looks like my last attempt to foam spray them to death may have worked.

Regardless, they're still assholes.


Blogger Raider Take said...

Nature's assholes! I love it!

I once worked a harvest at a winery out in the deep countryside. We had to dump and sort the grapes on a bin-conveyer system in the open air, which always turned into a sweet sticky mess. As you can imagine, these little assholes were everywhere. It was the equivalent of a picnic with a thousand open cans of Coke. After a few stings, we just had to go into a zen state and let these little assholes walk all over us without flinching, which greatly reduced the frequency of stinging.

I'm no longer in the zen state, however, and so it's back to flinching whenever one of these assholes shows up.

8/11/2006 11:53 AM  
Anonymous YJs are assholes on facebook said...

Join the resistance:

8/10/2011 11:41 AM  

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