This isn’t the post I’d planned on today, but my current circumstances have lead me here so I’m going with the flow. You see, I have a mere 11 pages left in the book I’m reading (About A Boy), and until about 30 minutes ago I was sitting in a lawn chair on the deck, happily reading and sweating as one who is practicing a seated meditation in a Native American steam tent. But the heat started to get to me, so I came in for some iced green tea and a handful of nuts (aren’t you supposed to eat salty things when you’re hot?). I left the house door to the screened porch open for the brief 60 seconds I was inside, and damn if a wasp didn’t fly into my kitchen. I suppose that means it was on the screened porch before, which is NOT open to the outdoors, so it either hitched a ride on my sweat-soaked bandana, or the bugs have found a secret entrance. Whatever. The point is that a wasp was in my house. I immediately closed the outside door, only to glimpse a wasp on the screened porch. Now I’m freaking out because I’m assuming there are two–one inside and one on the pseudo-inside. But after wandering around the house and tentatively peeking behind the Roman shades for signs of an angry stinging insect–nothing. Nothing, of course, but the wasp on the screened porch. Could it possibly be the same wasp that, moments before, was circling my kitchen? And if so, how did it get back out there without my noticing? And if it’s not the same wasp, am I being watched from afar right now, carefully staked as prey? (Hey, it was a BIG wasp!)
So now I’m looking over both shoulders every 10 seconds, hoping the house is clear of intruders. And I’m occassionally looking out to see the idiot wasp on the screened porch throwing itself against the screen, instead of out the door I propped open for its exiting convenience. The worst part is that my book is trapped on the porch with the imbecile insect, which, in spite of its spatial inadequacies, could sting me into a swollen, muttering, hallucinating oblivion. And I really want to finish that book.
In other news, to pass the time I decided to check my email and came across the news headline announcing that Bush and Kerry had similar academic records at Yale. The cynic in me, before even reading the article, snorted and said aloud, “Yeah, that’s because Georgie’s family paid for his grades!” But then I read the article and was disturbed by this fact: Bush’s highest grade in all four years at Yale was an 88; Kerry’s highest was an 89. While I could crack a joke about being surprised that Bush could earn such a high grade, what bothers me most is that these grades aren’t that spectacular. Yeah, okay, Bs are decent. But those were the HIGHEST. In four years. Maybe my standards are just too elevated, but c’mon, THESE PEOPLE ARE RUNNING THE COUNTRY! I know, I know, book learnin’ ain’t for everbody, but I’m an educator, and I place a great deal of value on education. Is is just me, or were Georgie and Johnny not, as we teachers say on at least a hundred report cards every quarter, “working up to their potential?” Or were they both really that daft?
You’ll be happy to know that in between sentences I worked up the nerve to arm myself with Hot Shot Wasp and Hornet Plus and venture out onto the screened porch. The wasp was just throwing itself against the screen, bam bam bam, over and over. It was fighting a losing battle. So I put it out of its misery. And ran very awkwardly back into the house, just in case it decided in its last moments to execute a kamikaze mission. Just now I went out and found it twitching on the floor of the porch so I gave it a hearty shove out the door with my National Geographic bird book, and then proceded to swat at and wave out the myriad other insects that had flown in through the open door. Now…on to that book.