This wasp took on a suicide mission to ride a Harley for Easter. He just chose the wrong Harley!
I decided to post the story behind this weeks Pic Of The Week as an added bonus for Monday. Come back later if you need to, but you gotta read this one! LR
Easter weekend proved to be a great two days of beautiful Spring weather here in our little area of Alabama. Harley and I took advantage of the warm 70 degree afternoons and went riding. Both days!!
We rode to Tuscaloosa on Sunday (to visit Harley's mom and his aunt's for Easter) to help make up for feeling shortchanged for cutting our ride short the day before. Our Saturday jaunt ended up at the local ER in Tallassee for a not so nice end to a wonderful day!
Harley and I just rode through Union Springs, and we were heading North up Hwy. 29. I was following along, taking in all the lavenders and yellows and other Spring colors popping throughout the landscape, when I noticed Harley braking and shaking his side to side somewhat erratically. There was no good place to pull off, but that apparently was not going to deter Harley from pulling over. I'm thinking... WTF??
I no sooner got my kick stand down, when Harley was already off his bike and making purposeful strides back towards me while yelling, "You've gotta get this bug out of my ear!!"
I'm thinking, holy sh*t, did he say a bug is in his ear?? I get him to calm down for a few seconds so I can take a look. I don't see anything!
I ask, "Are you sure it's still in there?"
He looks me straight in the eyes and I see his panic setting in as he says, "I was looking around, when all of a sudden it hit, and I felt a sharp pain immediately. Now I hear this thing in there and it's eating it's way through trying to get out!"
Okay... I start to understand the urgency now. We have a real emergency here! I'm standing there watching my husband of 28 years, suddenly act like he's been infected by some horrible brain eating body snatcher. This bug, whatever it is, is also causing extreme pain in his ear canal, and he is getting more frustrated that we can't find something, anything (like a fricking tweezers!) that we can use to try and pull it out. To top that off, once I convince him to let me call for help, I realize we have no service!
Another 10 minutes of dogging cars and cursing cell phone technology brought us to game time decision. We pulled ourselves together and rode! Harley said, "Get me to the nearest Dr.!"
I led the way. We had our flashers on and throttles open as we sped up the highway, flying toward anyone who would be able to help. I noticed a Police car at a Gas Station convenience store as we came into Tuskegee. We whipped in and explained to him what was happening. He didn't have anything to help us, but the store clerk tossed me a bottle of Isopropyl alcohol. We poured a little of that down Harley's ear and suddenly he went berserk! Seems we just pissed off the bug!
Well, our cop pal couldn't help with the bug, but we did get the blue light treatment through town to the nearest Fire Station. I was hoping they would be able to retrieve Harley's bug before it took up permanent residency, but again, we hit a dead end. They didn't have the proper kits or tools to extract a bug deeply lodged in someones ear. It's finally concluded, that a Hospital is going to be Harley's only hope. We have to go to Tallassee, about 20 miles away. All the while, Harley is riding himself around, enduring intense pain and pressure, trying to find someone to get this bug out of his ear. The only good thing at this point is... the alcohol seemed to halt the intense activity of the bug. We figured it's either dead, or just passed out and is going to be really pissed off when he wakes up!
By the time we got to the Tallassee Community Hospital ER, Harley's bug has been in it's new home for about 45 minutes. It has stopped "chewing his way out", but was still emitting an enormous amount of pressure and was starting to cause a headache. While we were waiting our turn to see the ER Dr., I took the opportunity to look into Harley's ear with that ear magnifier thingy that hangs on the wall. I carefully inspected the area, letting my gaze follow the canal down close to the ear drum and way back as far as I could see... there it is! I saw just a tiny little bit of the ends of two hairy legs. Boy... that sucker is in there!
We sat around and fulfilled the obligatory two and a half hour wait for treatment. Finally, Dr. Young (he barley looked old enough to vote!) was able to flush and irrigate the bug out of the canal far enough, so he could reach it with an alligator forceps... a long narrow pliers like thing. After about three very painful attempts, the nice young Dr. finally retrieved this very large wasp that just simply wanted to ride on a Harley for Easter. My hubby was extremely relieved to be rid of his unwelcome passenger, I can tell ya!
When we got home Saturday evening, we reflected on the million in one odds, that a wasp could land a hole in one like that. Still, we packed the First Aid Kit back on the bike and made sure we had Q-tips and tweezers in it. I don't think I would've been able to get this particular bug today, even if I had the tools I needed. This bugger was deep, deep, deep!
As riders, we can learn how to prevent problems like this by sharing our experiences with each other. Reading this post may cause some of you to reconsider what kind of lid you wear, if one at all. Maybe... maybe not. Or, you could be like us and just add one more piece of gear to the list of things you don't leave home without... and that's cotton! Even after this terrible fiasco, I'm not going to stop wearing my half helmet and neither is Harley. But we can promise you this... there will be cotton in our ears from now on!