Mother Nature’s Little Terrorists

cold

The week before Fathers Day had been simply a miserable one.  Suffering from a bad head cold and another affliction, the details of which you should thank me for not sharing, had me irritable (OK … more irritable), whiny, and wiped out.

By Friday I was ready for the “nuclear option” which simply involved loading my body up with enough pharmaceuticals to render myself Borderline Functional and a walking (at times barely shuffling) advertisement for Modern OTC Pharmacology.

The good news … I started feeling better on Saturday, the bad news … peeing green for two days …

By Saturday afternoon I was feeling semi-human; and as is the object of my peculiar OCD, I decided to cut the lawn, both in an attempt to feel halfway normal and to avoid having to do it on Fathers’ Day.

imagesThe plan was to watch the final round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship from Merion Golf Club on FD.

So I went outside to don my special Lawn Cutting Sneakers – identifiable by the thick coating of hardened green lawn slime – and get moving … albeit very, very slowly.  Clearly, as the story will illustrate, I was not close to thinking clearly or acting thoughtfully.

As I tied my left shoe, I felt something sticking my toe.  It felt like any small piece of garden debris that finds its way inside any gardener’s shoe and thereby joins the list of recent developments longing to make my life just a bit more uncomfortable.

What I didn’t notice at first was that the “debris” was moving around ever-so-slightly all on its own.

It must have been the after-effects of all the medications I had pumping through my organs.  I actually got the other shoe on; stood up; and took a few steps towards the garage when I said to no one in particular, “What the blankety-blank is that?!?”

Still not quite over my body-brain numb, I meandered over to the porch and removed the irritated foot from the green-coated sneaker.

Maybe it was pre-meditated! (Picture from seananmcguire.com)

Maybe it was pre-meditated!
(Picture from seananmcguire.com)

A flash of yellow on my sock was like a jolt of electricity to my medication-addled zombieness.  Hopping and cursing, and flailing at the little yellow bugger, whose only sin was the misfortune of getting trapped in my smelly, foot-filled sneaker.

Not that I cared.  Them and me, we have a history.

So its broken corpse was left in the middle of the front porch as an example for all its surviving breed, as this was not the first time I had been the object of this ambush tactic.  My pain this time was just as real as the last.

It was a Summer maybe five years ago.  A rather hot but enjoyable day at Five Ponds Golf Course in Warminster.  Having just finished hole 11, and moving casually off the green to our carts and the 12th tee.

As my friends and I are sometimes prone to do, we had procured a few adult beverages – in can form – from the snack stand at the turn.  My first beer sat in the cart opened and awaiting my return.

As I tilted can-to-mouth and gulped, I immediately thought, “What did those two (fill in the blank) put in my drink?”  But as I moved to spit out the foreign object, I realized it wasn’t an “object” at all.

hunter-killer terrorist hornet

hunter-killer terrorist hornet

Jumping up and spitting was never done so quickly or violently, my mind raced to the possibility that the “thing” might go the “other way”.  My panic and confusion didn’t help matters and My Little Stowaway got stuck on my lip …

You can imagine the result.

Several jabs later, I finally got the little bugger out.  Only he wasn’t no “little bugger”.  She – obviously a She – was a hornet about the size of my thumb.  She had got me at least twice on the bottom lip.

Instantly, I was in mucho pain and running through my dictionary of colorful colloquialisms.

My friends – on the other hand – were in hysterics … until of course they saw the size of her broken corpse.  They were awe-struck for about 10 seconds.  Then the hysterics started over again, only louder.

images-2Guys are funny that way, although I will say it does take your mind off the possibility that you could be dying of anaphylaxis.

We considered what we should do, given my obvious discomfort and size of the animal that had attacked me.

Well … actually they decided.  I was still hopping around; swearing a lightening-blue streak; and stuffing ice into my mouth.

Naturally they decided to keep playing unless I wanted to “Go crying to my mommy; and get my boo-boo fixed.”  Or words to that effect …

Guys are funny that way.

Mother Nature has it out for me ... Why?

Mother Nature has it out for me … Why?

Of course I decided to keep playing.  Figuring, if I’m going to die, I might as well croak on a golf course, as is any serious golfer’s dream.  Just think of all the neat stories my friends could tell as they divvy up my golf equipment and supplies after the funeral!

Yep, guys are funny.

I’m not sure why Nature hates me.  I always pride myself on my live-and-let-live outlook, so long as you’re not a weed on the lawn or a mouse in the house.

On the other hand, I did par that long, straight and difficult par-5 that day!  Moaning, groaning, and adding a few new entries into the vulgate along the way …

I lived to face Mother Nature’s little terrorists another day.

So as Fathers Day was spent watching the U.S. Open Golf Championship, I couldn’t help but think maybe Phil Mickelson – as he faded in yet another Open – could have used a few hornets in his shoes that last day at Merion!

Mickelson could have used a jolt.

Mickelson could have used a jolt.

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