Sometimes I act without thinking.
I can’t be the only one.
Sometimes your instincts kick in and you follow through with some sort of visceral reaction driven purely by your gut.
Other times you do actually take a second to think things through and still decide that what you’ve decided to do is the best course of action even though it blatantly isn’t.
I know that there are calm and logical people out there who calmly make logical decisions.
I know that these people exist.
I am not usually one of these people.
This morning when I ventured out into the foul weather, I opened my letterbox to find a fairly disheveled looking wasp sitting obnoxiously on top of my mail. He was clearly there to take refuge from the rain, but I wanted the mail and I don’t particularly enjoy the company of insects. So after angrily eyeing the wasp for a few seconds, I tentatively took the corner of the envelope he was sitting on and threw it wasp-side-down into a puddle.
I then threw the rest of the mail into the puddle as well, just to be sure that I had thoroughly dealt with the situation.
Given that the mail was made out of paper – as is so often the case when it comes to the mail – it did not fare too well in the puddle. When I picked up the mail, the wasp remained on the ground so I would consider the actions that I took to have been a success despite the soggy status of the latest household bills. And before you go getting all up in my grill about throwing wasps on the ground, read this: http://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/pests-and-threats/animal-pests/animal-pests-a-z/wasps/
These particular wasps are introduced, have no natural predators, and are wreaking havoc with the local flora and fauna. Even so, the wasp in question survived having the mail plonked on top of him and our mutual encounter ended with him looking barely any worse for wear. The puddle wasn’t that deep, after all.
What I like about this scenario is that I live on a busy main road, so a whole bunch of people would have seen me out to fetch the mail in the rain. They would have seen me calmly remove the mail from the letterbox. And then they would have seen me calmly, purposefully, and inexplicably throw the mail onto the ground into the puddle.
They would not have seen the wasp.
I wonder if they silently questioned my behaviour, or whether they simply shrugged it off and accepted it as one of those weird things that people sometimes do.
What I want you to know is that this is actually one of the rare occasions when I did give my actions some prior thought. You see, during those few moments in which I was angrily eyeing the wasp, I was actually being deeply calculative.
Had the weather been good, I would have slammed the letterbox door closed and never ever opened it again. This is how I deal with most insect encounters – I trap them under cups and leave them for someone else to deal with. Though this strategy did backfire on me one time when I was home alone for two weeks and ended up having to pick my way through a minefield of upturned glasses because there was no one else around to deal with them. But on this occasion, this highly calculative brain of mine knew that if I was throw the wasp in the puddle its wings would probably be too damp for it to fly after, attack, and ultimately kill me.
Admittedly, throwing one’s mail into a puddle may not appear to be the best strategy for dealing with swarms of venomous killer wasps. But hear me out…
The mail looked suspiciously like it was merely a couple of bills. And we all know that bills are virtually indestructible. The ink never runs and the paper always dries out eventually (just as wasp’s wings would also do). Besides, no one ever sends me anything interesting in the mail anyway. So whatever went into the puddle was unlikely to be any great loss. So all-in-all I am fairly chuffed with the outcome of the situation, and the power company will eventually get their money too – so they are unlikely to care about how I treat their correspondence.
So the moral of today’s story is that I am secretly a genius. And also that even though we maybe do think a situation through, we sometimes still end up doing silly things anyway.