Life happens: When nature attacks, Part 2

By Aprill Brandon
May 23, 2013 at 12:23 a.m.

Being a newspaper columnist is a huge privilege. Not only that, it's a huge privilege that comes with a whole lot of responsibility - like a Spiderman level of responsibility. And those of us lucky enough to get this public mouthpiece gig have to use it wisely to shed light on important issues.

That's why I'd like to take this opportunity to continue my saga of the bumblebee and the wasp who won't let me hang out on my back porch.

Now, I don't know if you read my last column (but a big shout-out to the three of you who did), but to sum it up, a few weeks ago, I surrendered my back porch to two power-hungry and maniacal winged insects.

Working in cahoots, they managed to not only chase me off - leaving me metaphorically cordoned off inside my own home - but also rendered any attempt to take back the territory impossible since they take turns guarding the porch door at all times.

This lasted for several days until, after hunkering down inside my house with my tail between my legs, I decided I had had enough. I was going to take back my porch if it was the last thing I did. So during a rare and extremely brief lull in their guard duties, I decided to go nuclear and bring in my secret weapon: Captain Canine!

Yes, I figured if anything could defeat my sworn enemies, it would be my dog, a fearless creature who will eat anything (except, of course, for cheap dog food). I opened the door, and we both headed out into the occupied territory.

Just like I had planned, the bumblebee returned (the wasp apparently was taking a nap so he could take the late afternoon shift), and Buffy reacted with his natural dog instinct, which was to eat anything small that was moving (or not moving).

He opened his jaws and snapped down on that bumblebee like a boss.

We were victorious.

That victory lasted for all of three seconds before I started to hear a muffled buzz. Then after a brief pause, an even louder muffled buzz, which was followed by watching my dog's eyes became as big as saucers.

And then it all came crashing down as my dog spit out the super-duper agitated and still-alive bumblebee, who then chased me and my dog right back inside again.

And that's when this saga turned into a trilogy.

And just like any good trilogy, our third segment begins with the main cast recovering from the pretty lame middle section that everyone endures just so they can get to the better written and much more exciting climatic last part.

That brings us to after the battle, where the weather turned dark and rainy for over a week, giving my dog plenty of time to recover from his canine version of post-traumatic stress disorder and giving me time to ignore the fact I had now surrendered twice to creatures who had brains the size of the period at the end of this sentence.

Which brings us to today, when the skies cleared up and it all came to an exciting conclusion.

I woke up with the long-forgotten sun signaling that it was going to be a gorgeous late spring day - a day made to hang out on a porch drinking coffee. And I was going to do it if it killed me. (Granted, most of this new-found bravery stemmed from the fact that I figured the bumblebee and wasp had died at this point because, I mean, come on. How long can their life spans be anyway?)

As it turns out, longer than you think. Because just as I was about to open the porch door, I looked up and saw both of them hovering at eye level on the other side of the glass door. Just staring at me with their mean little faces, their lips curled in a sneer (or what I imagine was a sneer considering it was kind of hard to tell but, trust me, they were gloating).

Better yet, my dog, who was happily about to follow me out, also saw them glaring at us from the other side of the door. And when he did, he quickly backed up, ran out of the kitchen and is currently quivering on my bed.

Now, if I was a real adult, I'd just go out there with a broom or possibly a tiny grenade and kill the puny bugs. Yes, a true grown-up would step up and end this ridiculous standoff.

But I'm not. And so instead, I slowly backed away, grabbed a white napkin and waved it in the air.

And consequently, I will be spending my entire summer indoors.

Well played, nature. Well played.

Aprill Brandon is a columnist for the Advocate. Her column runs every two weeks in the Your Life section. Comment on this story at



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