Freudian Slips: Empty Nest Syndrome

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

July 24, 2005

Empty Nest Syndrome

The last moments of the riddled wasp nest before the fall.
Parchment is not needed when you make a declaration of war against insects. My war has raged into its fourth year and there is no sign of letup because my daughter recently spotted a wasp nest hanging from a shade tree in our side yard. No vacation of mine has been complete this summer without a joust with venomous insects. When I steadied eyes on the high riser of a nest, I could not believe it was an active nest the size of a volleyball. I contemplated just calling an exterminator but I didn't want to swallow the $150.00 bill for a house call.
The bird's eye view at a second story window helped me plot an unorthodox plan of attack. The nest was about 20 feet in the air and another 20 feet from the house. I found a can of wasp spray that advertised its contents could jettison 25 feet in the air. So I climbed into a spare beekeeper's suit kept around the house for nostalgia and yard work. I opened the second story window in my daughter's room and removed the mesh screening. I opened the window only as much as needed then doused the nest with bug spray. Some of the wasps began to leave the dripping wet nest. Other wasps returned from the field leary about entering their contaminated home. The spray of chemicals dazed and confused them. It was prime time to enact stage two of the master plan.
I summoned my son to get his paint ball rifle. With the neighbor's house directly across the side yard, we set the trigger to its lowest velocity. I lowered the window so only the barrel of the gun stuck out. I draped towels inside the window pane left and right of the nozzle. It appeared to be a perfect snipe from a makeshift indoor shooting range. With my track record on venom, there was no margin for error anyway. There didn't seem to be any real danger but my body exuded a cold clammy sweat nonetheless. My kids asked me why I was sweating. I told them the God's honest truth.
"Daddy is a tad nervous." I admitted.
With the rifle now steady in my hands, I took meticulous aim. My first paintball shot ended up hitting a branch and spraying a white mist all over the surrounding leaves. Bam! I plucked a tiny hole in the nest with my second shot. I knew if I missed again my son would want to take over as assassin. I missed. More or less, he took back his paint ball rifle and fired me on the spot.
"Before I shoot, let me say that a responsible adult is telling me to do this." forewarned Jimmy. "I don't want any trouble from the neighbors because this was your idea not mine."
"What ten year old talks like this?" I wondered aloud. "You have my permission. Will you shoot the nest and stop worrying about a potential lawsuit?"
He knelt down and in no time I heard the rapid succession of his semi-automatic weapon. Pow! Pow! Pow! Pow! Pow! An expert marksman, Jimmy could have wrote his name in that nest before obliterating it. After about a dozen shots, the nest fell and splattered on the ground. The wasps didn't know what hit them. The three of us cheered before I shed the confines of my beekeeper's suit. A good time was had by all.
There is something so diabolically gratifying about killing wasps from the creature comfort of your own house but that is exactly how it went down. My youngest daughter used a camcorder to film the twelve minute extraction of the nest. The grandchildren will get a kick out of watching grandpa's antics in this home movie.

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Anonymous et said...

Joe, from hence forth, I declare your abode off limits to all flying, floating, falling, or crawling insects that have a venomous design on you. So it is written, so it will be done.

3:31 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Where were you four years ago, when the critters were carrying me away as a human sacrifice?

5:13 PM  
Blogger the Contrary Goddess said...

Joe, for someone so alergic to venomous insects, you suck at IDing them. Wasps nests are flat and you can see the cells from the bottom. Hornets have those round paper nests hanging from stuff, although I've seen them build inside stuff too. Yellow jackets live in the ground, thus a problem when mowing mostly. Etc. I would think you'd be interested enough to study them! LOL! This post ends with the Southern "bless his heart" that we say at the end of something that might be offensive to mean that we don't want you to take offense at it, ok?

7:02 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

see! Bees, wasps, hornets.... they're all the evil minions of the Anti-christ.

7:54 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

I have learned that they can all kill me. I thought they were paper wasps.

Mirror posts this week you and I.

8:30 PM  
Blogger Lost said...

I would LOVE to see that home movie LOL.

1:15 AM  
Anonymous et said...

You asked, “Where was I?” Well, number one answer is; “I’m not God!” number two answer is; “I never claimed to be Him/Her!” Lastly, accept, graciously, all that I am able to give.

7:54 AM  
Blogger justrose said...

they are tenacious critters. i hate wasps. and we have had our share of planning attacks on their insidious nests. good on you, that you took this one out safely and strategically. stay safe my friend!

10:05 AM  
Blogger Crystal said...

Hello Joe! Thanks for signing my blog! Did I miss the season premiere of Survivor last night?! {trying not to panic...}

I'll be back when I have more time to look around! :) Have a super day!

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


When you come down here to wiggle your toes in the sand...or play tennis...bring your boy Jimmy. He and my 11 year old nephew Jon can take their paintball guns and take out every wasp nest from here to Tallahassee!


2:16 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

It would be a lost episode for sure.

You are a little safer from insects in the city than I in the suburbs.

thanks for visiting. my youngest child told me Survivor was starting again but I think it was a reunion show. not really sure.

Seriously, I would like to visit you in 2006 if you are serious about an invite.

7:42 PM  

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