Monday, April 26, 2010

In which Primo screams like a little girl because he sees some mud daubers in my basement but takes a step toward smarter foreign policy

Primo is an engineer. A singer. An arranger of knives. He can fix almost anything wrong with the computer or the car. He repaired my washer and dryer. He replaced my car battery at midnight. He knows how to use every single one of his nine remotes.* He can cook with fire - his steaks are perfect every time. He is smoking hot sexy.

And he is scared of bees.

Not just, "Oh there is a bee how annoying" but scream like a little girl when he sees anything resembling a bee, like any flying bug.

I suppose I shouldn't be too harsh on him because I am scared of - well, not bees. Not snakes. Not rats. Although I would rather avoid those things than not. But I don't scream. Even though I am the one who had 14 rabies shots in her stomach when she was five after being bitten by the mouse in the window well that my mother had told me to leave alone. You'd think after that that the very sight of a rodent would paralyze me, but I just get grossed out.

In fairness, I do have to disclose that Primo is the one who took care of the dead rat in my basement in Springfield. It had already started to putrify and it was covered with maggots. But I didn't scream when I saw it. I just said, "Ick." My stomach turned, and I asked Primo to get rid of it. But if he hadn't been there, I would have done it myself.

Back to the bees and bee-like insects, such as wasps. And mud daubers.

When I lived in Springfield, I had mud daubers in my basement in the summer. Mud daubers are brown flying bugs that look like big, slow wasps. They are brown. They are not yellow and black. They do not sting. They live in the basement because it's cool and dark in there. My mud daubers and I had an agreement: they stayed away from me and I stayed away from them. I would descend the stairs to the basement holding a laundry basket and the mud daubers would buzz, but would never get closer than two feet to me. Me, I believe in peaceful co-existence with all of God’s creatures, so I just ignored them. I left them alone, they left me alone. We had a MAD policy. It worked for us.

One day, while I was in the front of the house, I heard the door to the basement open and Primo descend the stairs. He went there to turn off the water in preparation for replacing some – stuff – in my shower. I’m sure there’s a technical word for it but I don’t know it. It was the thingy to make my shower stop leaking. I was very grateful to him

Then I heard a horrible scream.

A scream of the, "I have fallen and broken my leg and the bone is protruding from my flesh" magnitude.

I ran. Panicked. My heart was racing, adrenalin high. My True Love was in pain. I had to get there.

I ran halfway down the stairs to where Primo was - standing.

Standing. Swatting his arms around his head.

"What? What's wrong?" I panted.

"Wasps!" he gasped.

Wasps? I didn't have wasps in my house. I had gotten rid of the wasps' nest that used to be outside the house the year before.

"What are you talking about? There are no wasps here."

He pointed. At a few slow, brown, lazy mud daubers that hovered far from his face.

"Oh those. Those are the buzzy things," I said dismissively. "They're harmless."

"No! They're wasps!"

I sighed. "I have been in this house for five years. They have never bothered me. They are not wasps. Look at them."

But Primo, the liberal “we shouldn’t have invaded Iraq,” was ready to go to war. Go figure. But it's good to know that if he is personally threatened, he'll take action.

The action took the form of killing two of the buzzy things so he could identify them. At first, he thought they were regular wasps. Then he thought they were wood-boring wasps, which led to the obvious joke that they corner you at a party and talk your ear off about wood. Then he decided they were spider eating wasps. Then he thought they might be mud daubers. None of the latter are human-stinging wasps.

But that didn't stop him from going to the hardware store for major, not environmentally friendly chemicals to destroy them. Primo. The "oh we must be at one with the world kum bay yaher" turns warrior.

* For four electronic components: TV, DVD player, stereo, VCR. Me, I just touch the actual machine because I am not interested in learning all the permutations on the damn remote. If it's not intuitive design, I'm not interested. I want to be entertained and I don't want to have to work for it.


  1. Cute post, but I assume the title has a typo - it should be "Step" not stop, oui?

  2. Ah, well every man has his Achilles Heel, no? It must've been funny when you realized what he was screaming at.