1 thought on “Watch Out!

  1. In the late ‘90s I was living in the Carolinas for a couple years and worked at an amusement park there. Part of my duty at the time was emptying trash cans, which you can imagine are full of discarded pop. As with anything you do repeatedly, you get into a rhythm with it, and since my primary job was as manager of a group of rides, my time frame to get this aspect of the job done was limited, so it’s open lid, tie bag, grab, toss into trash cart and go. This was late summer/fall, of course, so the yellow jackets were annoying but hadn’t been a problem – yet. Unfortunately, on this day, I tied a bag not realizing a yellow jacket was inside, and as I grabbed the bag to lift it, the yellow jacket stung me through the bag on my hand. That was my first yellow jacket sting. Even though I tried to be aware of this problem and careful to check for yellow jackets, the draw of the pop in the bags was just too much for them and they’re too small to see somewhere down in a bag of trash, and it happened again two weeks later. I also had my first, and hopefully last, encounter with fire ants the same way that year. I had assistance with the cans that night, but when one of my teenage co-workers yelled “ants!” and refused to touch the can, I rolled my eyes and went to do it myself thinking they were regular ants and the person was just being goofy about bugs. Nobody said fire ants. Being from Pittsburgh, I had heard of them but had never encountered them and so they never crossed my mind. That can was also in a particularly dark spot so I didn’t even see any ants. But before I even got the bag out, I felt the first bite, reacted (tensed), and in that split second, three more on different body parts (ankles, arms) bit simultaneously. Needless to say, no one changed that can that night. 😉 And I was very glad the next year when they designated a grounds crew like Kennywood has!

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