Monday, January 01, 2007

Another Re-Run

Another Re-Run

Of everything I wrote in 2006, this was probably my favorite. I even ended up submitting it to a couple of places, to little avail, though that's not a done deal yet.

The First Bumblebee of Spring

It's been a rainy couple of days around these parts. Lightning. Thunder. Scattered Damnations. Hail. It's springtime, so we expect such things around these parts, though it's seemed excessive these last couple of nights...honestly, sometimes I gotta wonder how far off we are from Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhall tromping through my yard in snowshoes.

But in betwixt the monsoons yesterday, I wandered to lunch at a local fast food eatery to grab myself a sammich. I did this because I do love sammiches so.

It was one of those type places where you pay at the one window, and pick your food up at the second. At this particular eatery, there's a space where a car can fit while one car in front is getting food, and the car behind is paying. I was in that space.

It being a nice day, in between the showers, I had the windows down, enjoying the day.

When I notice, all of a sudden, that I have a passenger. An uninvited passenger.
A bumblebee.

And this bumblebee, he wanders in my passenger window. He flies right up to me, buzzes around me for a second. Gives me a study. After a very short study, he must decide that I cannot be used for food, procreation, or nesting, so he turns back toward the passenger area. In retrospect, I think he did this more to intimidate me than anything.

Now, I don't have a problem with bees, necessarily. With bees, I'm very much a live and let live person. I'll leave them alone, and they leave me alone. I've gotten stung a couple of times, but to be frank, I've crushed a few (and swatted a few with a badminton racquet, but that's a story for another time), and on the whole, we get along fine on this little blue marble of ours.

My problem, if I do have one, is that my version of live and let live, and a bumblebee's, do not often fall within the same defining parameters. As such, I admit to becoming concerned when a bee wanders into my car, and becomes confounded by the confusion that is "glass windows." See, the bee is nature's drunk uncle. He's the guy who hasn't held a job for long, who now sponges off of relatives and gets a disability check for his bad back. And like a drunk uncle, a bee produces a sticky substance now and then, the only difference being you can bottle and sell the sticky substances bees produce.

And most like that drunk uncle, a bee is apt to fly off the handle, hurling stingers at whomever falls into his line of sight first.

Now, I'm not one to talk about another species. After all, I can't make a nest by boring into a tree or a side of a house with my teeth. I can't defy physics and fly, and my multi-faceted eyes are not recognized by science as such. There are a great many things that a bumblebee has or can do that I cannot, and I applaud them for it.

But Dang! All I'm asking for is a little of that appreciation in response. A little reciprocation, if you will. I understand that bees can't produce glass windows (yet), but a little patience and understanding with such things as it comes to us human beings would go a long, long way.

If I were to one day save a genie's life (and I'm banking on this as a major factor in my retirement plans, down the road), and as a result, he grant me but one wish, I would have to consider carefully, but that one wish would probably come from one of two directions. The first being that bees and other stinging insects gain an instinctive understanding (and patience regarding) glass windows. How many times have you seen a bee (or wasp...I might have to include wasps in this conversation) fly into a window, become confounded and go from calm-blue-sky to Let's-Sting-Tommy-In-The-Eye Angry in a heartbeat?

I think if I could get that wish granted, where bees get a little patience regarding the windows, it would be cool. I think most of us are aware when a bee flies in the window, and starts bouncing off a clear surface. It's one of life's little moments. I think the drunkest drunk, the craziest Charles Bukowski, would have what you call "a moment of clarity." But, with the new "patient" bee, I think all the bee would have to do would be bounce against the window a couple of times, and then give us an agreed upon signal (I'm thinking "Shave and a Hair Cut, Two Bits" with the wings), and we agree to help the buggers out.

Without the all the painful stinging.

The second option, were I granted but one wish from a genie or religious figure, is simply a variation on the first: in it, I ask that bees and wasps gain some manner of "phasing" ability, where the bee might be able to simply arrange his or her molecules so that they pass through solid objects like windows without the hassle of having to knock against the sumbitch, thus becoming "Sting-Tommy-to-Death" angry.

This of course raises the question of how a bee might somehow confuse a window with something else, like a breastbone or a leg...and how there's nothing to keep a bee from phasing through a human. What's to keep them from phasing through a person, and then stinging them inside the lungs, or maybe on the lining of the stomach? If I ever do meet this genie, I'm thinking the first option much more preferable to the fact, so much so that a boatload of money might be preferable even to the second option.

But I've wandered way off course here.

So, I'm there, waiting to pick up my food when this bee flies into my window. I get distracted, waiting for the bee to crawl or fly out. You can't drive while doing this. For one thing, you aren't watching the road, and you might crash into the side of McDonald's, and I doubt that they'll come out and sing "I'm lovin' it" when you do that.

Also, if you move the truck and its relative position in the air, you might further confuse the already muddled bee, and he might decide that the quickest way out of the truck and/or only recourse is through the leg of your shorts, where he finds no exit, only genitals.

So, I sat there waiting for the bee to leave. He finally did leave, after a couple of seconds, out the way he came. He didn't do so before the McDonald's drive-thru attendant looked out the window to see just where in the blue fuck I was.

I explained, as I pulled up to the window to collect my Quarter Pounder w/Cheese, that there was a bee in my truck. She seemed a little annoyed, instead of surprised. To tell you the truth, even though it was no fault of hers, I kinda wanted an apology. At the very least, I'd have liked a little sympathy, or perhaps a little appreciation at just how brave I was, just to keep driving after nearly getting stung to death by a bee.

I didn't go through the whole thought process of wishing bees could phase through solid objects, or the bit about where I was afraid that the bee would climb up my pants and sting me on the ballsack, because that's not the sort of thing a grunt on the drive-thru needs to hear.

That's the sort of story you save for management, or perhaps a maitre'd at one of your finer restaurants.

Anyway. That's how I know it's spring. A bumblebee flew in the window of my truck.

Also, because the calendar said it started a month ago.

I have no way to close this post, except to say that while it doesn't surprise me that "sumbitch" doesn't show up on blogger's spellcheck, it amused me that "genitals" doesn't...blogger suggests that you replace "genitals" with "gentiles."

Sounds like a conspiracy to me.


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