I normally walk to school to fetch the kids, but a couple of days ago, I drove there as I was taking them to 4H.
It was the first cool day of autumn, with a slight frost that morning, and a wild wind whipping up a disco of fallen leaves. So, there I was innocently driving along when I grabbed the gear stick to feel something … strange under my fingers. Something that was squishy in a very unpleasant way, like eyeballs, and something that scrabbled at my fingers with creepily feather-like movements.
I looked down. It was a wasp. A very sleepy wasp as the weather was too cold for it to feel perky and fly up my nostrils.
I did what any sane person would do: I screamed loudly (imagine 100 on the Richter Scale of Screams) in the hopes that it would fall down dead of a heart attack. (It didn’t – but the dog’s fur stood up on end.)
In fact, my scream seemed to invigorate the wasp. It had realized that it wouldn’t be able to sting my fingers so it flew onto my seat and burrowed under my butt – obviously going for a bigger and softer target.
I braked madly. On a pedestrian crossing. And jumped out, leaving the door open. Cars piled up behind the car and then cautiously overtook me as I stood there in the middle of the road, doing a wild Dervish dance.
Just as I was calming down, and thanking my lucky stars that no one I knew had seen my little display, a car pulled up. The window was wound down and my neighbour wanted to know what the problem was.
“Oh, I was locked in the car with a mad wasp on a stinging mission,” I said felt like saying.
“Just a wasp” I replied with a cool calm that I didn’t feel.
Before getting in again, I used the car brush to sweep the seats in case it was still lurking.
But it had flown away – no doubt rubbing its legs with glee at the thought of its successfully accomplished mission.
I said I’d tell you how to stop traffic; I didn’t say you would be doing it gracefully.