I have just managed a feat of such utter stupidity that it should silence all those (and they are legion) who claim that I have a reasonable amount of brains in my skull, and know how to use them. In fact, there might as well be week-old oatmeal in my cranial cavity.

I have been stung by a dead wasp.

Now, to be fair and honest, I killed this wasp, and it deserved, in insectoid karmic fashion, to exact retribution. Yet I also–and this is where my IQ heads toward the calorie count of Aqua Fina–attempted to kick the wasp’s carcass off of the carpet with my bare feet. And, just before the kicking, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be ridiculous if I kicked it right in its stinger?” Without even a clap of ironic thunder, or a rim shot, I felt this little pain near my big toe.

No. I hadn’t done it. Not really. Right?

I finished scooting the broken body of that murderous, yet clearly innocent of intention, fiend across the carpet by means of a cardboard box that was standing exactly nine inches away the entire time. I walked around. I tried to ignore the nagging tickle. I ascended the stairs. I brushed at my foot, thereby breaking the top off the stinger, and then looked at the spot and saw what could have been a thorn, but just had to be the last hurrah of the wasp’s time on earth.

Okay, I’ll pull the rest out with my tweezers. Which are…where? Some bag? Some box? My girl friend’s apartment? Canada? The irritation in my foot is enhanced by the irritation in my mind. I realize I’m the definition of ridiculous, and consider calling a few friends and asking them to ridicule me while the getting’s good.

Finally, the tweezers are found. Now, if there was only good enough light to see by. The bedroom? Nope, just finished painting, only a floor lamp. The bathroom? No, the Jurassic abomination that was the light fixture above the (equally horrific) medicine cabinet is mostly taken apart, and the remaining globe–much like the one-lamp-eyed invaders in War of the Worlds–offers no comfort.

In the kitchen, I can see well enough, get the thing out, squeeze a Seurat-sized drop of blood, and decide I should disinfect the ridiculous–that word again!–puncture wound. Okay, I’ll use some alcohol. Which is…where? No more searching. No more. I go to the refrigerator and pull out an open bottle of Greek Retsina wine that was probably undrinkable when it was bottled, and only continued to mature into a potion fit for dares and refinishing. I dab some on my toe and re-cork the bottle, to–and I mean this, sincerely–enjoy later.

There are some events that are meant to be revealed to the world, and damn the deprecations.

And so, I give you: me, wag.*

Charles: 0 Life and Wasps: 1


* Referencing a poem by John Berryman….

Dream Song 14

Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so. After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns, we ourselves flash and yearn, and moreover my mother told me as a boy (repeatingly) “Ever to confess you’re bored means you have no

Inner Resources." I conclude now I have no inner resources, because I am heavy bored. Peoples bore me, literature bores me, especially great literature, Henry bores me, with his plights & gripes as bad as Achilles,

who loves people and valiant art, which bores me. And the tranquil hills, & gin, look like a drag and somehow a dog has taken itself & its tail considerably away into the mountains or sea or sky, leaving behind: me, wag.