This is arguably the most painful thing I have ever experienced from any object penetrating my body to a depth of less than half a centimeter.
I was walking into the powder room, intending no harm to any creature, great or small, when this malevolent insect makes a beeline for my arm and buries his pointy, poison bum right into the soft, white underside of my forearm. "Wha?" I say. "Ow," I say. "That bastard is still stinging me," I say. "Why won't the cursed thing let go of me?" I say. "Ow! Ow! Ow! Get it off me! Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God! Get it off!" I say.
This was a real hornet. A hornet with malice in its heart. This was not some devil-may-care honey bee that could be easily intimidated and shooed back to its lair quaking in fear after nothing more than a stern rebuke. No, this thing went at me with a purpose. This was the Guy-Who-Stabbed-Monica-Seles of the insect world. I had to reach down and manhandle the thing just to get it off my arm.
Even then the blasted stinger stayed behind and kept on stinging me. What do you do in a situation like that? Is it like being impaled by a farm implement and you shouldn't pull it out otherwise it could jostle something vital inside and you could bleed to death? You see it all the time on TV. "Another inch and it would have hit an artery," and "He's lucky you didn't try to remove it. He would have bled to death in minutes."
Well, I've watched enough episodes of "Emergency!" on TVLand to know what to do. I pulled it out. It was a split-second decision. Could have meant the difference between life and death.
But, my ordeal had only just begun. What had started as just a nuisance soon blossomed into searing agony. I would rate this as a 3.0 on the Schmidt Sting Pain Index: "Like spilling a beaker of hydrochloric acid on a paper cut." I'm going to have to write that Schmidt guy a letter. He nailed it.
You should see the thing now. There is Ground Zero, the actual point of penetration, which is an angry red eye surrounded by an areola of swelling, perhaps a centimeter in diameter. This lies in a scarlet circle about as big around as a 50 cent piece. Then there are tendrils of redness radiating from the center, the longest of which reaches a good inch-and-a-half, two inches from the sting as the poison spreads through my body in its relentless effort to cause me harm.
It's been over an hour now and I haven't gone into anaphylactic shock, but I'm not out of the woods yet. You see, the hornet is still alive. He's out there somewhere. Waiting. Waiting.
He'll be back. I know it. But this time I'll be ready.
See the video: