When I told my father about the wasps in the wall, all dead an hour after the Hired Killer departed, he related his own story to me. A few years back, his family stayed at a hotel I shall not name because of what happens next. They’d brought back a flower arrangement and left it on the shelf in the bathroom overnight. They also like to leave a light on in hotel rooms because it helps navigate an unfamiliar area in the middle of the night, so they left the bathroom light on and the door cracked.
In the morning, my father opened the bathroom door to find a swarm of wasps. Smelling the flowers they’d come down the vents, and then once in the hotel room, they’d stayed in the only lighted area.
My father closed the bathroom door and packed up his family, went to the front desk and said, “We’re leaving now. When you go into the room, there are hundreds of wasps in the bathroom. You might not want to open that door.”
This is the kind of thing you want to hear the day after your Hired Killer has just done away with a colony in your bedroom wall. I already felt guilty about the still, dead bodies, the beautifully-crafted hive, the motionless larvae and the eggs slowly dying in the darkness. Now I could also feel stark terror. The Hired Killer says this is the worst year they’ve ever had for yellowjackets, that normally they don’t start getting calls on them until August, only this year, it started in early July.
On Monday, Window Dude showed up to measure all our windows so he could replace them. And when he measured the window in the boys’ room, there were three yellowjackets in the window.
I’m the family’s Wasp Removal Service. Even when my Patient Husband is home, I’m the one who gets the drinking glass and the cardboard and assists the errant wasp to its rightful place. But three of them? And these guys were huge. I couldn’t catch any of them because they got aggressive when I got close.
I went outside. Looked up. Saw wasps covering the peak of the attic just over the boys’ window.
Window Dude said, “Have you got a Hired Killer? I’d call.”
I said, “I’m calling right now.”
Me: I need you again.
Operative: I’ll have someone out on Wednesday.
Me: What time? Will they need to get into the attic?
Operative: No! Don’t go into the attic!
Me: Oh, I have no intention of going in there, don’t worry.
Operative: Well we don’t want to go in there either.
Because yeah, these guys don’t look like they’re in the wall. They’re going in the attic. A thousand of them. The attic I, a self-declared chicken, went up to explore two weeks ago with a flaslight and a baseball bat and a son armed with a Clone Wars blaster.