Remember the house next door that’s for sale? Yeah, the one from the last story that the neighborhood kids were trying to fuck with. No, they haven’t returned to exact retribution on the house because of the police confiscating their bikes. Quite contrary to the fact, no one aside from myself has seemingly been on the house’s property since that incident a few days ago. All’s been quiet around here, but the neighborhood cats (whom we feed and generally seem to live in our garage) had their way with a few birds in said house next to us over the past two days. From what I could gather, it may have been two or three birds. Feathers were strewn throughout the front yard and in the nearby flower beds which line the front of the house. (For the story’s sake, I should note that the flower beds are separated from the remainder of the front yard by a railroad tie, which has slowly started to rot.)
Seeing the mess and knowing that the house is in fact for sale, and that it was partly my fault for the deathly display, I decided to get the blower out and clean the mess up. Normally, this isn’t a problem. Plug it in, blow whatever remnants I need to away from the house and into the grass, rake the mess into a pile and get it in the trash. I’ve done it a hundred times before. Never on the remains of birds, but I’ve done it nonetheless.
The first few tracks of feathers, remnants and leaves went easily into the front lawn, where I assumed they would sit til I could gather them (though I never get that far ahead of myself in regards to menial tasks). There were blue feathers, white feathers, and nothing that resembled a carcass, but the flower bed sat inside the rotting railroad ties was slowly becoming respectable again. The roar of the engine continued, more feathers gathered outside the perimeter of the railroad tie and I was clearly nearing the end of the 6 Feet Under moment in the yard of the house next door to us. Then, something stun my leg. I leered down and noticed a yellow jacket on my calf. I swatted it away, but it had already stung me. “Bastard,” I thought to myself, and for maybe five seconds, continued on pointing the blower towards the bed. (Note: I was going to say “Bastard,” I thought to myself, and for maybe five seconds, kept on blowing.” in the last sentence, but then I realized that if that line was ever taken out of context, I would suddenly be an outted homosexual…)
Then something stun my other calf, and then my ankle, and suddenly, I was the main target for the colony of yellow jackets living inside the railroad tie that I had unexpectedly disturbed. I turned the blower off, the swarm grew, I dropped the blower, started running to the back of our house, yelling “Ow, you motherfucker!” and getting stung the entire way. I made it to the back of our house, amid a swarm of yellow jackets still in pursuit, and started swatting the air and smashing any yellow jackets that were landing on my skin. The flying swarm relented and the landed individuals were trampled or flattened by me. When the attack was done, I think I counted six stings around my calves and ankles.
I slowly re-approached the area I was working in (Note: not using the verb ‘blowing’ again. Not that there’s anything wrong with that….) and quickly noticed the rotted hole atop the railroad tie which also served as home for the yellow jackets. The swarm above the hole was huge, encircling the blower, insuring that I get nowhere near the damn thing, and I thought to myself, “Wow, you are dumb. You should notice these things before hand….” After all, it is August and I’ve been near that flower bed enough this summer to notice something of this yellow caliber, but unfortunately for me, it had slipped by. I took a shower, rubbed a wet aspirin on the stings and decided to call it a day on the yard work.
It’s now dark out. The tools have been collected and the appropriate chemicals have been purchased to kill off the colony. Tomorrow, I get to spray the colony down with poison and kill them, allowing me to continue cleaning up the remnants of some dead birds in the front yard of the house next to me.
Who says these aren’t happy times? Happy, ass backwards times….