While taking my morning walk last Saturday, I came upon a startling sight: A hornet’s nest lying in the road, brought down by a storm the previous.
Thankfully, this was an old nest, unoccupied for some time. (I’d been keeping an eye on it as I walked under it each morning, just to be sure.)
Naturally, I did what everyone does these days. I took a picture of it with my phone, and zapped it out to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. On the latter, it produced much chatter, including this high praise from a New York actor I know: “Hornet nests seem an apt metaphor for your plays: complex, beautifully structured, fascinating and vaguely dangerous. Although I’ve never found hornet nests to be as funny as I find your writing. Hornets need to work on that.”
As I note in the screen capture, hornet’s nest figure in both THE BALLAD OF ALEJANDRO LOPEZ and SOFTBALL IS LIFE. In the former, a young boy’s pitching prowess is discovered when he hurls a rock through a hornet’s nest. In the latter, a high school principal tries to solve two problems at once — the softball coach refuses to recognize a girl’s throwing skills, and the neighboring landlord refuses to remove a hornet’s nest near the school grounds. You can probably guess how that goes.
Here’s the nest, if you’re curious: