Saturday, September 15, 2007

The week of living goofily

There are times when I simply give up and play Margaret Dumont to the rest of the world.

First it was the Cheerios. I grabbed Mr. N.’s box of Cheerios to seal up the waxy inner bag (something Mr. N. forgets to do) and triggered a mushroom cloud of superfine Cheerios dust, which nestled under my eyelids.

I spent the next few minutes flushing my eyes out under the kitchen faucet. My eyes felt a little gritty but I wasn’t in any pain. I then called my eye doctor (could this lead to blindness?!) but couldn’t get past his receptionist. She kept asking, rather accusingly I thought, how I managed to puff Cheerios dust into eyes.

Oh, I’m just a freakishly creative drama queen craving attention.

The receptionist said she could squeeze in an appointment in about three or four weeks, or I could go to the emergency department at the local hospital. But she made it clear that she wasn’t advising me to go the emergency department, meaning don’t complain to her if my HMO refused to cover the bill.

I had Mr. N. buy me some Visine instead.

The next day, with my vision restored to its usual 300/20 acuity, I drove to the corner gas station to fill up. Here in Jersey we don’t have self-service. The next thing I know all the gas jockeys (who don’t speak much English) are screaming and running away from my car. I thought maybe the car had caught fire and bailed out. When I caught up with one of the guys, he kept yelling, Bugs! Bugs! Bugs!

I walked to the gas cap side and saw a dozen or so wasps flying around. As I got in closer, I saw the wasps had somehow managed to build a modest-sized nest around the gas cap.

Has this ever happened to anybody else?

I drove back home and zapped the wasp nest with some Raid spray. When it seemed that the critters were all dead or dying, I got out my all-purpose broom handle and started to pry out the nest.

Of course, the sight of me poking my car with a 5-foot broom handle got my neighbor’s attention. (He’s from Malaysia and speaks more-or-less functional English.) He can’t resist asking, Why you do this?

There’s a wasp nest around my gas cap, I said, as the last half-dead wasp flew out.

Bugs! Bugs! Bugs!, he yelled, running back inside his house.

Now I have to find a new ophthalmologist and a new gas station. And my neighbor keeps shaking his head and laughing when he sees me, calling me Bugs Lady.

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