The Swarm

“I’ll take ‘Bad Michael Caine’ movies for five hundred, Alex.”

I’ve been swamped — or should I say swarmed — of late. Aside from running around dealing with a bunch of organization and writing tasks, most pressingly I’ve been dealing with that latest invasion of nature in my house.

A couple of years ago, you may remember it was raccoons. This time, it’s wasps. A whole nest of them resides under the exterior paneling above my front door. They’ve been getting into the house lately, much to the delight of my cats and the horror of my wife. After disposing of ten of them in the vestibule one day, I went outside, armed only with a step stool and a vacuum cleaner, and proceeded to suck up another five hundred of the little bastards in one hour flat.

Supposedly, this variety of wasp dies off in the late fall when the queen leaves to find a warm place to hibernate, so the problem should resolve itself soon. I’ll remain on vacuum patrol until then. And one day, once it gets really chilly out, I’ll open up the vacuum cleaner and take the bag to the trash. There’s nothing like a cold day to calm down an eight pound sack of pissed-off wasps.

I’ll try to keep you up to date on a sting-by-sting basis.

*

One of the infrequent attendees at my movie night soiree is Rachel, who made an appearance and stayed for the film this week. With advance knowledge of her presence, I came prepared to exchange gifts. We have an arrangement, you see. She brings me exotic pilsners from the distant land of Saskatchewan every time she visits home and, in exchange, I taunt her about her phobias like a fucking asshole.

Rachel has a thing about broken bones, as I discovered last year when Adam Green‘s film Frozen drove her from the building at the halfway mark. She didn’t quite flee screaming, just cringing and gagging. With that in mind, I brought the infamous movie-night whiteboard filled with the following menu selections:

Finger Breaking Good (1976) – Mobsters try to muscle in on Colonel Sanders’ secret recipe only to find they play for keeps down in Kentucky – one piggy at a time.

The Bone Crusher (1981) – A loan shark grows weary of his job breaking people’s legs and finds a new lease on life when he switches to breaking people’s arms.

Snap Goes the Femur (1990) – The heart-warming true story of a downhill skier who bounces back after a career-ending injury.

Ribbed for Her Pleasure (1995) – A construction worker, pinned under a ton of sheet metal with a crushed rib cage, finds true love with a passing angel of mercy who talks him through his ordeal.

Fractured (2008) – A world famous stuntman refuses to be recruited by the CIA until he breaks every bone in his body during a failed motorcycle jump. How can he say no when they offer him a new identity, a new face, and a new skeleton made out stainless steel?

Rachel stayed for the movie anyway. Mostly because all of the above films are entirely fictional — phony fabrications on my part. For now at least. If there are interested producers out there, I’m available to write any of them for scale.

Call me. We’ll cut a deal.

*

Referring back to those writing tasks I mentioned earlier, there will probably be more multilingual translations of Longshot Comics coming in the near future. Europe keeps on calling and I hope to make some deals while the Eurozone still has a currency to pay me with.

Also, later this year, my short story, Bayonet Baby, will be appearing in the Weird War anthology from War of the Words Press. I’ll post a heads-up once it’s out.

Don’t look at me like that.

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