The heat is stifling. Buddy ambles into the living room, tongue hanging out. He stops at Jan’s desk and sits beside her typing chair, where Percy is rapidly and accurately typing. “It’s too hot to do anything, Percy. What are you typing? Better yet, why are you typing? You should be napping like the rest of the Funny Farm.”
“Can’t take time to nap yet, Buddy,” Percy says without taking his eyes off the monitor screen. “I have to finish this story so I can post it to our web journal before Jan gets home and deletes it from the computer.”
Buddy perks up at the hint someone else might get in trouble. “Why would Jan delete it? What are you writing?”
“The story of Waspzilla.”
“No, Waspzilla. You remember the wasp that was loose in the house yesterday. Jan sent some of her friends an email about Waspzilla and one of them wrote back that Jan should post the story to her journal on Mercy And Percy. But Jan said she doesn’t want the whole world to know how brave she isn’t. Only special friends are allowed to know she’s more of a fraidy-cat than Merci is.”
“So,” Buddy asks thoughtfully, “why are you writing the story to post on the Funny Farm?”
“Because Sherry said Jan’s story made her laugh hysterically and the world needs a lot of laughter. I agree.” Percy stops typing abruptly and scratches his nose with one paw, while hitting the zoom key so Buddy can read the words on the screen easier. “There, I’m done. Would you like to read it?”
**** It’s another sweltering day. We’re all lying around the Funny Farm while Jan plays on the computer. Buddy lolls on his favorite improvised seat where he can look out the front windows and watch the traffic and passersby.
Suddenly, Buddy begins to jump about and yell. “Run, everyone, there’s an intruder in the house. Find a safe place to hide while I try to scare him away. Uh-oh, he’s not afraid of me. I’ll have to catch him.”
Jan jumps up from the computer chair and rushes to Buddy’s side. (What is she thinking? Buddy is risking his life to save the rest of us and Jan acts like she doesn’t understand a word he is saying.) She leans close to the window and looks up and down the road several times, then scolds Buddy, “What are you barking at now? There isn’t anyone in sight. Shut up. Eeeeeeeeeeeeek!” she shrieks as Waspzilla flies right at her face. She turns and runs out of the room.
“Don’t worry, Jan, I’ll get it,” Buddy shouts, leaping and snapping his jaws in frustration, trying to catch the intruder, which repeatedly flies low and then darts back to the ceiling.
Jan speeds back into the room, waving a bottle of bug spray. (Bug spray? She should have grabbed the Waspzilla spray! Oh, right, she’d probably kill us all if she sprayed that indoors.) “Out of the way, Buddy,” she screams. “Get away from the wasp.”
Buddy ignores her, chasing after Waspzilla, jaws snapping feverishly, foaming at the mouth. ****
Buddy stops reading and glares at Percy. “I was not foaming at the mouth!”
“You weren’t?” Percy asks in surprise. “Oh, right, you weren’t. I have you confused with a dog video I was watching on YouTube. Here,” he hits the delete button, “it’s corrected. Sorry.”
**** Waspzilla flies into the kitchen, speeds round and round the room, then darts into the bedroom, Buddy hot on its heel. Jan follows, still waving the bottle of bug spray and screaming, “Buddy, no.”
Waspzilla flies low but Buddy’s moving jaws miss it as Jan’s high-pitched screeching grows louder. “Noooooooo, Buddy, nooooooooooo!” Her screaming unnerves Buddy, who dives under the coffee table, pops out, dives under, pops out…. (Yes, readers, Jan keeps a coffee table in her bedroom. I’m not sure why - she doesn’t keep any coffee in it – but I think it might have a personality conflict with the computer desk.)
Merci, still in the living room, shouts, “I’ll check under the couch,” and scrambles underneath it. ”
Buddy pops out from under the table, yelling, “I got it, I got it, I …Get out of the way, Jan!”
Samaritan runs around crying in a loud voice, “I want to play too. Where’s the- I see it. Where’d it go?
Jan scared it off when she sprayed it with - what is that stuff? It smells horrible!”
Somebody shut Jan up,” Percy suggests, entering the chase. “We can’t keep track of it with her making all that racket.”
“There it goes,” Buddy screams,” heading for Jan. Oh, good, she’s hiding in the closet. Can someone close that door?”
“It won’t close,” Percy says, pushing against it with all of his ten pounds. “Samaritan, you weigh more than I do. You try it.”
“No, it won’t close,” Samaritan yells over the combined noise of the other hunters. “Ouch! She hit me with the door when she rushed out.”
“Eeeeeek, there it goes,” Jan shrieks, as Waspzilla dives toward the rug and disappears.
“It’s here somewhere,” Buddy insists, racing around the room. But Waspzilla has disappeared. It must be dying or dead. Peace returns to the Funny Farm for a time.
“I found it, I found it, I almost had it.” Buddy’s loud cries break the silence, as Waspzilla appears at the window where it was first spotted. Jan jumps to her feet and again runs out of the room.
“I’ll get it,” Percy hollers, as he leaps into the air at Waspzilla.
“I’ll get it,”Samaritan yells.
“I’ll check under the couch,” Merci adds helpfully.
The Funny Farm hunters chase Waspzilla through the house a second time. Jan follows, waving a can of bug spray. (Can, bottle, what’s the difference. It all smells terrible.) By this time Waspzilla is more desperate to escape the screaming residents than the residents are to kill it before it stings a resident. Jan screams, “Buddy, don’t you dare catch that! There isn’t an emergency vet within a gazillion miles!”
Waspzilla finally alights on the blind behind the kitchen stove and Jan blasts him with bug spray.
Waspzilla flies at her through the mist. Jan drops and crawls under the kitchen table, disturbing Cyndi’s nap as she pushes Cyndi out of her way. (Might I suggest Jan buy a bigger kitchen table in case she ever needs to “hide” again?)
The noise continues. “I’ve got it. Well, I nearly had it.” “He’s not under the couch.” “Did you see where it went? I lost it.” By the time Jan crawls out from under the table, Waspzilla can not be found. Peace again returns to the Funny Farm.
As Jan sits back down at the computer, she hears a noise behind her. She swivels around, screams, “Nooooooo!” and leaps for the flyswatter she left lying on a table. Waspzilla is lying on the floor, still moving, and Percy is closing in, about to pounce on his new toy.
When Waspzilla breathes his last under Jan’s onslaught, Merci’s voice wafts from under the couch, “I haven’t seen it under here yet. I’ve got my eyes open for it, though” ****
Eyes twinkling, Buddy looks at Percy. “Jan is going to have a fit when she reads this, you know.”
“Yes, I know.” The corners of Percy’s mouth begin to curl. “And here she comes driving across the lawn now.’
“Percy, you wrote the story. May I have the honor?”
“Certainly,” Percy grins.
Buddy stands on his hind legs, aims the cursor, and clicks firmly on “Publish.”
Posted by Percy, Secretary