Published on August 24th, 2022 | by Randy Weeks0
The View From The Balcony: “Invasion of the Asian Giant Hornets, aka Murder Hornets”
Recently I found myself alone on The Balcony fairly late at night. I decided to take advantage of it, so I lit my pipe and started reading Rumi. Before long I heard the door open and someone step onto The Balcony.
“Mind if I sit?” They said. (I’m using gender-neutral pronouns because I never could quite determine where they fit in the gender spectrum, if at all.)
I motioned to an empty chair and said, “It’s a free country. Let me finish this poem.” Once finished I closed the book and looked up. There sat a two-inch long bee in a black trench coat with the collar turned up, black fedora pulled down over their eyes, a Covid mask, and Elvis sunglasses. A talking bee dressed up like a private eye? I’ll have to keep a better count of my drinks.
They opened their trench coat enough for me to see the red markings on their body, then they briefly removed their Elvis glasses and mask. They were truly bug-eyed. I was, too, just not compounded. Confounded, yes. Compounded, no.
“I am not a bee!” they shouted. “I am an Asian Giant Hornet, aka Murder Hornet!” (thus its Sam Spade style). “I’m here on a mission,” they said. “Most of us live in Washington state. We’re happy there. There’re a lot of honeybees so we can bite their heads of, pull out the thorax, and feed our horn-ettes. It’s the pièce de resistance.”
“I’ll pass,” said I.
“Why are you here?” I asked. “And do you have a name?”
Our name is Vespa mandarinia. The colony calls me ‘Sting’.”
“We’ve heard that the Asian Horntail Wasp and four other similar species are proliferating in Mississippi, pretending to be us. I’m on a search and report mission,” they said. “We don’t plan to invade Mississippi, but having such imposters ruins our image and makes people panic. We want you folks to stay calm and sedate, sipping on your mint juleps on the front porch swing. After all, we hornets have families just like you do. We mate, we have horn-ettes, then we launch them.”
“So you don’t want to move here, but you don’t want any imposters here either?” I asked.
“You can drop that counselor talk. I know that’s Active Listening. Keep it up and I’ll make my first mark in Mississippi on the tip of your nose.”
I slyly changed the subject. “What’s your sign?”
“My Asstrological sign?” they replied.
“Yes,” said I.
“Well,” said Sting, “the Zodiac’s full up. Sagittarians are wasps. Virgo’s are bees. We don’t want to be confused with those wusses, so we created our own sign. We’re all Murderus-Katorious¾the badasses of the brand new Zoodiac!”
“Inventive and impressive,” said I. “What’s next?
“Going back to Washington to give my report to the Hor Net Commission,” Sting said, “then they’ll probably send me and my family down this way to collect data and see how well we can assimilate. If that goes well we’ll begin sending small tribes around the south.”
“So you DO want to invade Mississippi!” I exclaimed
“We gots ta eat an y’all gots lotsa honeybees,” they dead-panned.
“You’re buzzing into places you don’t belong. We LOVE our honeybees down South” I said.
“There’s only one way to save ‘em,” said Sting. “Start raising you a strain of Giant Green Hornets with the Kato attachments. Stings the hell out of you then throws some nasty Kato Karate in to finish the job.”
Sting got up to leave. An envelope fell out of their trench coat. I grabbed it to return it, but Sting had left the building. In the package was a full plan for taking over the South. Turns out the Giant Green Hornet is a Murder Hornet disguised in green. I immediately took this information to the wildlife officials. A person dressed like Sting met me and took the envelope in its…claw? It lowered its glasses. Compound eyes.
“We get these all the time,” they said, tossing the envelope into file 13. “Don’t worry, kid. We’re on it. Now beat it!”
I skedaddled. As the only one who knows the truth, it’s up to me to save the South. So I’m donning my old Green Hornet gear and looking for a Kato. Any volunteers?
…and that’s the view from The Balcony.
Randy Weeks is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Certified Shamanic Life Coach, an ordained minister, a singer-songwriter, and an actor. Give Randy a buzz at firstname.lastname@example.org . No stingers, please.