I’m not much of a gardener — sometimes I’ll get on a wild tear and start weeding, or I’ll go to the nursery and come back with a pretty flower. Well, this year appears to be a “wild tear” year (every other even-numbered year, with a first quarter moon and low tide) much to my husband’s dismay, because that means that I will inevitably start chafing his ass about buying mulch.
Our sad, sorry front yard, which hadn’t been completely weeded in a couple of years, got its ass handed to it by yours truly: I pulled every weed, I clipped the edges, I raked up leaves from two falls ago — I was unstoppable.
Generally, these weeding sessions are not exciting. (What? Stop! I know.) I like to put on my Seahawks cap and listen to podcasts about history or football or anything from NPR. But a couple of weeks ago, relaxation turned to agony, which turned to fear, which turned to confusion, which turned to itching.
I was sitting on my little garden kneeling pad, minding my own business, when I felt a sharp, deep pain in my left butt cheek. This was real, prolonged pain — the kind of pain that makes the world go quiet. The birds stopped chirping, the wind stopped blowing, and only this horrible, piercing ass pain existed.
I stood up and started dusting off my pants. I looked around on the ground and down the back of my pants, searching for the culprit, expecting to see some big black ants or an angry beetle giving me the finger/hairy leg.
At that moment, my husband walked by with a wheelbarrow to do wheelbarrow things. I said, “Mike? Um. I need you to come inside with me. I think something bit me and I need you to look at it.” Mike was overjoyed to come investigate my disgusting insect bite. We went to our bedroom, where I pulled down my pants and bent over. In any other context, some might construe that as sexy time. Instead, I was grabbing my butt cheek and saying, “Here! What is it?! Is it bleeding?!” Not so sexy. Unless you’re into that in which case, well, to each his own.
He took a look at said, “It looks like you got stung by something. It’s just a bump.” I checked in the full-length mirror and indeed, it looked like a bee sting.
“But that doesn’t make any sense,” I said. “I was sitting down!”
Mike shrugged his shoulders and decided to move on with his life. I, however, started itching. And it was through that itching that I discovered TWO MORE STINGS. Either I had sat in a nest of something (ew) or that was one determined and angry insect, exacting his revenge after I inadvertently killed his entire family. It’s the only motive that makes sense.
I thought my stings would quietly fade away. Until the next morning, that is, when I looked at my ass and discovered that all three stings had swollen up into these large, solid, outrageously itchy masses. That whole day I was rubbing hydrocortisone on my bites and trying not to itch them, which was a losing battle. OH LORD, THE ITCHINESS. I have never felt anything like it. And I kept worrying that I was going to wake up the next morning and they were going to be even bigger. But luckily from that day on they grew smaller and smaller, and the whole episode was over in about a week.
Sometime during that week I was talking to a friend of mine while we were waiting to pick up our kids from school. I was telling her about my butt (as you do) and she said, “Well, you know bees and yellowjackets nest in the ground. That could have been it.”
I did some more research and have decided that it was probably a yellow jacket nest. And because I love to share useless but ridiculously funny information, I had to show you all this list of “Yellow Jacket Don’ts” that I found.
Oh my god, you guys. Oh. My. God.
So if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go outside and enjoy a ham sandwich wrapped in salmon on this beautiful day in my fluorescent orange shirt and pants. Then I’m going to grab a rock and a gas can and make those yellow jackets sorry they ever set eyes on me.
I’ll be back in five.