Bits and pieces from the astoundingly normal life of Paul Carlisle Kletchka

Early this evening, I was out digging in our front yard to prepare a spot for some plants Lovey and I rescued from Lowe’s. For some reason, I needed to get at something from a very low angle, so I was somewhat spread out on the ground when a stabbing pain shot up from my leg. Immediately, I knew that something had stung me, even though I saw nothing fly away from the clover in which my leg was laying. I know, dumb move on my part, no need to comment about that.

The funny thing is, at the ripe old age of 35, I’ve only been the victim of stinging insects (not counting mosquitoes) once before, and that was last summer. I ran over the underground home of a family of small wasps with our riding lawnmower, and they weren’t pleased with me. I was stung maybe three times near one of my knees, but since it was somewhat of a “drive-by” situation, the stings weren’t bad, as I was shooing the little buggers off of me and they were, indeed, just tiny little wasps.

Prior to that, I’d always been overly cautious and afraid of wasps, bees, and hornets. I’m sure that it stemmed from an incident in my childhood when my mom was stung by a wasp in our yard. She’s very sensitive to them, and this sting really got her good. I was the only other person home at the time, the neighbors weren’t around, and she was in trouble, so she managed to gather up a few dollars from her purse, gave them to me, and then asked me to run to the grocery store that was two blocks away. I was all of 6 or 7 years old. She gave me very specific instructions as to what she needed (in-between moans of pain) and made me repeat what she’d told me. I could tell that she really didn’t want to send me to the store alone, but I could also tell that she really needed the medication she was asking me to go and get. I trundled off to the grocery store, went to the pharmacy counter and told the pharmacist what I needed. About then, his phone rang and it was Mom calling to make sure I was ok. He gave me a package of something that had a picture of a very angry-looking hornet on it, money changed hands, and I scurried back home to my very thankful mother.

The net effect of that experience was a rather extreme reaction to stinging bugs. Whenever one flew near me, I would perform what I’m sure was an extremely funny run-dance-hop to try and get away from it, all the while saying something along the lines of “F**K! S**T! GETTHEHELLOUTOFMYWAYYYYYYYYY!” Soooo… When I was finally stung last year and it turned out to be little more than a slight annoyance, I felt really stupid. And I probably let my guard down a little too far, thus the laying my leg down in a patch of clover without first looking for the stinging insects that like to hang out there. Yeah…

Well, since I must have actually layed my leg on TOP of the wasp that stung me (I’m pretty sure it was a wasp – two stings right next to each other), it had plenty of time to get pissed off at me for being so rude, then could carefully sting me and make sure to inject lots of venom into my leg. Twice. Holy crap on a stick! It’s been over three hours, now, and my leg still hurts. I know Lovey worried that perhaps I’d have a reaction to it, but I think more than anything, my pride was stung. There’s about a six-inch long area on my lower leg that feels strangely tight and occaisionally sends a reminder shot of pain just so I don’t forget about it.

Guess I’ll have to dust off my dancing shoes…

One thought on “Yowsa!

  1. Anonymous says:

    At least you don\’t blow up like a giant sausage casing when you get stung the way i do. Still no fun!

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