I live in the country. In an old farmhouse. In the South. This means that insects - which I despise, loathe, detest and abhor -  are a fact of life that I have learned to deal with. And since I am single, I have learned to deal with them on my own.  I've had days where I've killed upwards of 7 wasps in my house. Luckily for me the wasps are pretty slow, don't seem to be that smart, and are generally in a good mood so they aren't trying to sting me between the eyes when I smash them with my swatter. 

Then there was the Great Fly Infestation in the fall of 2009. It was right around the time that the weather got cool and every fly in the county migrated into my house seeking warmth and shelter.  I spent most of 3 days peeking behind window shades and smooshing countless flies into the window panes with a wad of paper towels. It was gross. But I survived.

My point is...I can handle your basic garden variety insect and I frequently do.

Yesterday morning, I was working from home, when I heard some noise coming from the other end of the living room.  Sometimes it's just the whirr of my ceiling fans. Sometimes it's more.  Frequently I hear the buzzing of the wasp prior to its making an actual appearance.  Anyways, yesterday morning the noise was sporadic, and at one point, I bravely got up and walked to where I thought it was emanating from. I peeked behind the shades. I rustled them. I stomped my foot and clapped real loud (in case it was a rodent). Nothing.

Then I Tweeted: There is something making an AWFUL lot of noise in my house. No idea what it is other than it is probably GINORMOUS. Also? Probably scary.   

I was half-joking. Half not.

And then I turned on my iPod because I was tired of hearing something that I couldn't identify and so I figured I might as well drown it out.

And then I nearly died because OH MY FUCKING GOD AN INSECT BIGGER THAN MY HEAD CAME FLYING OUT OF NOWHERE AND TRIED TO KILL ME.

It didn't just buzz. It sounded like a 747 was taking off in my wee little living room.

It wasn't just big. It was GINORMOUS. It was like something out of a Sci-Fi movie. And Holy Hell if I didn't go panicked and screaming across my living room far away from this creature of death.

I stood there, horrified, trembling and shrieking, watching this monster take over my house for one hot second before I grabbed the phone off my nightstand and called The Kaiser.

Now let me say: I don't do Damsel in Distress very often and I think White Knights are overrated. I am fiercely proud of my ability to take care of myself. However, on occasion, I ask for help. When I am being attacked by AN OVERSIZED FLYING CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, I am all girl.

It was fortunate that he actually picked up his phone.

Me:{Non-stop, hysterical screaming punctuated with high-pitched squeals}....GIANT MONSTER...{Sob. Squeal. Sob.}...GOING TO KILL ME...{Wail. Scream some more.}...OMG YOU HAVE GOT TO STOP WHAT YOU'RE DOING IMMEDIATELY AND COME OVER HERE AND SAVE ME.

The Kaiser: Who is this?

Actually. That's not what he said at all.  And actually, I don't really remember what he said because I was undergoing SEVERE TRAUMA. But eventually he got me to calm down (somewhat), told me that the flying instrument of torture was probably a Giant Japanese Hornet and that if I left it alone, it would leave me alone. In fact, he added, they aren't very angry bugs. 

As sane and logical as he was, I was completely insane and completely illogical and everything he said went in one ear and out the other.

There may have been some begging and tear-soaked pleading on my part. I may have also ruptured his eardrum from all of the glass-shattering yelps I let out every time Oda Nobunaga flapped his massive wings.

Anyways, The Kaiser told me that he was going to wrap a few things up, pick up breakfast (he knew I was trapped at home waiting for the guys to come install my A/C and that I needed Bojangles like nobody's business), and then come over and take care of the bug.

So there I was. Alone. Hysterical. Terrified beyond all belief. I stood there quaking in the far corner, watching Oda climb all over the lamp on my Parsons table. I went into my bedroom and armed myself with a flip flop and my copy of People magazine with Kate Middleton on the cover.  Then I decided I needed a sturdier shoe and since my steel-toed combat boots were upstairs, I grabbed a sneaker.

I don't know how long I stood there paralyzed with fear, watching Oda. It felt like an eternity. In reality it was probably only a few minutes. 

I tried to give myself a pep talk. "What if The Kaiser hadn't been around? What if the guys weren't coming to install your A/C today? What would you do then Rougie? Would you stand in the corner all day and cry? Or would you muster up the strength and courage to smash Oda into bits?"

I felt some, small dribbles of courage seep into my chest.  I could do this.  I could kill this bug. It might be bigger than my head, but it still wasn't bigger than me. So I took a step closer (which basically narrowed the gap between us from 26 feet to 25.5 feet) and then I completely panicked and ran back into the corner.

And then I stood there for a while longer just watching. And panicking. And crying. And wondering how the Hell I was going to let The Kaiser and/or The A/C guys in because Oda was right by the door.

AND THEN ODA STARTED FLYING AND HOLY HELL IF I DIDN'T JUST DROP DEAD ON THE SPOT BECAUSE JESUS THAT THING IS HUGE AND MOBILE AND WHAT IF I LOSE SIGHT OF IT AND WHAT IF IT KILLS ME AND OMG WHY ISN'T THERE ANYONE WITH A PENIS AROUND WHEN YOU REALLY NEED THEM?

At this point there were tears pouring down my face and incessant screaming coming from my lips.  Had someone pulled up they might have thought I was being attacked. Which I kind of was.  In hindsight, I may have overreacted, but what can I say: I don't do oversized insects and this one truly freaked me the fuck out. 

