The body count in the ongoing battle of Man vs. Wasp is now four — all wasps.

Today’s incident began after my daughters ignored two of my most commonly-repeated commands: “Stop running in and out!” and “Close the door!”  Soon after running in (just moments after running out) the younger one yelled, “Dad!  There’s a wasp flying around in here!”  I crept to the living room to reconnoiter the enemy’s position and immediately noticed the still-open front door.

After I issued three separate and distinct “Close the door!” orders, my daughter finally realized I was talking to her and, amazingly, closed the door.  Then she left the room so Daddy could deal with the wasp.

I put on my battle gear and went to the laundry room for a weapon.  My wife recently accepted my conclusion that while organic pesticides are better for the environment, they can also produce unexpected side effects — such as being stung in the face by an orange-scented wasp — so there was a brand-spankin’ new can of RAID sitting on the shelf.  I picked it up and bounced it in my gloved hand, enjoying the heft of it.  Now that’s a weapon that inspires confidence.

I crept back to the living room and found the wasp flying around the ceiling, which is two stories high.  No way to get close.  I kept my distance and observed, not wanting to lose visual contact.

Finally the wasp decided to land on a wall at the top of the stairs.  Great.  If I have to retreat in a hurry, it’s a choice between moving quickly enough to outrun the wasp and slowly enough to avoid tumbling head-first down the stairs … which would probably result in the wasp stinging my newly-paralyzed body.

“Did you feel that, Mr. Human?  No?  Bummer for you.  Let’s try a few spots above the waist until we figure out the exact point of the break.”

A little closer … a little closer … a little closer … just close enough now to ensure accuracy … maybe two more steps to ensure a sufficiently concentrated blast … Okay.  This will have to do it.  Time to open fire.  I said Time to open fire.  Hey!  Stop shaking and pull the trigger, soldier!


“What the @#$% is this?!”

From this distance, the last can of RAID produced a six-inch splatter pattern.  The new can was busy squirting out a pinpoint stream, which struck the wall about two inches to the right of the wasp.  Fabulous … I’ve been training and fighting with shotguns, and now — in the middle of a battle — I find myself armed with a sniper rifle.

I jerked my aim wildly to the left, grazing the wasp, which still managed to achieve liftoff.  Damn, they’re tough.  By desperately shooting side-to-side, I finally landed a direct hit before the wasp could ascertain the origin of the fire and counter-attack.  When it landed on the carpeted stairs just in front of me — still buzzing furiously — I beat it to death with the can.  At some point in the hand-to-hand portion of the battle, the top of the RAID can popped off.  I don’t actually remember it happening; but I had to repair the weapon afterwards.

I’m glad I keep winning these battles, but I’m starting to worry about post-traumatic stress.

(No, I’m not kidding.)

This time it was a run-and-gun battle that spanned three rooms.  Another wasp, once again buzzing around the ceiling, apparently on a mission to find his missing comrade.  After a five-minute flight, it finally landed on the ceiling light in the upstairs hallway. 

I armed myself with both the sniper-rifle RAID and the shotgun RAID, which was nearly empty.  I crept closer and closer.  

My first shotgun blast blew the wasp off the ceiling light.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is that it made an abrupt turn and flew directly at my head.  I held the can in front of my face, pressing the nozzle non-stop, but I’m pretty sure at this point the can was delivering more air pressure than insecticide.   The wasp was finally repelled just short of impact, then flew into the bathroom.  It tried to escape by flying through the bathroom mirror.   While it was busy trying to figure out what sort of strange window was blocking its flight, I reached my arm in and took a shot with the sniper-rifle RAID, barely missing.

The wasp flew at me again, was repelled by a weak blast from the shotgun RAID, then flew into the guest bedroom.  I watched from the hallway as it flew random patterns around the room.  When it landed on a wooden chair, I dashed into the room before normal intelligence could prevail and scored a glancing blow with the sniper-rifle RAID.

Amazingly, the wasp managed to lift off again, but then crashed to the carpet.  As I was taking aim for the fatal shot, the damned thing scurried under the bed.  When my daughters crawl into our bed at night and start kicking me (which happens most nights), I sleep in that bed.  Now there’s an interesting choice for you … get down on the carpet and go looking for an angry wasp under a bed, or crawl into that same bed later, knowing the wasp may still be alive under there … or in the sheets.

Fortunately, a moment later I heard a little squeal of “Banzai!” followed by the wasp making a last, desperate attempt to overrun my position in a ground attack.  I opened fire.  After three direct hits, the little demon stopped moving.

The guest bedroom now smells like RAID Country Glade.  I don’t care.  The wasp is dead, and the smell of victory is sweet.

7 Responses to “Man vs. Wasp, Part Four”
  1. Be says:

    LMAO. But now looking back, don’t you appreciate the beautiful spray pattern that permanently dulls the wall paint not only where the wasp was but also as a permanent reminder of your poor aim and soldiering?

    Well, on a positive note, the spray pattern allows me to analyze my field of fire in a calmer moment.

  2. Kate says:

    There is probably a wasp nest close by to be getting all of these buggers. Find it, destroy it! RAID RAID!

    My daughter informed me today she saw six or seven wasps coming in and out of a corner of the roof outside. My plan is to hire someone else to search & destroy.

  3. Wasp Blackwater Mercs is definitely the way to go on the nest, unless you want to see if you can outfly them when you end up leaving the ladder abruptly.

    I’ve already had that experience, which resulted in me jumping into a pool fully clothed to avoid being stung. I’m leaving this mission up to Blackwater.

  4. Angel says:

    Without the shotgun RAID, you may want to invest in a reasonably effective close-quarters tactical weapon. I would suggest a fly-swatter. Obviously most effective in a fairly limited situation – wasps on flat surfaces within arms reach – but still not a bad tool for your arsenal. Sniper RAID/rifles aren’t very effective in the heat of combat. They are typically stand off/ambush weapons, and it sounds like you don’t often get to enjoy the advantage of surprise in your battles.

    I just saw a documentary about snipers that recounted how one Marine sniper spent three days crawling undetected across an open field in order to off an enemy general. I’m not willing to spend three days crawling across my kids’ playroom, so I probably need a close-quarters weapon. My fear is that a flyswatter may only alert a wasp to my presence.

  5. your older brother says:

    “Grab the can by the cap end and beat the sh*t out of the wasp.”

    Told ya.

    BTW, it’s not Blackwater any more. It’s XE. Totally different company, in case anyone asks. Or else.


    Perhaps the name change was inspired by the renaming of high-fructose corn syrup.

  6. Andrew says:

    Could always use a paintball gun… I’d imagine a direct strike would neutralize the problem pretty effectively and turn your home into a hippie art exhibit all at the same time! Maybe mix the paint balls with pepper ammo to make it multi-purpose.

    I like the idea, but the landlord would probably disapprove.

  7. Auntie M says:

    I’M going to get post-traumatic stress from reading your wasp-fighting epic battles! Hire someone to go check out that nest, stat!

    Oh, and flyswatter is a bad, bad idea. You’ll be too close..and stung.

    Given my relative ineptitude at sports that require hand-eye coordination, I’m not going to count on any weapon that requires an accurate swing.

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