Okay, first lets get some background on the characters. First, there's me, an almost 40 Tennessee farmboy transplanted into Atlanta. My wife, 31, she has MS (multiple sclerosis), but otherwise a totally amazing woman. My daughter, almost 8, high functioning autistic child that is brilliant and amazingly funny that warms my heart every day. My father-in-law, 60, wt. 275, Atlanta raised, and not really what you would call a man's man. Honestly, if I didn't know better I would question the authenticity of his hetero card. He doesnt watch football, former policeman, watches tv shows like Ellen of all things.
The situation: There is a massive hornet's nest (about the size of a basketball) in a tree hanging over our driveway. Now, we park in the driveway and have been walking under this nest for weeks without noticing it. Our driveway is on about a 10 degree uphill incline so its pretty steep making access to said nest even more difficult. The child, being quite observant is, of course, the first one to notice the nest. The child is also DEATHLY afraid of all things crawly. I don't know if any of you know much about autism, but let me tell you they can truly redefine the word obsessed. In other words, NO ONE will get any sleep until this nest is taken care of, so time is definitely of the essence.
Now, is where things start to go south. The initial plan was for father-in-law to spray the nest with hornet killer and for he and I to dispose of it after dark that night, but cutting the limb that it was attached to with limb cutters just above the nest itself after having covered it with a garbage bag. There were many flaws in said plan. As it turned out, spraying the nest with hornet killer fell to me (oh great). So I don my trusty Vols hat, throw on some jeans, and head out to do battle. Now, I dont know how many of you have ever used store bought insect killer. I know that were I was raised, we used to say " That shit won't do nothing but get you stung!". So, I stood almost below the nest (middle of the day mind you) watching all these nasty lil buggers fly in and out, in and out, while I am trying to build the nerve to start spraying. And in I go, this can of stuff at the ready, and start spraying. I soaked the whole front of this nest, but as you may or may not know, cans of stuff like that aren't all that accurate. I proceeded to empty the can, while noticing that I had only killed (on the outside of the nest at least) about 5 bugs.
So I go inside to calm down from my not-so-fierce battle with the hornets. While I am smoking an idea hits, why not use gasoline instead (the ultimate bug killer, damn near instant death on contact). But, the delivery system? Ah HA! My daughter's mid-level Super-Soaker water gun that you pump up for a steady stream. Gun in hand, I load that sucker with gas almost giggling at the shear havoc I am going to reek upon those vile insects. Feeling like Jesse Ventura in the movie Predator pulling out Ol' Painless (the rotating machine gun) again I went out to do battle. My idea was absolutely brilliant! Until they started to actually come out of the nest. I wound up running for a few yards swatting with my trusty Vols hat, miraculously avoiding them. I ended up using about a gallon of gas on that nest.
Now for the removal. Remember the plan was to do it at night when the hornets are ALL in the nest and much more docile due to cooler temperatures. Well, the father-in-law didnt feel like doing it that night because he had to go to work, so he said he'd wake me up at 6 am (Ugh) and we would remove it then. Fine. So, when my wife wakes me up at 7:30 I am already thinking its WAY too late to try this crazy crap. But, it HAS to be done today! First step, I had to back my truck up so its underneath the nest because its too high for us to reach from the ground. Now this man, is dressed in shorts, t-shirt, and no shoes.
I have a garbage bag in my hands, he has the limb cutter. This should be simple right? Is anything ever really easy for a Falcons fan? First flaw has been spotted, the nest is just a little to high for us to easily cover it with the bag. Its just hanging there just over head height. Looming danger. So, quickly we decide to cut the limb its on and I will catch it in the bag. Brilliant! Except, have you ever noticed that when you try to hold a bag open, it never opens in a perfect circle. We had forgotten such a handy little tidbit of info. So, here I am standing under this nest (its right above my head) as he slow moves the cutters in place. SNIP! And it flops over, and doesn't fall! OMG, panic starts to set in. So, he cuts the second limb that is barely holding it up, just a tad before I am really ready for it to fall safely into the bag. THUNK! It had almost gone into the bag, but the Gods of humor just wouldn't let it. It lands on the truck bed HARD. OH SHIT! We both said, and damn near did it. We both knew we were about to get stung possibly many many times. Before I could turn around, this old LARGE man, was gone! He had vacated the area before I could move, but the problem is now that he's on the ground holding his leg almost screaming saying "Oh my ankle!". I quickly jump out as well. So now I am torn, I am fully expecting to be stung at any moment now. I have one hand on the truck and one hand on the father-in-law who at the moment cant stand up. I am looking back and forth, watching for a cartoon-like swarm to come at me, and worrying about his ankle that I can already see swelling up.
The problem is, there's NO hornets flying around. So now I get cocky. I carefully walk around to the back of my truck and grab the abandoned garbage bag, and pick up the nest by a branch and begin to put it in the bag. NOW, they come out. So, we got out of there. Okay, so now this nest is out of the tree, in the back of my truck and a few (not many) hornets are starting to fly around pretty frickin' pissed off. It's time for a smoke. After about an hour of delaying the now obvious task in front of me, I begin to change into as bug proof clothes that I can think of : vols hat, leather jacket, jeans. I have to now, go out to the truck and go somewhere and get rid of this damn thing. I go out and look at my truck from about 10 feet away. I can count about 10 hornets (at least) flying around. I cant make myself go any further. I keep standing there. Finally, I realize it won't get any better waiting I calmly walk over and get into my truck. Success! Not even an attempt at a sting and not one got in the cab with me. So now I just drive off to a place and grabbed it by a branch and flung that sucka into the woods.
As it turned out, the father in law broke his a bone in his leg vertically, so no cast. No one got stung, unbelievably so. And we panicked for no apparent reason.