Yellow Jackets

It was the summer before I went off to college and I was mowing lawns for my girlfriend’s dad who owned a lot of apartment properties in the town. Most of them had been pretty much neglected and the grass grew up to the windows of most of the apartments. They werent in the best part of town either. One of the apartment complexes I was shocked that he owned because we saw it on the local news everynight for drivebys and stand offs.


I was using a push mower because he was also cheap. So riding lawnmowers were never available or always in the shop. Unbeknownst to be but soon i beknownst it immediately. I ran over a nest of yellow jackets. Yellow jackets build their nests underground which i was unaware of that would be like if you told me most birds live and lay their eggs in dirt.

I ran over them with the pushmower and boy where they pissed. They began to sting every bit of flesh they could get hold of. Mostly they got my hands and face. Instantly in pain and beginning to swell I drove the truck back to my girlfriends dad’s office. On the drive looking at my hands I could see them swell to the point of not being able to grab the wheel.


I go inside, and being from the south I didnt even think about going to the hospitial I knew there was some home remedy I could try first. Growing up poor in the south you had to have some secrets to save on hospital bills. So people tried everything and some of them work but most of them dont. My girlfriend Dad suggested that I put some tobacco spit on it. He said “It’ll take out the swelling.” He unrolled one of cigarettes and I put it in my mouth and spit on them. That didnt seem to work. I was still in a lot of pain. He then said “Maybe you should go to the store and get some actually chew.”


I was unable to think I was in such paint but that sounded like a good idea at the time. I mean both tobaccos are different and the chew would have a more dense tobacco. So why not? I walk up to the gas station that was on that was on the corner and directly in front of Dairy Queen. I walk in and at this point my face had been sweeling as well and it was hard to talk. I asked the clerk for some SCOAL. He asked what kind and i replied “Anykind hurry!” I threw my wallet down that I couldnt even grasp and he took out five bucks. I began to try and open the scoal can but with my hands in the shape that they were I wasnt able to. So I had to ask the kind clerk that I was so mean to…to please open my scoal. He tears the sides with his thumbnail and opened the can for me. I took one pinch that equalled half the can and put it in my mouth.


I ran outside of the gas station because I couldnt control where all this spit is going to go. I start spitting all over my swollen hands hoping to bring them some relief, for their sake. As I’m spitting the nicotine begins to hit me. I get real dizzy, the queezy and before I knew it I was throwing up on my hands outside of a gas station.


I drove home in  my 97 saturn with swollen hands, my mom gave me some benedryll. I took a cold shower and went to bed. I woke up the next morning and finished mowing the grass of the apartment. But this time I didn’t see it coming… Because my eyes were still swollen.


I have never dipped or anything like that because it just looked gross and never came in any good flavors.. Mint is the best you can get. A girl I dated in college that dipped got me to try Apple Scoal which was kind of sour and I liked it for a little while.