I was in the sewing room minding my own business because — and only because — I was all alone. It’s hard to butt in when no one else is around, heh heh. I was basting a quilt so it was quiet. Then I heard it, a noise kind of like a crisp rain hitting the window, or maybe the snap crackle pop of a certain cereal. No, it was more like a clicking noise, as if a bunch of crispy footed critters were tap dancing on glass somewhere not far enough away.

Then my imagination, which could use some serious electric shock therapy, kicked into overdrive and I was certain there were crispy footed critters doing whatever crispy critters do, behind my design wall – which is just a large piece of felt draping from the ceiling. I did not want to look behind it, but I had to because this could not be happening here. The dance party needed to be shut down.

It was naked as a blue jay back there. But I could still hear it. It seemed to be in the wall. Hoping it wasn’t, I pulled on the cord to the blinds to look out the window for signs of trouble. That’s when the top of the 30—year—old blind snapped in half and came crashing down, damaging the window sill and the top of my head. (Still think I’m joking about my life?) I was like “what else can go wrong here?” Sure enough, in answer to my question I could see hornets darting about and brazenly entering my home via the soffit in the one sweet spot that didn’t have a nail going through it. 

The clicking was making me insane because I knew that every minute I could hear it meant that the hive was getting bigger. The hubby came home. I called him up and said “Listen.” This was stupid on my part because he can’t hear half of what I say let alone the dancing of tiny feet, but eventually he did.

My idea was to call an exterminator. His idea was to cut a hole in the screen and suck them up with a vacuum cleaner as they came or went. I thought it was a terrible idea to cut up a perfectly good screen but he thought my compromise of him standing on a ladder outside sucking them up was death on a stick so I have a hole in my screen — in my sewing room — behind the long arm. (Sigh) Not to mention a vacuum cleaner with a very long hose that I try not to trip over.

We take turns running the vacuum. By now we are certain we have sucked up 200 of the evil, ill—mannered little jerks. I’m getting bored with it. It hurts my neck, my arms, and my feet after 10 minutes, let alone 20. I would rather have called an exterminator and had it over and done with. But I also like being able to pay this week’s bills with the money I didn’t spend on that. 

The hornets have a schedule, believe it or not. They come home for lunch at noon, dinner at six, and bedtime at dusk. Or maybe that’s just my schedule for going after them. We can easily suck up 15 to 30 at a pop, thinking maybe this time we got them all — but it’s never ending. 

The clicking has stopped. I’m assuming there’s no need to add on now that 200 have “moved out” or moved on, or whatever their tiny minds think happened. I try to get inside their heads as they come upon the black wind tunnel that makes their buddies disappear. They are curious and cautious at the same time. Eventually they get mad and go for it, and their anger is what gets them killed. Hmmm, maybe there’s a lesson in that. 

I also visualize their existence inside the vacuum. If the air hasn’t been sucked out of their lungs yet, would they be trying to build a nest in there too? The thought of it skeeves me out, because if they ever manage to bust out of there I will have to shut down my sewing room. Meanwhile I keep tape over the nozzle when not in use. 

I can’t wait for the cold weather to come and lure them into that long goodnight. 

debbiehough@hotmail.com

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