27 March 2007


It was a pretty afternoon on Monday and after I got home, I played in the yard for awhile. I am still a little shy of an area where I ticked off a group of yellowjackets last summer. It's still too early for them to be out in full force again, but I haven't forgotten their venomous ways. I didn't realize until a few days ago, however, that there is actually a scale for those wacky hymenopterans and their toxic vengeance. The Schmidt Sting Pain Index was written by an entomologist who has a passion for all things ant and wasp-like. It is rich in imagery.

  • 1.0 Sweat bee: Light ephemeral, almost fruity. A tiny spark has singed a single hair on your arm.
  • 1.2 Fire ant: Sharp, sudden, mildly alarming. Like walking across a shag carpet and reaching for the light switch.
  • 1.8 Bullhorn acacia ant: A rare, piercing, elevated sort of pain. Someone has fired a staple into your cheek.
  • 2.0 Baldfaced hornet: Rich, hearty, slightly crunchy. Similar to getting your hand mashed in a revolving door.
  • 2.0 Yellowjacket: Hot and smoky, almost irreverent. Imagine WC Fields extinguishing a cigar on your tongue.
  • 2.x Honey bee and European hornet.
  • 3.0 Red harvester ant: Bold and unrelenting. Somebody is using a drill to excavate your ingrown toenail.
  • 3.0 Paper Wasp: Caustic and burning. Distinctly bitter aftertaste. Like spilling a beaker of Hydrochloric acid on a paper cut.
  • 4.0 Pepsis Wasp: Blinding, fierce, shockingly electric. A running hair drying has been dropped into your bubble bath (if you get stung by one you might as well lie down and scream).
  • 4.0+ Bullet ant: Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like walking over flaming charcoal with a 3" nail in your heel.
The "2.0" version was quite enough for me (many times over). I'm not sure I want to find myself in situations where I'm going to want to just lie down and scream. I think I'd prefer either some "Ant-ique" wallpaper:

Or maybe some ant sugar?

Revenge is supposed to be sweet, isn't it?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I feel itchy.