Hornets, Hot Wires and Shotguns

   Written by on February 27, 2015 at 12:51 pm

A woman once called me to ask about removing a hive of bees from a tree beside her house. It turned out that they were Japanese hornets and I suggested she have them exterminated.

That was a mistake. “I will never be a party to killing one of God’s creatures!” she indignantly exclaimed.

The stories in this column are true. Averett lives a dull life in rural Southside Virginia with his wife Management, two children and a rotating assortment of goats, dogs, cats, snakes and other local fauna.

The stories in this column are true. Averett lives a dull life in rural Southside Virginia with his wife Management, two children and a rotating assortment of goats, dogs, cats, snakes and other local fauna.

I then received an hour lecture on the sanctity of life. I suggested she name them and make friends with them but she wanted them relocated. I declined.

A month later, I received a call from the same woman. “I want you to come right now and kill those damn bees.”

I reminded her of the sanctity of life and the evil of killing one of God’s creatures. Things had changed. It seems that she got out of the shower and sat on her bed before getting dressed. In the process, she sat on one of God’s creatures that reacted as God intended and stung her on a very tender spot. Now she wants me to kill them, their children, and grandchildren. I declined.

When I was moving bees from Florida, I had a breakdown in a little town in South Carolina. I would have to find a welder with a portable outfit to repair the trailer and it would be better if I could do it before sunrise when it warmed up and the bees started flying. Most welders just don’t seem inclined to weld on a bee trailer loaded with bees.

I walked several miles and found a gas station with the usual crowd of loafers hanging around. I should have been suspicious since it was 4:00 a.m. and there was a bit of evidence of massive alcohol consumption, but being desperate, I asked for help.

One of the kind gentlemen offered to take me to a welder who he said would be glad to help. He added that since he didn’t have a car he would have to steal one first. He left and I assumed he wouldn’t be back. As I was walking back to the truck, he picked me up and wanted to know why I didn’t wait for him, that I should have understood it took some time to steal a car.

As he drives deeper into the swamp I notice the car is “hot wired” (I’m still thinking it is part of his joke); after all, I know lots of people who have hot wired their car if the switch is bad. Then I realize it is a brand new car. I am beginning to suspect I am in trouble when he says, “It’s only five more miles but you had better knock on the door when we get there. Joe said he’d kill me if he ever saw me again.”

While I am pondering this new development, (I already know I AM NOT going to knock on the door) he adds, “He thinks I am after his wife.” We are now pulling into Joe’s yard with the horn blaring. The door opens and there stands a large man with a shotgun. My friend screams, “Hey Joe, I want your wife.” I then notice Joe is naked. It is amazing how the accessory of a shotgun keeps you from noticing nudity. I have decided the floorboard is extremely comfortable and am contemplating buying a car just like this when Joe says, “I told you I’d kill you if you ever came here again. What do you want?” My friend explains my predicament and Joe offers to help. I leave with Joe and my friend says he is going to dump the car. Joe fixes the trailer, refuses any money, and advises me to stay away from people like my Good Samaritan. I assure him I intend to do just that. I never had a chance to thank my Samaritan and whatever jail he is in now, I wish him the best.

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