Thursday, September 1, 2011

Funny Wasp Thing

The wasp approached in the afternoon as I was sitting on a leafy patio listening to my companions' leisurely conversation. He quickly got down to business and stung the back of my knee. I don't recall ever having been stung by a wasp before, so I didn't know what to expect, having seen and heard of extreme reactions.

I decided to go inside the restaurant and ask for some ice to put on the spot, to calm things down, and when I got back I explained what happened. Nearly all the people sipping drinks under the umbrellas were nurses or doctors, so they wanted to be sure I was o.k., but after I assured them that the ice was working fine, we went on talking about other things in the world.
Yellow Jacket

But I haven't got to the funny part. On the drive home I had to leave off icing that still-stinging place, and it did start hurting again; the heat was spreading and stabbing a little, too. I'll just have to take some Benadryl when I get home, I thought.

I switched on the radio in the middle of "The Flight of the Bumblebee," but perhaps because it was not exactly a bee that had got me, I didn't think anything of it. At the end of that piece, the announcer said that after that he felt he really must play "The Wasp Overture" by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

I couldn't believe my good fortune -- or what was surely a little medicine custom-formulated by God. The remedy seemed to work, because by the time I got back to my town, the site of the sting was not swollen or painful anymore, and there was only a little red dot where that (probably) yellow jacket had attacked. Mr. Glad called it a musical form of homeopathy: like cures like.

I didn't even take the whole remedy, because the overture was still playing when I had to turn of the engine and go inside. It was a beautiful piece, more evocative of the lovely aspects of a summer afternoon than the wicked wasp himself -- that is, what I noticed of it.

Mostly I was amazed, as I listened, that anyone would compose music with that title, and that I was hearing it for the first time after my recent insect encounter. Since then I've learned that it was written for a production of Aristophanes' play The Wasps, and is a fairly popular piece. But at the time all I could think was, Could Vaughan Williams have written such a thing if he'd ever known a wasp the way I did that day?

10 comments:

Janet said...

I think the piece would have more anger and crashing dissonance if he did. :-)

I was stung a week ago by a yellow jacket, and my little red dot is still itchy.

Gumbo Lily said...

I call that a God-Thing.

Jody

Pom Pom said...

That's amazing! I'm so glad your reaction was minimal. Sometimes wasp stings get all big and red!

E Helena E said...

Music as serendiptious healing, indeed!

violet said...

Lovely - not the wasp sting but the therapy. I've heard such serendipities called "God winks."

Left-Handed Housewife said...

What a great story! And I'm so happy your bite stopped hurting. I was bit by a wasp once and outside of childbirth it was some of the worst pain I ever felt!

Just more evidence that music can cure what ails you ...

xofrances

Kimchi Girl said...

What an intriguing and unusual experience! So glad the sting's effects improved after taking Benedryl. A day to remember, for sure!

wayside wanderer said...

Serendipitous is the word that came to my mind, too. I have never been stung by a wasp ... not yet anyways.

GretchenJoanna said...

Kimchi, I never had to take Benadryl because the music was so effective. ;-)

Kimchi Girl said...

Oops...! ::blush::