Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Yellow Jersey

For safety, I usually wear brightly colored tops on my daily commute so that I will stand out to cars. I have a particular yellow jersey that I occasionally wear that seems to repel cars, but also apparently helps me attract wasps. Today, for the second time this summer, I was riding along and felt a “crawling” feeling under my shirt. I actually chuckled to myself thinking of the last time I felt that and got stung a half a dozen times on the chest before I was able to unzip to see a wasp flying away. That was at the beginning of a twenty mile ride. Instead of stopping, I decided to focus the pain for a good workout. And it worked; I did that 20 mile trip in about 54 minutes. 

Wearing that same yellow jersey today, I thought I had imagined the crawling because the feeling quickly went away.

Just after laughing at the memory, I felt the crawling again on my shoulder and instinctively slapped at it. I felt a bug with my fingers, under the loose fitting jersey, and then a rush of pain. Fortunately, I was stopped at a light so could quickly unzip and watched as another yellow jacket flew out of my yellow jersey.

It must have been a deeper sting because my shoulder swelled up a bit larger than the last time. If never reacted much to wasp stings, but I still remember slapping a yellow jacket on my knee when I was about six years old, and the wallop it packed in retaliation. I suppose that is what started my lifelong fight with the buggers. As a kid, I remember during spring and fall we often had wasps wander into our classrooms at school.

Most kids screamed and ran away, creating chaos for teachers. To many of my teachers’ dismay, I learned to slap them out of the air to the floor, where I would crush them as payback for that early childhood sting. The other kids thought I was crazy. 

I have mellowed a bit, and realize that they won’t bother you if you don’t react to them. They are just fellow sugar junkies, after all. That doesn’t stop me from chiding my wife when she reacts to them, like she did the other day when one wandered into our car uninvited. My wife, bless her, was reacting in defense of our two babies strapped into the back seat. It’s no joke when you are allergic to bee stings, so I am grateful to her for her loving response in defense of our twin boys. 

Now, after all of this tough talk, I am going to pop some pills to ease this throbbing.

1 comment:

  1. You know me, I was horribly afraid of them as a kid. I still flinch at them, though I've gotten much better in my reaction (most of the time). I still haven't been stung.