by Gary Hardaway

He spends his Sunday morning spraying WD-40 through the straw-like stream attachment at the expansive paper nest of beige and ivory striped wasps. After each raid, he runs back into the house and watches through the sunroom glass three or four wasps fall from the nest in petrochemical distress into the shrubbery below. They don't appear to rise again. With each attack, he tries to soak the white-capped cells-- and their cargo of developing larvae-- with petroleum distillate sufficient to abort development of new winged terrors. Tens of capable wasps persist. Even in the safety of the house he begins to hear the buzz of wasp wings where there are none. He understands-- karma is a bitch.