Suddenly it took off, bumping into my forehead before flying away. I looked closer and saw dozens of little half-inch long shallow grooves of light-colored wood.
The yellowjackets, at an infintesimaly slow pace, are stealing my deck to build their home.
A month ago, my wife and I walked down to the demolition of Pioneer East and took a brick for my own memories of the building. It was night, so we weren't concerned about being caught or hassled for taking a brick that was hours away from the dump.
For a few weeks, a small pile of bricks laid at the edge of the Idlekope building's lot and the railroad tracks. At four in the afternoon -- with people all around, and in front of the building's large windows -- I picked up a brick and walked, painfully and obviously with the intent of inconspicuousness, back to the van. We headed off.
Walking in a Wisconsin creek last weekend, the kids found an odd bright-colored rock in the water. Wiping off the muck and slime, it was identified: an old brick, broken off at one edge. It was quickly claimed as nautical salvage and given to me as an impromptu gift.
I guess, as far as borrowing inconsequential chunks of other people's buildings go, the yellowjackets are doing a better job of being constructive with their stealings. They benefit from having all day long and a whole army to do their borrowing; maybe, if I spent all day absconding with abandoned bricks, I might have enough to build a house of my own someday. The yellowjackets, sadly, don't have the internet or rummage sales because their free time is occupied with chewing up people's homes, so I guess I'll just accept that the tradeoff comes at the expense of casual hobbies. If the yellowjackets were able to work for a reasonable wage and rent a nice home for their family, they might have time for a card game once in a while.