By Dean Lusk
I hope you'll enjoy this blast from the past (originally posted in 2008):
An appropriate subtitle for today's post is "Lessons in Stupidity." Some of you will read this post and think, "Oh, no he di'n't," and some will read it and say, "Dude! I wish I'd been there!" Regardless, in light of this story I find it ironic that I've ever posted anything at all about wisdom.
This morning I was string-trimming in some thick weeds behind our storage shed, and I hit one of those tomato vine stabilizing wire thingies. It was pretty rusty, and I leaned down through the weeds and pulled it and one more out of the ground. I threw them down behind me and I started to pray, "Lord, please keep me from stepping on that rusty wire while I work," and then either God or my common sense said, "C’mon… that's dumb, Dean. Move the wire." So I stopped trimming and put it in the trash. Score one for wisdom!
I kept trimming so I could get to this huge weed-berry-tree thing with purple roots and pull it up without stepping on a snake, and in doing so I had to move our old Rubbermaid trash can out of the way. We haven’t used it in forever. It housed a really old tarp
, a bunch of soda cans
which probably had fermented cola
left in them, a bag with dirty diapers
, and miscellaneous paper trash
Oh yeah… and a wasp nest
As soon as I rolled the trash can away from the shed, the air filled with a dozen or so wasps, which I thought were behind the trash can high on the wall of the shed (lots of good wasp hiding places in a tin roof). I ran to get the wasp spray, but it only lasted for two shots, neither of which felled a bogey. So I ran inside and grabbed some Lysol (TM)-style disinfectant spray. You need to be aware that it will not kill wasps; don’t bother trying. Also be aware that it's not flammable. That was the next step in my strategy -- the tried-and-true lighter-and-aerosol can plan
. When the disinfectant wouldn’t ignite, I ran back inside and snagged a can of hairspray. My daughter wanted to help arm me when she found out why I was so excited, so she gave me a can of glitter hairspray, which turned out to be extremely flammable; even more than our boring adult hairspray
. I took the glitter hairspray and a lighter and marched back out to the shed.
I got a couple of wasps before I realized that the nest was actually in the blue trash can
, not on the wall of the shed. There’s a little circular cap on the top of the trash can lid (you can see it in the photo), and it was missing -- that's where the wasps were going in and out. I figured I'd smoke 'em out, so I sprayed a pretty good bit of glitter into the hole (no flame – that would be dumb
), hoping to get a few of them from the fumes, and then I moved on to shoot them out of the air with the lighter.
A few moments later, a wasp landed on the edge of the trash can. It was a "gimme."
That sucker was just sitting there waiting to be flamed. So I edged up to the can, flicked the lighter, and depressed the nozzle. Oh, man, was this ever sweet. And then... BWHOOOOM!!!!
The trash can lid flew high into the air, along with soda cans and a bag of what appeared later to be dirty diapers. I instinctively dove away, thinking, "Were those cans THAT fermented?!" and before that thought was even past my synapses I remembered that I'd sprayed several gallons (or a lot, anyway) of glitter hairspray into the can
Eyes still wide, I looked at the blackened soft drink cans laying on the ground and the white bag containing a poop diaper, and then I saw the tarp sticking out of the trash can, smoldering and beginning to ignite. I rushed to Hershey the Dog’s pool and picked it up, spilling the water but giving me enough to extinguish the growing flame. Then I poured the rest of the water on the smoldering diaper bag.
As I stood there, thanking God for saving me from a massive amount of foolishness, I looked at the upside-down trash can lid and spied a vacant, slightly-charred wasp nest
. Got 'em!!
All this to say... while I have never done this specific thing before (and most likely will never do it again), the building blocks and lessons were already in place for me to have known just how stupid I was being. How many times have we been given knowledge and wisdom that we ought to be applying but fail to do so because of a little temptation for excitement or fun? He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, But he who heeds rebuke gets understanding.
- Proverbs 15:32 (NKJV)