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I’m an idiot I know, but I really hate wasps.  In the company of a stripy buzzing flying thing that stings, I turn into a weak and feeble girl.  All flapping arms and high-pitched screeching.  It’s ridiculous, really.  (I’m perfectly happy with bees, though.)  Anyway, yesterday I had a visitor to my office – a dozy, stripy, buzzing, flying visitor of the wasp persuasion.  General panic ensued.  Normally I try and coax these unwanted guests out of the nearest window, but seeing as in this case I would have had to stand on a wobbly table and reach past a redundant photocopier and through a set of vertical blinds, I decided that might be a bit silly:

“And how did you break your neck, Ms. D.?”

“By falling off a table whilst trying to rescue an insect which I am slightly terrified of and dislike severely.”

Yes, that would be dumb.  I might even get an honourable mention in the Darwin Awards, if I damaged myself severely enough…

So I ended up killing the wasp instead.  Kerpowie!!  Splat!!!  Holy pest-extermination, Batman!

But of course, then I felt really guilty!  Wasps mean us no harm, they are just excessively stupid!  Going about their business, pollinating things, if they take a wrong turn, end up in an office and encounter a mammal of (to them) colossal proportions… well, it’s only right that they should be equipped to defend themselves!  (Besides which, if we kill all the stupid ones, only the really intelligent ones will be left… far be it for me to artificially enhance natural selection in this manner… do we really want a race of super-intelligent wasps flying about, tyrannising us…?!!)

However, the Cosmos must have been listening to the remorseful gabble of my stream of consciousness.  Just as I was leaving the building at the end of the day, I found a five pound note lying on the ground.  Dutifully, I put it on the porter’s desk with an anonymous note saying ‘Found outside main building’.  The balance of the universe was at once restored!  (Also, it started raining.  Slight dampness of M.’s person may also go towards paying my blood debt to the insect legion.)

This leads me to ponder how much the life of a wasp is worth.  Is each wasp really worth five whole pounds?!  Or was this a particularly important wasp, a wasp of especial value to the universe?!  On the other hand, should five pounds be regarded as a bargain price for the life of any creature?

I remember learning in a Religious Studies lesson at school that if you rendered down a human body into its constituent ingredients, the resultant piles of minerals and other substances would indeed be worth approximately five pounds, although I don’t know whether inflation may have increased this value…  In any case, apparently you would have enough iron there to make a six-inch nail.  (This may sound more like Organic Chemistry than RS, but it was all to do with the ‘value of human life’.)  Whatever, it gives me a weird feeling to think that I might be worth the same ‘in real terms’ as my striped insect foe, although that notion is probably a well-worn orthodox view in some cultures!

Anyway, it’s nice to know that I continue to attract other people’s lost things.  (It’s a special gift I have!)  Don’t worry, if I find your glove/mobile phone/groovy medallion/little black book/bank card (and at some point, I probably will!) I’ll hand it in to the proper authorities straight away.

In closing, I should point out that this propensity for finding the world’s mislaid stuff doesn’t mean I am engaged on an insect-killing spree (or an anything-else-killing spree, for that matter!)…


( 7 confidences — Confide in me... )
Apr. 11th, 2008 05:43 pm (UTC)
i know just how you feel. for the last three summers i have been landscaping as a summer job, and throughout the course of my work i often encounter massive populations of yellow jackets buried in the ground. the nest in holes usually near the roots of some large tree or shrub. avoiding them is simply not an option. once every year we have to mow the fields so they don't one day turn back into forests, and every time we do, we end up encountering atleast ten large nests, some big enough to swarm the entire tractor. the only way we can finish our job is to remove the threat, but every time we do it, i feel horrible for taking away THEIR opportunity to survive. i think if it were my choice, i would just leave it all be, and let nature take it's course, but the nature of my work there always prevents this. at the same time, i wish i could bear the pain of mowing through their turf without having to kill them, but i'm just not that brave. the last sting i got was on my neck, and it stayed swollen for three days, and itched for two weeks beyond that. x_x i just feel horrible about it, but i guess it just can't be avoided.
Apr. 11th, 2008 06:46 pm (UTC)
I tend to look upon myself as being 'part of nature' (if that doesn't sound odiously pretentious!). It might not be ideal to be killing things, but sometimes... you have to!
Apr. 11th, 2008 10:12 pm (UTC)
fair enough
Apr. 11th, 2008 10:21 pm (UTC)
Uh, that's not to say I *approve wholeheartedly of killing*... er... *is incoherent*!
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 11th, 2008 10:22 pm (UTC)
No problem! I'm happy to oblige... >_<

I am writing you a letter, by the way - should be on its way very soon! :-)
(Deleted comment)
( 7 confidences — Confide in me... )

Eavesdrop, snoop, and sigh with yearning...

This journal is not a private diary, it is more like an occasional, imaginary column. Therefore, much of it is on public display. However, if you want to read my occasional attempts at creative writing, my Caution Elf tells me I should only show that stuff to my friends. You know what to do. :-)

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