Maybe he was depressed? Maybe he was just tired of life?
I'm not sure if wasps have any natural predators (aside from humans protecting their jam sandwiches) but it's possible his family had been wiped out in some random act of waspicide. Maybe the exterminator left him alive to spread the warning to other wasps? A cruel act of mercy.
I've run any number of scenarios through my mind this morning, trying to answer the simple question: why? It was such a horrible way to go. So senseless. So needlessly painful.
It's not like I make toast every day. In all honesty I'm not a toasty person. But once in a while the whimper of charred bread calls to my taste buds. Sometimes only beans on toast can fill that hole in my soul.
So there I am. Like a scene from a sitcom or a kitchen appliance advert. The epitome of domestic bliss. The bread is in the toaster. The toaster is on. The filaments are heating up; they're glowing red hot. Already the mouth-watering aroma of slightly burning bread is filling the air.
Enter suicide wasp stage right, through the open back door.
There's no preamble. He heads straight for the toaster like he already has an agenda. I make an attempt to wave him back outside again; it's instinctive even though I know wasps spurn any kind of direction or air traffic control.
And then before my eyes he immediately dive-bombs into the toaster. I mean he does a genuine kamikaze straight down the side between the filaments and the bread like the Millennium Falcon entering the Death Star.
I'm gobsmacked. I feel a little bit sick. I'm so shocked I can't even turn the toaster off for a few seconds. When I do I peer in gingerly.
I'm not sure what to expect. A blackened bubble of antimatter glued to one of the filaments maybe. Or half a wasp scorched into the toast like the remains of a victim of spontaneous combustion: just his wellington boots and the pipe he used to smoke left weirdly intact.
But there is nothing. Nothing at all. Even when I take out the slices of bread the bottom of the toaster is as it always is. Full of toasted bread crumbs. No sign of a blackened thorax or a smoking mandible.
I examine the toast. That too is as it should be. No unwanted sticky matter like superheated bubble-gum adhering to the surface.
Where the hell did the wasp disappear to? Did he incinerate completely? One clean flash of light and then gone forever? His every atom seared out of existence? There wasn't even any smoke or the pop and sizzle you usually get with shop insectocuters.
I confess I didn't enjoy my beans on toast after that.
I chewed every mouthful a little bit too carefully. Just in case something crawled out of the bread and made one of the beans start to buzz...