Greeting, Fellow Animal Lovers!
Ya just gotta love Washington State!
Do you wanna hear the latest buzz from Hanford Nuclear Reservation?
Well....You may not need to listen very hard:
....Some buzzes may soon be much louder than others!
Take the case of the radioactive paper wasps!
Back on June 26, the boys from Bechtel Corporation were gainfully employed in dismantling the buildings housing the long-abandoned plutonium-producing "H" reactor complex.
You may ask: "What is an 'H' reactor complex"?
Well, as all LOYAL Americans know, the "H" reactor complex had been designed, (back in the days of American Graffiti) to mercilessly sting the bejesus out of the cold war enemies of the United States!
This worthwhile objective was to be achieved by utilizing it's output of high quality, weapons grade plutonium.
But lucky us...... those days have now passed into oblivion... And ... some years back, we American tax payers subsequently entered the golden age of the "Peace Dividend!"
Exitus mundo, reactor "H"!
But wait! It now appears that the news of the "Peace Dividend" somehow failed to reach the multiple receptor antennae of one of the more insidious weapons ever to be employed by those perfidious Ruskies against we "Peace Dividend" loving Americans!
Now....Here's some front page stuff!.....The European Paper wasp (genus Vespedae) is a ferocious and implacable hunter!
This highly aggressive wasp is the terror of the insect world. Further... These winged harridans have many times managed to give your author a dose of that old time religion!
More than once I have offered a short prayer of thanksgiving that the Lord, in his infinite wisdom, saw fit to keep these hornets "pint size."
The thought of a hive of these creatures the size of house cats is too horrible to dwell upon. Oh yes...Did I mention? The European Paper wasp is alien to our hallowed shores.
(I highly suspect that it originated in France!)
Be that as it may, and, doubtless in the employ of the enemies of freedom, this Visa-less varmint soon found its way across the Atlantic in order to further the subversion of truth, justice, and American Way! (Not to mention the Border Patrol)
In the last 20 years our many-eyed rascal has spread across this hallowed continent, from sea to shinning sea.
The Paper wasp loves to build it's nests in all the works of man ... but in particular, they have a soft spot in their multiple hearts for the recesses of abandoned buildings!
And so it was that the Bechtel boys, armed with long sticks and gallons of Malathion, and single-mindedly intent on surprising the irascible genus Vespidae in it's lair, soon found that their winged nemesis had a few surprises of their own up the sleeves of their yellow jackets!
Not only was this permanently PMS(ish) airborne plague armed, irritable, and dangerous, but to the horror of our civil servants, was found to be carrying nuclear tipped missiles!
Alas! A mini Fifth Column in the heart of America's nuclear/industrial strike force!
The Bechtel boys beat an ignominious and hasty retreat!
To quote Bechtel spokesman Todd Nelson: "That was the first time that Hanford had ever encountered a radioactive wasp. (Yea, SURE Todd, what ever you say!)
Mr. Nelson, Obviously concerned for Bechtel's public image with the Nature crowd and the folks from PETA, was quick to add:
"We haven't been provoking them"... "There're no reported stings!" "No reported buzzing or dive-bombing of workers."
(The following is an Editorial from the author)
"SAY WHAT"? "Hey Todd...Are we on the same page here?"
Ah, but I digress:
Under the guidelines of a new program called "Bech-tell-all" the company now glowingly reports that they have been trapping the offending insects and examining them for signs of radioactivity. (I'm sure that doesn't provoke them)
So far there have no reports of overgrown yellow jackets attacking or carrying off Federal Employees. (I take that as proof of discriminating taste on the part of our radioactive friends!)
Bechtel spokesmen, fearing a hornet's nest of public inquiries, are quick to point out that this latest Apian gaffe is nothing new for Hanford. After all, in the past few years, company employees have fearlessly faced down the fearsome threat posed by radioactive ants, the implacable invasion of the radioactive mice in neighboring Richland, WA. (in 1996), the horrid horror of Ferocious radioactive fruit flies, (in 1998) and...last but not least, valiantly persevered in the long term and ongoing struggle for human survival posed by the constant assault of tumbling radioactive tumbleweeds!
Bechtel admits that the problems posed by nuclear armed hornets are somewhat "complex" but the company remains hopeful that a mutual balance of terror or some other form of detente or "containment" can be reached with the newfound atomic aviators inhabiting the hidden recesses of the building that contains the reactor of Complex "H"
"After all," says the undaunted Bechtel spokesman: "The huge, multi-storied, multi-roomed cavernous, nookfilled "H" reactor complex has been untouched by humans for most of the past 38 years!" "How much worse can it get?"