I wondered how long I was going to stand their shaking and crying and basically having a complete and utter nervous breakdown when...the clouds parted, the sun came out, and angels chorused.  And the dulcet tones of the angels singing distracted Oda for just long enough that he flew smack dab into my ceiling fan. And the blow knocked him clean to the floor and in one-split-adrenaline-fueled instant I leapt across my living room in a single, Gazelle-like bound, and hurled my sneaker down on Oda with such force there was no doubt he was dead. Ok - there was some doubt. I mean - things with exoskeletons have amazing resilience. And I have seen enough movies to know that just because you shoot the bad guy, don't turn your back because he's probably not dead and as soon as you turn your back he'll come up behind you and KILL YOU.

Right. So I watched Oda for a full 60 seconds to make sure there wasn't the slightest movement. Not a twitch. Not a wing rustling.  Nothing.  And then I grabbed my Blackberry and stood crying and shaking and Tweeting in my kitchen because Jesus I had just been through Hell. 

The problem was, even though Oda was dead, he was still THERE - in my house and I don't like oversized insects in ANY form (although I prefer them dead) and there was Oda, a few feet from my desk, just making me feel all squeamish - like I wanted to crawl out of my own skin.  And so I tossed my People over his corpse (I bet Kate Middleton didn't realize her princessly duties would include covering up insect carcasses) and tried to get some work done. Of course, it's difficult to write thank you notes when YOUR HANDS WON'T STOP SHAKING. Sigh.

The next problem was that I was so rattled that every.single.little.noise sent me into a fresh round of hysterics. Even my trusty Blackberry vibrating on my desk made me jump out of my skin.

The Kaiser eventually showed up (bearing Bojangles), right around the same time the A/C guys showed up. And I was all: "You'll have to excuse me, but I had a near brush with death this morning and I haven't fully recovered from my mental breakdown." And they looked at me like I was insane and so I pointed to Kate Middleton in  the middle of my living room floor and told them to take a look. And then I turned my back and shielded my eyes because really, I could not bear to look at Oda any more.  And one of the nice A/C install guys disposed of Oda and confirmed what The Kaiser had said over the phone: Giant Japanese Hornet. Like it was no big deal.

The Kaiser stayed long enough to watch me inhale my chicken biscuit, give me a much needed hug, and the obligatory "it's just a bug, you'll be fine" pep talk.

Only I was not all right. Not all right at all. Despite having 3 XYs in my house for the better part of the day (see also: Rougie now has central A/C!), every single thing made me jump. Every click. Every whirr. Every buzz.  I was fairly certain it was Oda's entire family out to seek revenge for his death. It was like I suffered some kind of samurai insect-related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

At one point my poor cat was pawing at something under the wine cellar and I was all: OH FUCKING NO. ODA'S NINJA COUSIN IS HIDING UNDER THE WINE CELLAR TRYING TO KILL ME.  And so I shooed Psycho Kitty away, grabbed a flashlight, got down on my knees and peeked.  So yeah- I almost got attacked by a plastic water bottle cap.  At which point I was like: Get a grip Rougie. Get a grip.

I won't lie. I spent most of yesterday in the constant throes of an anxiety attack and I have never been so afraid of being alone in my house. I am still not fully recovered. 

The Kaiser has assured me that having one Giant Japanese Hornet in my house doesn't mean I'll be doing battle with them every day. I don't quite believe him.  As with all things traumatic, I need a good bit of time and distance to make this seem less awful.  And while my melodramatic reaction may be unwarranted, I can't help it. It's just how I feel.

PS The Kaiser wanted to know why I didn't take a picture to share with y'all and I was like "SERIOUSLY DUDE?" So I started to Google Giant Japanese Hornet images to post a link so you could see that I was am not exaggerating when I say that this bug was ENORMOUS and then the page came up and OMFG I had to close down Internet Explorer immediately because THE NIGHTMARES people.  So yeah - Google that shit on your own. 

9 Comments

Ha! You crack me up. One time, we had one of those things in the basement when I was home alone. It sounded like a vibrating thing of sorts (not that I know what that sounds like) so I went investigating and found one of those. I freaked and put a bowl over it, waiting for Mike to come home. When he got home, he said nothing was under the bowl. The fucker had gotten out from UNDER A BOWL. And was somewhere else in the basement and I wouldn't let Mike upstairs until he found and killed it.

They're insane those things.

Sorry you had to deal with it alone. I would have just gone for the vaccuum cleaner approach

LMAO off this time Rougie. I have a friend who always has a man on stand-by to kill spiders. A;ways.

Holy hell, I just googled it to see what it looked like. You are lucky to be alive. ACK!

Bravo to you for killing that monster.

This is too funny. I am sorry for your stress and pain, but glad you entertauined us so well. Are you sure you are not involved with the Kaiser? If not, can you send him my way?

According to wikipedia: "In many Japanese mountain villages, the hornet is considered a delicacy when fried." I'm guessing you didn't try it. But that's a good thing because it wasn't actually a Giant Japanese Hornet. They are native only to Asia and it's a good thing because they would wipe out our native bees very quickly. A Giant Japanese Hornet can wipe out an entire hive of bees in just a couple of hours. Japanese bees have developed a natural defense against the hornet. It was probably a Giant Ground Hornet.

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NNNnnnnttttttzzzzz nnnnowwww wwwe knnnow who killlnnned Stannnnley. Nnnnnnzzzz. Let's nnnngo nnnnget her nnnnnnguys. Bzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

I'm now severely traumatized. Thanks.

Tried to post earlier from my phone but i guess it didn't want to work, but....Yeah..at the time I figured tweeting a photo request wouldn't go over too well. Not gonna lie though I was really interested to see how it looked.

Tom is on the ball with the giant ground hornet idea. It's also possible it was a European hornet which ARE present in north carolina (at least further west around where I grew up)

Ummm...yeah. I once had a thirty minute panic attack over a PLASTIC centipede. My child is cruel and my husband almost peed on himself. I hate nature.

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