Beasts......

..... I've spent the better part of this afternoon researching pain and trapping yellowjackets.... I've run the subject pretty much to ground, I think...... thresholds, volumes, modes, types, etc..... it's been an eye-opening experience.......

.... so far, my favorite quote regarding pain still comes from 'The Princess Bride'... but that's another story...

.... however, I did read of a scientist from the Carl Hayden Bee Research Center that curried my curiosity..... one Justin O. Schmidt.....

.... it seems that old Justin enjoyed spending his time researching the venom of various stinging insects and working out how it operates when interacting with humans...... AND how it feels..... mesmerizing stuff, to be sure..... hey, who among us hasn't been zapped by a bumblebee, wasp, fire ant, or hornet before?.... want to know the difference between the pain of a Bald-faced hornet's sting pulsing through your forearm or those little raised pustules you get from stomping on a fire ant nest?.... just ask Justin.... he's been there and done that......

...... anyway, it seems that Justin created the Justin O. Schmidt Pain Index to help us all rate our stinging-insect experiences...... it is a sort of pain scale for what different bites feel like - and the level of pain that is experienced.....

.... of course, this is all good and fine, and I applaud Dr. Schmidt for his good labors..... but as I actually READ his descriptions - ala wikipedia - I found myself thinking that either Dr. Schmidt was a complete masochist, or he was a little bit off his rocker...... or perhaps a little of both... here is an excerpt from the wikipedia article.....

Subsequently, Schmidt has refined his scale, culminating in a paper published in 1990 which classifies the stings of 78 species and 41 genera of Hymenoptera. Notably, Schmidt described some of the experiences in vivid and almost synesthetic detail:

* 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 & 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 Bald-faced hornet : Rich, hearty, slightly crunchy. Similar to getting your hand mashed in a revolving door .
* 2.0 Yellowjacket: Hot and smoky, almost irreverent. Imagine W. C. Fields extinguishing a cigar on your tongue.
* 2.x Honey bee and European hornet : Like a matchhead that flips off and burns on your skin.
* 3.0 Red harvester ant: Bold and unrelenting. Somebody is using a drill to excavate your ingrown toenail .
* 3.0 Paper wasp: Caustic & burning. Distinctly bitter aftertaste. Like spilling a beaker of hydrochloric acid on a paper cut.
* 4.0 Tarantula hawk: Blinding, fierce, shockingly electric. A running hair drier has been dropped into your bubble bath.
* 4.0+ Bullet ant : Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like fire-walking over flaming charcoal with a 3-inch rusty nail in your heel.


..... quite a descriptive fellow, that Dr. Schmidt, eh?..... "like fire-walking over flaming charcoal with a 3-inch rusty nail in your heel?"..... that's hardcore, folks........ I hope that I never meet an angry crowd of Bullet ants anywhere....... but in my neck of the woods?.... I've been dealing with the hot, smoky, almost irreverent types all day long.......

..... see?..... my goodness, rubberneckers.... y'all have no idea the lengths, trials, tribulations, stings slings & arrows that I put up with, dodge around, and go through to make sure that My Backyard in October is a suitable location for a festive blogmeet!...... next year I'm making Yabu come down a WEEK early just to help me beat all of the woodland creatures into some semblance of civilization..... doing this shit by myself isn't that much fun......

by Eric on October 03, 2008 | Bullshit (7) | TrackBack (0) | Blogging
Bullshit So Far

That dude's pretty good. I guess you could call him a sommelier of pain. My description of being hit by a baldface hornet is: SSSSSSSHHHHHIIIIIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!
Maybe you'll get an early frost. That would clear out most of the critters from your yard. Except for the deer of course. They'll just saunder on in and drink up all your Scotch.....while your cats watch.

Bullshitted by Tbird on October 3, 2008 06:55 PM

Oh you poor thing! The lengths you go to to protect us all is amazing!!

Bullshitted by Michele on October 3, 2008 06:59 PM

i'd like to add one...

* 5.0+ Giant Cicada Killer Wasp: starts as a pyretic .22 caliber bullet entering your kneecap, spreading like a searing wave of grass fire across an open plain, finishing with a not so subtle oakiness of a pounding fatherly paddle.

here's the label: http://www.critterzone.com/magazineresource/magazine-article-cicada-killer-wasp-Sphecius-speciosus.htm

Bullshitted by Jay- the friendly neighborhood piper on October 3, 2008 09:54 PM

Some things just need killing...wasps are near the top of the list.

Bullshitted by Rey B on October 3, 2008 10:17 PM

Funny you should mention this... today I suit up in my best homemade beekeeper suit and try to get rid of the hornet nest on my side fence. I hope I'm not allergic, as this would be a bad time to find out.
You are a good host, to make things un-stingy for your guests.

Bullshitted by LeeAnn on October 4, 2008 10:43 AM

You could have let each guest sample a sting, and then write a description of the pain they feel. See how they compare to Herr Schmidt.

Bullshitted by That 1 Guy on October 5, 2008 11:06 AM

Kick that sumbitch in the nuts... I bet his scale will go up to five. Yaint but a pussy if your scale only goes to four.....

Take me for instance, I'm seven on a scale of 10 on stupid.

I know, Bo Derek wannabe... I am. She's got nice tata's. They told me to aim high.

Bullshitted by RedNeck on October 5, 2008 06:15 PM