Or rather, European wasps in their natural environment...
I've seen them here!
Of course!! I am in Europe, it makes sense.
And of course I know what they look like, as they were the scourge of my Ringwood East primary school. There was a crackdown on open soft drink cans, a school awareness campaign, and even local plastic pioneers jumped on board to copyright a colourful, sealable lid for the open mouthed cans to prevent an infaltration of said wasp. This was all due to rising reports of when you inevitably drink from the can, you inevitably ingest the wasp and it will sting you repeatedly from it's horrible retractible stinger, so that your throat closes up and you eventually die. Harsh, but true. Honesty ain't always pretty, people. Let's face it, it rarely is - we are constantly told the truth hurts. And it's ugly, people. Ugly.
Now, I wasn't allowed soft drink on a day to day basis like the other hopped up kids, and if I ever did partake of a sugary liquid treat, I was always obliged to use a straw. Much more hygenic, and let's face it; much more lady like. It's prabably the root of my devotion to mojotis. I was weened young.
European wasps, however, I say, getting back to the poisonous retractable point, are fine in Europe. Until the plague of these beastly creatures in Australia, I had only been privvy to the sweet little honey bee that stings you once, apologises and then dies.
I am of course not allergic to bees and thus consider them to be sweet and nice (the clue is in their title). For those of you who are allergic, my apologies... For me, the are just buzzy little bees that you watch, but don't particularly want them too near to you. Like most insects. But bees are fuzzy and slow, and they also most probably have a British accent. And if they had noses and elbows, I am sure they would be sporting spectacles and leather patches (on elbows, not eyes, - they're not pirates!! Well, pollen pirates, maybe, but that's their one job in life - let them have it) - perhaps it's something to do with unquestionably worshipping the Queen, or perhaps just the way they bumble around. More on bumble bees later. They deserve their entirly own section of adjectives. As well as the often bandied about discussion as whether bees actually have knees, or not. And why are they a simile for all that is good.
But I digress.
The only time I have been stung by a bee was by a dead one, washed up on the chlorinated decking shores of our underground(underdeck)/above ground pool. It's a long story, to which you shall exclaim "a dead bee. That's ridiculous!" over and over again in hurtful mockery, so I'll just cut to the chase. It was a dead stinger!!
I was playing near the water - apparently I wasn't precious enough to have a pool gate installed, or perhaps things were just different then. A time of simple joy. A time of playing all day in the back yard without need for electronic distraction. A time when my dad had to go out and shoot a rabid dog in the street... Wait a second, we never had mocking birds in Australia....
Anyhoo, I stepped on this drowned insect and it still had the where withall to sting me. Bravo. That is ingenuity. To the very last. (See, British!) But it only stung me once, regardless of it's state of health/life! But that's the thing, bees only sting you once. Wasps, especially European wasps, will go at you repeatedly. Little bastards.
But my point is, and I'm no racist, or xenophobe, but how dare these European wasps come into my home(land) and threaten me like this?! When I come to Europe, I expect to see European wasps, except here, they're probably just called wasps for lack of knowing their first or last names, but in Australia, I don't wanna see no black and yellow stinging machines, I wanna see various honey bees (before they die out; read up on the epidemic) and Australian wasps! Sure they're brown and uninteresting, and lazy, kinda ugly, and you never actually really see them about anymore. But let's face it: they're probably being true blue Aussie and are laying at home on the couch drinking VB and complaining that their livelihoods have been taken away by these foreign bug(ger)s, so what's the point?!
Well, MY point is: if *I* go into ocean and get stung by a stingray whilst trying to grapple with it, film it and yell "crikey" at it, then, fair enough. Sad, but a calculated risk.
I know what's out there.
But if a stingray comes up to my front door, then it is out of place, and doesn't deserve to be there. There's a reason why wasps can't get passports! So, I'd politely try and avoid confrontation before flapping my arms about like a mad person and probably eventually enrage it, or accidentally impale myself on it. Sad and unexpected - but unavoidable if they just put on their blinkers and chose not to see more of the world!
Look at it this way, if you will. Travelling, I have been told time and time again that Australia has THE most number of deadly creatures in the entire world. EVER!! Step outside and you're likely to be bit, stung, trapped, swallowed, deathrolled, vicerated or concussed by a drop bear.
Basically, anyone growing up in Australia is lucky to be alive (and remember, I had no child proof pool gate either), that's why they call it the lucky country - so don't be bringing no European threats in insect form into my home town. Please?! We have enough of our own!! Europe, please keep your wasps!! We'll take your hot chocolates, fast cars, fashion and snobbery, but keep them insects well housed!!
Have we learned nothing from the Beatles?!: Just let it bee.
Righto, that's enough from me. Now I'm going to buzz off and write about where I stayed in Hungary (Pest).