Hornet’s Nest

“No one knows you like a person with whom you’ve shared a childhood. No one will ever understand you in quite the same way.”
― Alice HoffmanPractical Magic

From a recent email I received from someone with whom I shared a childhood. Now we explore the inconveniences of old age.

Hornet's Nest


Growing up on a farm in the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains during the late forties and early fifties was a blessing. Entertainment had to be created. The wide-open country lifestyle was perfect for stimulating creative thinking…a quality that is dreadfully lacking today. The more creative a person was, the more entertainment they had. For the most part, I was quite entertained.
One summer when I was about 12, a huge hornet’s nest emerged in a vine thicket about thirty yards behind our old weathered tin-roofed barn. I could sneak through the center hall, peek around the corner and take pot shots at the nest with my Red Ryder BB Gun. Trying to pick off a guard sitting at the front entrance was a fun challenge. They’d get all riled up and swarm all around the nest ready to sink a venomous stinger butt deep into any intruder, but I managed to stay out of harm’s way.
After a few weeks, these wily insects caught on to my strategy. They began laying in ambush for me at the back hall entrance to the barn.
It got to the point where I couldn’t even poke around in the stalls for fear of getting stung. And these were my favorite hideouts.
Dad had a tank-sized 1940 Buick. Only 2 gears worked: low and reverse. Dad figured that I’d stand a better chance of survival on the real roads filled with moving hazards if I first learned to avoid the stationary hazards on the farm roads.
Nearly 60 years later, I’m still convinced those stationary hazards had the ability to suddenly jump in front of me. It’s a good thing that we also had a tractor to pull me out of the ditches.
One day, I loaded up Dad’s Winchester Model 97, 12-gauge pump shotgun with #8 bird shot and drove out behind the barn and parked a few feet from the buzzing nest. I rolled the driver’s side window down just enough to stick the barrel out. I cocked the smooth-action hammer and fired a round directly into the nest then quickly rolled up the window.
All swarming heck broke loose. The nest blew into smithereens but hornet casualties must have been minimum because about a hundred began slamming into the car with a vengeance.
I backed up and headed back to the house which was over 100 yards away. The hateful hornets stayed with me all the way. Once back home, the little devils prevented me from getting out of the vehicle. So, I turned on the radio and waited.
The static-filled radio picked up one station out of Rome, GA but I couldn’t hear it because the shotgun blast had left me deaf in both ears.
After sitting in the August sun for an hour, I began to smell something like ham cooking. It was me. I made a mad dash for the screened porch. Two stingers managed to follow me inside. I grabbed a can of bug spray and let ‘em have it just in time.

Back in those days, everybody sprayed DDT. It was legal industrial chemical warfare. It worked. Crop dusters blanketed the fields with it all during the growing season.

 After Dad realized that I’d created such a hostile environment around the barn that he couldn’t go near it, he sprayed the entire area with DDT. That was the end of the hornets for at least 2 years.
I’ve been thinking about this story quite a bit lately.
Americans have stirred up monster hornet’s nests all over the world and every last stinging one of them is over-eager to sacrifice their own lives so they can sting us to death.
We are smart people, right? Look at how much we’ve learned in the past 50 years from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Vietnam where I was caught right in the middle.
We keep on shooting the enemy’s habitat with our BB guns. This makes them all the more determined to destroy us. We blast away a few of their homes and buildings and they take out the World Trade Center and kill thousands.
What have we learned?
There are hornet’s nests in every major city in our nation and their territory is spreading like a Western wildfire in a fiercely hot, bone-dry wind.
So, what am I saying?
I’m saying that nobody is willing to effectively deal with the problem and they are not going to deal with it.
There are tens of thousands of law enforcement personnel with modern BB guns and surveillance equipment searching for and observing hornets both here and abroad. What happens when these vicious hornets become far more numerous than those assigned to watch them? When was the last time you heard of any such selective defensive measures being 100% effective?
Therefore, friends, we now find ourselves surrounded by furious hornets and adequate bug spray is against the law.
This is how the situation will remain until the God of Israel, the God of King David, my God and the ONLY God decides to put an end to all of this insanity on Earth.
Therefore, I would suggest that you prepare as best you can and protect your ass the best way possible because it’s a shiny target with a big red Bulls-Eye dead center.
And whether they be good or bad, somebody is watching it.  — Jerry Bond