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17:46:07 - 2000-03-31

THE IDIOT'S SURVIVAL GUIDE TO BEING STUNG BY A WASP

You cannot die from a wasp sting.

This is just one of the many useful tidbits of information I learned today after being savagely stung by a professional attack wasp, who I believe may have been a Nazi, but I'm not sure because I didn't think to ask for it's Nazi Membership Card. However, it did have a bad haircut and an attitude problem. So it was either a Nazi Wasp or Bruce Willis.

Rather than use my misfortune as a pathetic tool to gain sympathy from you, I have decided to parlay my newfound knowledge into something positive. Without further ado (okay ... just a LITTLE more ado...but let's not overdo the ado), is my Idiot's Survival Guide to Being Stung By A Wasp.

1) Panic. As soon as one feels the stinger of the wasp injecting venomous fluid into the body's blood system, let out a horrific scream of terror. One of those screams that makes babies cry and dentists wince.

2) Run across your yard in a zig-zag fashion. This alleviates some of the pain, as well as alerts your neighbors that you have either been stung by a wasp or finally gotten the gig as Raymond in "Rain Man: The Musical." The neighbors can then pop some popcorn, sit back and enjoy the show.

3) Rub the affected area with chocolate syrup. Chocolate syrup has long been known for its healing powers. Unfortunately, in this case, it's about as effective as rubbing live wasps on the area. However, we all know that "licking your wounds" can be a good thing, so I cannot imagine this having a bad effect at all.

4) Pound on the patio door and scream for your spouse to "HURRY". This is of the utmost importance because you only have between 45-90 seconds before the initial pain wears off and you're left standing there, holding your finger and saying "I was stung, but it doesn't hurt anymore." By informing your spouse while enduring great pain and reeling from the initial shock, you may be able to convince her to go to the store and get some calamine lotion and pick up some coloring books along the way.

5) Wash with soap and warm water and apply a cold compress to the affected area. This is the ONLY official information that I could find on the Internet. Nothing is mentioned about zig-zagging and they don't even touch on the initial panic session that I feel is the most important part of survival.

There is no need to run to your local Doc In A Box. I was under the impression that every time one is stung by a bee, wasp, hornet or conniving ex-girlfriend, they must run immediately to Med-Aid and sit in a waiting room and watch their finger swell and get gangrene and then watch it be amputated, but ... and here's a bombshell ... a doctor does not have to be involved in the aftermath of a sting.

However, if the area develops a rash, if the patient is allergic to stings or if a mini van careens out of control and smacks into you while you were zig-zagging across the yard screaming your fool head off, you may want to see a real doctor.

And you'll probably want to quit turning to me for all your medical information.

Now go away. I've got pictures to color.

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