I was driving down a semi-rural road (in a little town on the edge of the metro area, called Buckeye) on my way to my first job-site at about 7:30 this morning. Window rolled down because the A/C in my truck is broke, and God's been fiddling with the thermostat down here lately, warming Himself up to really mess with us this summer. So I'm going about 50 MPH or so, when out of the corner of my eye I see a largish speck hurtling toward me. It's in my peripheral vision for mere instants, before it smashes into my windpipe and bounces down the collar of my shirt. It felt like somebody had shot me with a slingshot.
There was a brief pause; I imagine that during those moments, the hornet (or whatever sort of assassin bug it was; I never did get a good look at it) picked himself up and shook his head a few times, maybe got down on his knees and thanked whatever winged little deity it worshiped for surviving an impact like that. Then, of course, (because it's the natural thing to do after having survived an impact at 50) the hornet started to tattoo it's initials across my chest.
There I am, flying down the road with a psychotic, bearded madman in a semi truck trying to drive several tons of building materials up my ass, and the damned hornet is tap-dancing a staccato stitch of pain right up the crack between my pectorals. I immediately began flailing wildly at my chest, trying to either smash the little dude or at least interrupt his work. Instead, I managed to knock him down on to my stomach, where he started in on his impression of a telegraph operator. He was tapping out messages in Morse code down there. Long messages. Entire novels.
The situation demanded action, so action I took. At that point on the road, the shoulder had turned from packed gravel into six or seven inches of soft sand, into which I steered at close to 60 miles per hour. Dirt flew out to the sides like a ship's wake, and the truck began slewing around, flopping back and forth like a beached carp as I crammed on the brakes. The moment the truck halted, I flung the door open, leaped out of the seat and, oblivious to the stares of passing motorists who surely were thinking that some poor working slob had finally had enough of long days and short pay and was flipping out, started thrashing around in panic. The looks on their faces as they accelerated past me suggested that they thought I was but one step away from sitting in a high place with a scoped rifle, shooting pedestrians.
I didn't care.
My shirt was tucked in, and the little bastard had gotten himself wedged down in there just above the waistband of my pants, right above my right butt cheek. I'm all for encouraging people (and insects, I suppose) to take up new hobbies, but I thought it wildly inappropriate that the hornet should choose that very instant to try his hand (or stinger) at embroidery. Flailing and gyrating wildly, I jerked the tail of my shirt from my pants, and the hornet flew away, leaving me panting and swearing in the middle of the road.
The swelling has gone down, and thankfully I've never suffered from extreme reactions to insect stings. I still wish I'd been able to capture that damned thing, though; I would have done mean things to it, things to make the Spanish Inquisition look like children playing Truth or Dare.