And, no, that title isn’t the beginning of a joke.
It is ridiculous how big some of these bees are, but it’s cool that you can go on that fantastical world wide Interweb and get an image of an actual-sized ruler so you don’t have to go rummaging or try to get inside the mind of a six year-old. Lord only knows where it could be, and be blessed that it’s not keys.
So, yes, there are bees around the house, and the colder it gets outside, the more come into the house. Also, I’ve noticed that the later we get into the season, the bigger they are on average. Becky got stung by one early yesterday, and her arm was still hurting when we were leaving work last night at about 12:30.
We’ve all been stung a bit; I’ve been stung twice, and that’s probably one or two fewer than the rest of them.
I think Mabel, the basset hound, has had it the worst. I only know of her getting stung once, but I guarantee you she doesn’t need a second. I was sitting on the love seat having lunch and watching a little Mindhunter, and she was sitting across from me on the recliner, and, man, she came off like that thing like somebody threw her.
She’s all biting toward her hindquarters and yelping, and between her bites back toward her butt, she’s looking up at me with these looks that alternate between “Did you see what that Godforsaken creature did to me?” and “Are you going to do something about it?” (That’s been a few days, but I still think she’s still sore that my response was to do nothing more than continue to sit there, eating my salad and watching my show.)
And you’ve probably seen a skittish dog; you know the stance and the look, the sulking, the glances back over the shoulder to make sure at least that part of the coast is clear. Now, take that image and multiply it by about ten, and you get where Mabel currently is. She’s so far gone, you’d have thought somebody slipped her some acid, with all the jumping at shadows and seeing things that simply aren’t there. She’s barking at anything that flies; she doesn’t care if flies and moths don’t sting, bees do, and they probably all know each other. She’ll get over it of course, but that doesn’t mean she’s not going to be a pitiful site until she does.
I, however, despite probably being the one who has been actually stung the least, probably had the most fearful encounter with a bee out of all of us.
I happened to be on a conference call for St. Jude’s fundraising. My boss, who is our area’s fundraising captain/coordinator, was on there and our Area Director was one of the seven or so other people. And I’m just tooling along, listening and hoping to have to chime in as little as possible, when I felt something crawling up the inside of my pants’ leg.
Now, we live out in the country, and it’s getting to that point where everything that flies nearby–aside from those flying things mentioned, we also have our share of mosquitoes and Japanese beetles up here on the mountain–is trying to get in where it’s warmer. Knowing this, I realized the odds were that what I felt wasn’t a bee, but one of these other bugs, were good; still, who wants to be the dude on the conference call who just suddenly and unexpectedly starts a blue-language filled commotion? I certainly didn’t.
I had already made a large sucking in of air sound that I hoped no one had noticed, and the last thing I wanted to do was to start cursing some infernal little creature who happened to be in my pants and stinging me. The situation was nervous on so many levels. You had the maintenance of the conference call to consider and the possibility that, by taking off my pants–in order to no longer be wearing pants that had a be (maybe) crawling around in them–I would cause what I didn’t want to have happen to happen, that the movement of the pants would actually cause the bee to sting me.
There were so many things to consider, but there wasn’t much time to do the considering. I knew I had to get the pants off, whether that meant me risking getting stung in the process or not.
I put the phone on speaker and placed it on the table; I didn’t think a child with cancer would like it too much if I missed what might be valuable fundraising information because I might or might not have a bee in my pants. And I’m trying to be quick about all of this, of course, but then you have the belt. I was on speaker, and the sound of a belt being undone is a distinctive sound, and Lord only knows what those folks might have thought if, all of the sudden in the middle of a conference call, they heard one of the people begin to undo a belt.
So, I was wanting to be quick, but I couldn’t have all those folks wondering just what all might be going on with the undoing of a belt, so I had to go slowly and softly enough to keep those sounds to a minimum.
I kicked off my shoes and got the belt undone without to much notice, and then where was I? Have you ever tried to take of a garment, and garment, when you thought there might be a bee inside of it and right there up against your skin? It requires such a particular level of control; you want to be quick, but you also don’t want to get stung, so it’s a touchy situation.
On top of all that, I couldn’t shake the crazy thought that, not only had the heard the unmistakable sound of a belt being undone, but that they would then hear me taking my pants off. I know, right? What kind of amazing futuristic listening devices my frantic mind had me thinking that the speaker unit on a cheap Walmart landline phone might be.
Still, I was in that moment, and I was in that moment, and I was a bit frantic, and my mind wasn’t behaving as rationally as I hope. Ultimately, however, I proved to not care too much if they heard or not, or even if jerky movements would cause the bee to sting me; I was just getting those pants off me. It probably wasn’t even a bee, anyway, I might have thought; it was probably was just a stink bug, and my worry had been all for naught.
Nope, it was a bee, and it was one of those big ones. It didn’t sting me, and I don’t recall if I was worried about how loud I was when I whomped on it. Still, I whomped on it.
Then, I picked the phone up, disengaged the speaker, and sat there in my underwear for another 20 minutes or so, whatever time it was when I decided I was ready to brave that loud buckle and put my pants back on.
When I saw Bobby, my boss, the next day at work, I told him what had happened, and he assured me he hadn’t heard any commotion, nor did he think anyone else could have either. I was relieved, but by that time I really didn’t care; by that time it had gone from being a situation to being a story I could tell. I can almost always handle those.
Thanks for reading, beautiful people. I hope you’re well. Keep an eye out for the bees.