At the beginning of the summer, Mark noticed a wasp’s nest hanging in a tree above our backyard deck, accessible only via the roof. We were both somewhat troubled by these pests residing in our backyard, but as neither one of us is schooled in the art of wasps’ nest removal, we left it alone. I was fine with this- we only saw the occasional wasp back there, so I wasn’t too worried about it. As the summer progressed, however, Mark became quite bothered by its presence. He vowed to get rid of it. At first I assumed he meant he would call an exterminator or something to come and take it away, but it soon became clear that he meant to do it himself. This worried me. I was not confident that Mark’s many talents extended to wasp nest removal.
Last week, Mark built an extension onto our deck so that we could fit some patio furniture out there, along with Charlotte’s sand table. He told me he planned on getting rid of the nest. I gently hinted that maybe an exterminator would be the best way to go, but either he missed the hint or he ignored it. After assembling our new patio set yesterday, he could stand it no more. The backyard was no longer big enough for him and the wasps. The nest had to go.
When he told me his plan to remove the nest, I envisioned that he would at least be mindful of getting stung and dress accordingly, like in a ski jacket and oven mitts. Apparently, we have very different ideas of what constitutes appropriate attire for interacting with wasps. He headed on up to our roof clad in shorts, a T-shirt, sunglasses, and a baseball cap. I couldn’t watch. I ushered Charlotte and Penelope into the living room and hoped for the best.
Until my dying day, I will regret not staying outside and recording the events on video. Armed with a garbage can and lid, he set about evicting these wasps. He placed the garbage can directly under the nest. He cut off the branch from which the nest hung, and the nest fell neatly into the can. He quickly placed the lid on the can, and I’m sure he was congratulating himself on his handiwork when the wasps started swarming him, angry that he had destroyed their home. He attempted to drag the can with him up the slope of the roof as he tried to escape the wasps’ wrath, but that worked for about three seconds before he dropped it. It was at this exact moment that I was walking to the back door to check on his progress, only to see our large can come crashing off the roof. When Mark’s sting-ridden body did not follow it, I turned around and headed back to the living room, not wanting to know what was happening.
Up on the roof, the wasps were looking to extract their revenge on Mark. He couldn’t get down because there was a swarm by the ladder. I could hear his footsteps on the roof, running to avoid the furious insects. He actually contemplated jumping off the roof, having endured about four or five painful stings at this point. Thankfully, the wasp venom had not affected his judgement and he opted to NOT break his neck. His dad, who was here helping him putting together the furniture, brought the ladder around to the front yard, and after a few more minutes of dodging wasps (i.e. flailing around our roof, somehow tossing his cap and sunglasses into our neighbour’s awning), he was able to climb back down to safety.
Now there was the small matter of getting the nest, which was now IN our backyard, back into the garbage can. Frankly, I’m surprised Mark didn’t just wash his hands of the matter and say, “Well, the backyard belongs to the wasps now.” Instead, he bravely got that nest back into the can with his dad’s help, and the nest was finally disposed of, once and for all.
I gave Mark some Benadryl to help minimize the swelling from the stings, and distracted him throughout the afternoon whenever he started to panic that his throat might be closing up. You gotta love a guy who is willing to face a swarm of angry wasps to prevent his family from getting stung.