Eating dinner at the picnic table tonight, we were pestered by an especially aggressive yellow jacket. It is that time of year.
I don't get too excited about yellow jackets -- unless, of course, one has stung me. That gets me riled and plotting bugicide. If I'm eating by myself, I usually just put a little bit of meat at the far end of the table and everyone eats in peace.
The Engineer isn't so blasé about wildlife at the dinner table, however. He seems to feel it's his manly duty to chase any intruders away from his meal; my meal too.
He had left the barbeque tongs that he used for the steak on the far side of the table. When the yellow jacket discovered them, with their lovely stuck on meaty morsels, the Engineer began swatting at the yellow jacket with the tongs. The battle royal quickly devolved into a slapstick sword fight, which the hornet appeared to be winning.
When the Engineer snapped the tongs a little too close to my nose (a la Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid catching a fly with chopsticks), I said. "Don't you think that going after the bee with those tongs is a little like using a sausage to chase a dog away?"
The Engineer looked at the tongs for a moment before laughing and admitting that maybe I had a point.
So he went after the yellow jacket with his bare hands. He swatted and slapped and grabbed at the yellow jacket. I kept saying, "It's going to sting you." He slapped at it as it buzzed a knife and I decided it was time to end it.
"That's not how you kill a yellow jacket," I said, "That's how you get stung or cut.
"Sit still for a minute and I'll show you how it's done."
I gave the yellow jacket time to alight on the knife and start working on a beefy bit. Then, quick as a snake, I popped it with the back of my fork. It got wedged between the tines, so I placed it on my empty plate and sliced its little head off with my knife.
The Engineer was staring at me wide eyed, so I smiled (with lots of teeth) and said, "The female is the deadlier of the species."
I think he was appalled.