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Yellow Jackets is the foolish name of a team.

September 10, 2017

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September 9, 2017

Today I got visited by Dirk Lee, graphic artist extraordinaire, who always was a strong supporter of my efforts to publish a small magazine, The Portable Wall.  Dirk was in town for his 50th high school reunion at Billings Senior High.  I tried to tempt him with beer and food, but he remained steadfast.  He is staying with his brother.  Throughout our visit, Gunther seemed listless.  (See accompanying photograph.)  Turns out Gunther and I walked past a yellow jacket nest in a hole near the sidewalk a couple doors down.  I had seen the yellow jacket nest before, and I had designs on possibly caving in the dirt around the hole’s margins.  I don’t like yellow jackets.  I think it highly ironic that the local college basketball team are the “yellow jackets.”

Anyway, this morning as Gunther and I walked out on the morning poo run, we paused at the yellow jacket hole in the ground to observe the busy pests flying into and out of the hole.  Now, what if I kick dirt into the hole? I wondered.  What if I clog the hole up with dirt?  Will the yellow jackets then die?  I hoped.  I hoped.

I hoped in vain.   I tried to kick some dirt into the hole but the dirt around the hole was hard, sun-baked clay.  I wonder if I’ll get away with this? I wondered.  I put my foot over the hole and succeeded in blocking all of the insects from entering or exiting the hole.  I left my foot there for perhaps five seconds, before withdrawing it and turning to walk down the sidewalk.

I noticed an insect flying about my head.  Was it a yellow jacket? I wondered.  Yes!  I realized.  It was a yellow jacket come to sting me.  I started batting at the insect and running down the walk.  Ouch!  I realized I had been stung by one.  I walked again.  I enjoyed the sensation of having been stung as I walked to the corner of the block.  Gunther was in obvious distress, gnawing at places on his arm and his back.

Gunther had been stung too, I concluded, so I gave him a dose of tranquilizer the vet had prescribed for his airplane rides.

I had that bee sting on my neck (still bothers me, as I write) but I had a chore to do at the store.  On the way back I bought some insect killer, called “Sevin.”  I understand yellow jackets track the powder into their nests and kill their fellows.  I returned home from my chore, uncorked the “Sevin,” and sprinkled it into the yellow jacket hole.   I showed my work to Dirk Lee, who was only mildly impressed.  If at all.

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This handsome man is Dirk Lee, long time Missoulian, graphic artist extraordinaire.

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