Castle Bisset








DECEMBER 4, 2019






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Cat Saves Toddler From Falling Down Stairs
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Sir Joseph's Secret Passageway

THE STING

As I sit here at my desk I am in misery. I have a head cold. Better than the pneumonia I had last year but I'm still miserable. I went to the VA hospital last Friday and I wore my heavy leather coat because the hospital sits on top of a hill and the wind blows constantly. The temperature was barely above freezing but I was warm.

On the other hand, my brother Dan, (who drove me there) wandered around in just a T-shirt and jeans. So I caught a cold and he's fine. It ain't fair.

Right now it's 34 degrees with snow on the way. I hate Pennsylvania winters. The following was written during much warmer weather. I present it now as a salute to summers past.

THE STING

I know what you are thinking Ė a sting is a secret operation of some sort. Nope! This sting was the real McCoy, the kind that comes with an insect on the other end.

It was innocent, really. I simply wanted to clean off the driveway with the leaf blower, get rid of the dead leaves and stray walnuts that had fallen from the tree in the back yard and yet somehow made it up our little hill to the driveway. How was I to know that a nest of wasps had turned my outside light into their own personal condominium?

Summer time, how I love it! Why is it that this seems to be my year for outdoor catastrophe? Maybe I need to check the almanac. Maybe I should just stay indoors for the rest of the season.

ďLive and let live,Ē I always say. I saw them there looking menacing, but I meant them no harm. They didnít seem angry and I held no animosity toward them.

Well, okay, I did make a mental note to come back later with the aerosol bug spray, but I controlled my evil fantasy and stayed with the task at hand, gently removing the blower from its parking place on the fence. The sun shone, the flowers bloomed, the birds chirped, the wasps buzzed Ė all seemed right with the world.

Then it happened Ė the STING! One crazed wasp decided I was the enemy and declared war. OUCH! This was a ďking-sizeĒ wasp packing a powerful wallop.

I made a gallant effort to be brave, but I was viciously wounded. And to add insult to injury, this venomous villain attacked and ambushed me from behind. Yes, right on my back side, like a mad Nurse Ratched with a shot of penicillin. It stung my bottom right through clothing and all. Iíve never been so humiliated by a bug in my life!

As long as one is not allergic to stings, there is not a great deal to be done. I didnít stop breathing, so I presume Iím one of those fortunate people who are not allergic to stings. But, the pain Ė WOW, did it ever smart! Thereafter, the ice pack and a bottle of extra strength Tylenol became my sole source of solitude for several days.

In recovery, I read up on wasps and found that wasps donít even give up their lives to sting. With honey bees, the venom bag is ripped from the abdomen when it stings, causing the insectís own death. A wasp, on the other hand, assaults, stings, and then goes on its merry way, back to making paper, spreading pollen, or whatever unfathomable reason wasps may have for existing in the world.

And so, Iím suffering along, wearing my red itchy badge of courage in a most embarrassing place.

However, I did get my sinister revenge when eventually I foamed the nest from ten feet away with one of those special insecticide sprays purchased just for this particular pleasure.

Wicked, I know, but one can only be kind to predators for so long. And, in this case, there was not even a remote possibility that Iíd turn the other cheek.

Sir Joseph







SIR JOSEPH
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THE DARK PRINCE
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Contributions to today's Castle Bisset have been made by:
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