Friday, June 16, 2006

Suzumebachi

In Human Terms, this Hornet that my Junior High School’s Vice Principle Fought and Defeated in the School Gymnasium is a Son of Anak (Our Vice Principal is a Confirmed Smoker so He Felt that a Cigarette was the Most Appropriate International Unit of Measurement to Use Here)

Suzumebachi is the Japanese word for “giant Asian hornet” and literally means “sparrow-bee” (presumably because they are sometimes almost as big as sparrows). When I was in elementary school our teachers would often amuse themselves by telling us stories of children and old people being viciously swarmed by suzumebachi in the woods. These narratives usually ended with: “and he was carried away to the hospital in an ambulance, but it was too late. He died!” Either they forgot to mention, or else I failed to comprehend, that usually the prerequisite for these scenarios was that the unfortunate subject be allergic to hornet venom. In spite of this, I never developed the same kind of fear for hornets as I did for snakes. I guess my first bee sting when I was five years old immunized me from such fears. Anyhoo, my junior high school seems to be in the opening throes of a hornet infestation and orders have gone out that all suzumebachi sightings are to be reported to the vice principal so that he can monopolize all the fun of doing battle with them. Personally, I think that the ALT should be deputized to assist in Operation Hornet Watch because he can add an element of international cooperation to the conflict in the spirit of internationalization.