Saturday, July 19, 2008

Hawaiian Shirts, wasps, and the wet chair

Our trip to Hawaii being one of the few bright spots in an otherwise downbeat year, I have taken to wearing Hawaiian shirts as my summer default. They're comfortable, longer than most other shirts, and distinctly non-academic.

But yesterday when I went out to supervise the kids in the backyard, I found myself surrounded by wasps the moment I plunked myself down in the patio chair. After several minutes of coping with hysterical kids screaming "wasps! wasps!" I got them to calm down by pointing out that the wasps were not following them, but sticking pretty close to me. "It's your shirt," Tigana suggested. "They think those are real flowers!"

At about the same time I realized the chair I was sitting in had just been through one of the several freakish hail storms that have been plaguing our region, and the seat cushion was soaked through. Dripping from my now soaked pants, I retreated with the kinds back into the house to change clothes, leaving the wasps behind.

The next evening, the kids dragged me outside again, so I waved them off into the yard while I plunked my tired old man self down on the same chair, having briefly checked this time that it was dry.

Again, cloud of wasps. "I really have to change shirts before coming outside," I think to myself. But the wasps are landing on my legs even more than the shirt. And they don't follow me around the yard, just when I am sitting.

In that one chair.

So to make a long story short, it eventually occurs to me to look under the chair where I find this fully developed wasp nest:

Well, duh! Not the best place to sit then....

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