Reasons why Fran always carries a rolled-up newspaper

I watched a wasp die on the bus yesterday morning.

I know, as an opener, it's not the same as 'Hey, did you see the latest episode of Game of Thrones? but it's all I have to offer.

I'm nervous about wasps. I'm sure, if they could talk, they'd say they were nervous about me too. But all I have in my armoury is a rolled-up newspaper and a bad aim. They have a stinger. And, close up, they're pretty scary.

A wasp in a field, I can cope with. A wasp in the garden, just about.

But a wasp on the bus is a cross wasp. (Move along, Dr Seuss.)

I saw it progressing along a window two seats in front of me. It was crawling my way.

I don't mean, crawling in the way I'd crawl, as in 'Oof, oof, my knees, and how will I ever get up from this position?'  I mean, crawling towards me.

I expected a confrontation. I picked up the copy of the Metro I'd collected when I got on the bus and began rolling.

It crawled nearer. But it was slow.

Aha. A trick! A clever wasp, trained in the art of 'Deceptive Appearances.'

All the best distance runners do it that way. Pacing themselves. Hanging around at the back. Making it look a cinch. And then -

But the wasp didn't speed up. It eventually arrived at the window nearest to me, and I watched closely for its next move.

It dropped to the sill, turned over, wiggled its legs, turned back, crawled a touch further, then turned over again, wiggled its legs a little more, then the legs went still.

It lay on its back, legs in the air.

You hear those testimonies, don't you, of people who've been buried alive because they looked so convincingly dead? But hours later, they wake to find themselves in a box in a morgue, with the pathologist on his way home for sausage and mash and a bedtime story with the kids, unaware that back at the office, a corpse is yelling, 'Let me out! I need a wee!'

So, I didn't trust that wasp not to resurrect itself, buzz over to my tender skin and inflict an injury before my menopausal reflexes could lift the newspaper and finish it off good and proper.

Five minutes later, however, it had maintained its position, and I realised I had watched a wasp die.

Funny how one's emotions can go from revengeful to sympathetic so quickly. I almost said a prayer and sang a hymn.

What lesson did that wasp teach me? I guess I ought to think of one, then I can finish off this blog post satisfactorily.

I think it taught me that watching a wasp die on your journey to work is very sad, but better than arriving at your workplace with a sting on the end of your nose that your colleagues can laugh at.

For the wasp, that was its last journey on the number 1 bus to Whitnash.

I, however, will go again tomorrow.

So, I guess I win.

I called my wasp 'Wilbur' but Shaggy will do. He looks pretty similar to mine. 


  1. You definitely win! Having a natural death, Wilbur must have lived a good long life (for a wasp) and we should not mourn him but remember him with a good eulogy and lots of sandwiches and sweets afterward. Especially sweets. Wilbur would have liked that.

    I'm glad you didn't get stung. Wasp stings hurt!

    1. I will buy the sweets tomorrow and eat them in his honour. Thank you for the excuse ;)

    2. Ha ha! Maybe I should have some too, in solidarity, you know?

  2. A heart-rending tale, Fran. I feel sorry for Wilbur the wasp. But there again if he'd died, crushed to death under your rolled up newspaper, would I feel the same? Yes, we are all such hypocrites when it comes to wasps...

    1. Sorry to have plunged you into moral dilemmas on a Wednesday evening, Sheila!!

  3. I think if I noticed a wasp on my bus, I'd get off at the next stop and wait for the next bus, since I'm no longer on any kind of schedule and have all the time in the world to get anywhere and back again.

    1. No longer on any kind of schedule .... That sounds AMAZING. But it's probably a 'grass is greener' thing.

  4. I would still have given it a darn good swat just for good luck lol.

    1. But then I've had had a wasp-shaped stain on the newspaper. And on my conscience ...


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