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2nd August
written by Tony
When I first moved to Tennessee one of the first lessons I learned is that, due to the temperate winters, everything gets bigger down here. One of the first places I lived in had a tool shed that was inhabited by the biggest Black Widow spider I have ever seen, it was seriously the size of a half dollar coin and after spraying every chemical on it I could find I ended up having to use a 2x4 and smash it to bits. For years I thought that this freakish southern oversizing was limited to spiders, snakes and pick-up truck mufflers, but the last week has taught me otherwise.

Episode 1: The wasp

We've been having an unusually mild summer here, so some days we like to leave the door to our Juliette balcony open and let the breeze blow in and save the on AC. So, we're sitting on the couch and I hear this noise and I turn to Steph and say "Sounds like the Vanderbilt helicopter is flying low today" and then I look over and see the BIGGEST WASP EVER casually fly through our open door and it's all QUE PASA BITCHES and we're all MOTHER OF GOD WE'RE GOING TO DIE and the wasp is all I WOULD KILL YOU NOW IF IT DIDN'T BORE ME SO and so tries to leave by flying into the blinds and bumping against the window repeatedly. Now I am of a split mind: one side says "I must kill this thing" and the other side says "let the wasp have the apartment, we'll find another." At this moment Rory (the little ginger dog) has wandered over and is very curious about the wasp while the big dog, Emmy, has managed to somehow completely disappear in our 700 square foot apartment. I'm not sure if she was under the fridge or what, but she was gone. So I throw Rory in the bedroom, roll up a magazine, and quickly decide that isn't going to cut it and try to come to terms with the fact that I may not be able to kill the dino-wasp and try to figure out what to tell our landlord when we have to vacate. Steph suggests I trap it with a cup and get it out of the apartment that way, so I decide, what the hell, why not? I gingerly roll the blinds up and just as I am rolling the part where the wasp is it decides now is the time to go batshit crazy so I slam down the cup and catch one leg with the rest of the wasp outside the cup and start screaming for Steph to get our biggest spatula, since I left the shotgun in the car. I actually bent the handle of the spatula trying to kill this beast, but I did it. I only have a picture of the remains of the wasp, so that doesn't really give you an idea of the size. Imagine a hummingbird with a stinger and you're halfway there. I've included a handy chart below to illustrate. scary

Episode 2: The car washes

As if the wasp wasn't enough, this afternoon as I'm getting ready to run an errand for work I go out to our car and get in only to see that apparently a pterodactyl has taken a shit on the hood. By my calculations it was approximately 17,000 feet up and was traveling just under the speed of sound when it released its cargo.
The aftermath

The aftermath

As you can see the debris field was substantial, indicating that the beast was flying from the left to the right and had eaten a lot of white house paint at some point. Obviously, I had to get this off the car as bird poop from a normal, non-prehistoric, bird can seriously damage paint, especially under the scorching Tennessee sun. That and it was disgusting. The first car wash I went to didn't do the job, not by a long shot. It was even one with brushes. It removed the loose stuff, but the main problem was still there, slowly eating through our hood. I ended up having to go to one of those "do it yourself" car washes and scrubbing with a brush and then using a pressure washer to get it off. What a nightmare. So, in conclusion, move to the south, everything is friendlier here.


  1. Last year we had giant wasps nesting in the eaves of our house. They are scary things – the sound of one bumping into a closed window is so loud.

    I hope you don’t encounter too many more and your car remains clean!

  2. Ben

    I guess that’s your trade off, prehistoric horror beasts, or 8 month winters. Tough choice.

  3. 08/05/2009

    Giant wasps from hell would freak me out. I am glad that I didn’t have to deal with them. Hopefully their nest is somewhere far, far away.

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