Because I spend an exorbitant amount of time worrying about robbers, peepers and stabbers, every night I lock the house down like I’m protecting the Ark of the Covenant, and not just my laptop, privacy and unstabbed body.
This kinda blows, since my house is hotter than the surface of the sun right now. (Yes, I’ve been there; my apartment is hotter.)
Opening the windows and doors and knocking out a wall to get a breeze going sounds so lovely. But it’s either don’t sleep because it’s hot, or don’t sleep because I’m on first, second and third night watch.
Despite treating the apartment like Fort Knox, I discovered an intruder this morning. He surprised me when I burst into the bedroom, freshly showered and buck nekkid.
There I was, nekkid. There he was, next to the window — a dang ole wasp.
Naturally, I shrieked.
He was huge, like some kind of bird, maybe a condor, flying around — and touching all of my stuff.
I’m supposed to be grown up and over the whole bug thing, but no.
And the worst part: I’ve never been stung. Ever. By anything.
So, of course, I’ve created a scenario in my mind wherein the bug wants, and more importantly, is actually able to kill me. To death.
Maybe the bug will be funny about it, pulling my shirt over my head hockey-style, calling my mother unsavory names and pummeling me in the ribs until I fall to my knees. And then kill me.
Maybe the bug will toy with me, leaving a horse’s head under the covers or a sickening rotten fish wrapped in newspaper to signal impending doom. And then kill me.
Any way you slice it, I’m convinced a bug is going to get me in his sights and take me down. And then kill me.
When I encounter bees — after I’ve knocked things over, screamed like a teapot and used small children as human shields — my mother appears, backlit by a bluish glow, wearing an Obi Wan Kenobi robe and saying, “Don’t wave your arms around, shrieking and running in circles! You’ll only make him madder!”
Madder? Nine times out of 10, I’ve just been sitting there not doing a damned thing. How can the bee be mad in the first place? We’ve never met. I have to assume at this point the bee has philosophical reasons for his behavior, or bees are always pissed off about something.
At one point, I decided to shut my eyes when a bee or spider was nearby. Pretend he isn’t there. This worked great until a bee flew into my car window while I was driving on Iris last summer in heavy traffic.
A couple of years ago, I lived in a house covered in wasps’ nests. They would fly into the room during “The Big Lebowski” and I would instantly become very un-Dude.
So I bought spray. And the next time wasps rolled up on me, I grabbed the spray and started shooting it all around the room, trying to hit them. And I did, but I also hit paintings on the wall, my television and a healthy portion of the couch. I was henceforth not allowed bug spray in the house.
Which is probably best for the plants and cat and friends… well, everyone, really.
But when I got back home tonight to look for The Intruder, he was nowhere to be found. Is he under my pillow? Is he reading my private journal? Is he conspiring with the spider that crawled on my leg last week while watching “The Guns of Navarone”?
It may be time for a gun purchase.
Jeanine Fritz writes about apiphobia every Friday in the Colorado Daily.