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Pest Control


He must have thought we were easy marks. After knocking at the door and stepping back, the salesman started pitching his pest control. 

“We’re not interested,” I said, turning to close the door.

“But,” he said, looking and pointing at the two wasp nests under the eaves.

“I know about them,” I said. “We’re happy to have them here.” 

Which was the truth. I mean, we’re good with snakes and lizards, right? And the wasps were here before them.


I had been painting. Or maybe cleaning the garage. Sweeping or blowing dust with the leaf blower (a trick my brother taught me a couple years ago) or vacuuming. Or maybe I was trimming Oak tree branches (now that the temperatures are above 100).

I don’t remember precisely what was going on. But I was coming in for another glass of ice water.

“Ah! AAAH!” I screamed as I stepped inside.

I shook my head and swept my hands on my face. There were two wasps on my sweaty face stinging me. My glasses went flying.


In the end, there was one sting not two. The second wasp made it back outside. But I confess the first … did not. 

Later that day, another pest control salesman showed up. (What’s up with these guys, anyway? Do they not know that their services are not essential? Do they not care?) Trudy answered, wearing a mask. 

She stood outside the storm door where he gave his pitch also wearing a mask and standing a safe social distance away. They chatted jocularly. Jocular chatting with a salesman because he knocked on the door? This is the epitome of my fine spouse. She has an unbounded decency.

It was reminiscent of her mom meticulously reading every envelope of junk mail that arrived in her mailbox — because it was in her mailbox. I thought this to myself as the two of them talked and laughed making me inwardly roll my eyes.

“But he wanted to kill all the Wolf Spiders,” she later told me. “We’ll take care of them all,” he had told her. Not a convincing selling point for this household.


That day it must have been early enough that the heat was not yet pissing off the wasps. As I had learned the day before, when it gets to be 101 degrees out, opening the storm door is provocation enough to bring them down on you. Yet on that day, Trudy was able to hang out with that salesman directly under the first and oldest wasp nest with no consequences.

But this morning. This morning, Trudy walked outside and counted the nests. There are five or so. Yesterday there were only three.

I think this is where we and they part company.