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A crack in the wood 0

Dear Bradshaw,

We spent the weekend in Sabaudia. Whenever we get there we have to clear the patio furniture out of the living room and then set up everything outside, which means moving the table, chairs, cushions, and the huge-and-heavy umbrella. Only problem this time was that the umbrella was infested with wasps. So it was a delicate operation, demanding both caution and courage, especially because I’m me.

First of all, I carefully dragged the umbrella onto the patio, speaking in a pacific tone and assuring the wasps they’d be happier outside where there was more space and the air was fresher. Bent forward with my head deep inside enemy territory, I added that if they decided to sting me anyway, I’d be grateful if they at least didn’t sting me in the face, especially not the eyes or ears.

Once outside, I grabbed the garden hose and flooded the umbrella with water. One by one, I found them out, and after squirting them clear, I sprayed them across the patio and then down the steps to the driveway. Three times I thought the coast was clear, but then a new one would crawl out of the most unlikely place, a fold of fabric or a crack in the wood, and I worried about being stung by the last one, you know, the fittest, fastest, most painful stinger of all.

Everything went well. I didn’t get stung. But after hoisting the huge-and-heavy umbrella, setting it into the base stand, and then spreading it open, I found three more wasps buzzing around a hive. I carpet-sprayed them to the ground, washed them down the steps, and then poured Francesca and I two glasses of wine, sort of to celebrate, but also because we like to drink wine.

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