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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Apian Karma

I get stung by bees several times each summer. You might think this is because I live in the country and never mow my lawn, but you would be wrong. Actually, I am stung by bees as a form of cosmic punishment.

A long time ago, in the mid-eighties, McDonald's Happy Meals came in a white plastic bucket. The bottom of the bucket was notched, so you could use it to make sand castles, and there was a red sieve lid, so you could sift stuff, I guess. If I remember right, you also got a toy inside the bucket, so it was a three-fer. Things just aren't the same anymore - these days you are lucky to get a crappy three inch tall Barbie whose hair permanently stands on end from being encased in polyethylene film.

Anyway, me and my brother begged my mom to take us to Mickey D's, and she never did, because she hated us. I know she hated us because she made us do things like clean our rooms and eat liver, and also, she never took us to McDonald's.
But anyway. My mom never took us to McDonald's, so we worked on Grandma and sure enough, we were able to build up a pretty good stash of those buckets. We had a sandbox, the kind shaped like a turtle, but I don't remember ever using those buckets in the sand. We found a better purpose.

Our yard was always neatly mowed, thanks to my stepdad, and we hardly ever had dandelions, because he was pretty anal retentive about that too. (I clearly remember him spending hours in the yard with a screwdriver, digging out dandelions and drinking beer. I think he was trying to get away from us kids, to be honest, because we were a little, shall we say, rambunctious.) So we never had any blade of grass longer than the others, and we never had a single dandelion, but we always had lots and lots of little white clover plants.

Do you know what really likes to hang out on clover plants? Honey bees. And they will sting you if you step on them, so we learned two lessons really quickly - one, don't walk barefoot in the yard. And two, hate bees.

I don't know how or why we came up with this idea, but we came up with a great way to seek revenge on the bees. Here is what you do:

Take your plastic McDonald's buckets into the yard. Hold the bucket in your left hand and the sieve lid in your right, and slowly creep up to a honey bee on a white clover. Now clamp the bucket on the bee, and quickly slap on the lid.

Now you have a bee in a bucket, and did you know, bees really prefer not to be in buckets. They buzz around in there, and throw themselves against the walls, and because of the shape of the bucket, the hum of their wings is greatly amplified. It sounds like a whole swarm of bees. Angry bees. Except it's just one, so it's not really all that dangerous.

A bee in a bucket is fantastic leverage. You can use this leverage to gain pretty much any domestic product available, especilly cookies when Granny's babysitting. All you have to do is bring the bucket in the kitchen, and Gran will holler at you to get that thing out of here. Let her holler awhile, then make your way to the front door. On your way, stop and ask "Can we have cookies?" She will hand you a cookie as you leave, just to get you out of the house. Works every time.

However, using bees in buckets as leverage gets old pretty quickly. There is something far more exciting to do with a bee in a bucket, as we soon discovered.

*Warning: sick twisted child alert*

Somehow we figured out that if you took your bee in a bucket and threw it at the shed, man, that bee would get pissed off! It would really buzz around in there. You could practically smell the danger.

So we threw it against the shed again, and the bee was even more agitated, except this time the sieve/lid was really close to popping off.

Don't leave me now, I'm just getting to the good part!

My brother, The Genius, thought we should throw the bee in a bucket at the shed again. "Maybe the lid will come off," he reasoned, "and the bee will chase us."
Sounded good to me.

We threw the bucket at the shed as hard as we could, and just as The Genius predicted, the lid popped off and out came the bee. Man oh man, you never saw a more agitated honey bee. You know on the Discovery channel, where they show killer bees going all wonky? Yeah, that's what the bee did, and we ran as fast as we could, and you won't believe it, but we didn't get stung.

So we spent that whole summer catching bees and throwing them against the shed and running for dear life. It always went something like this-

Me: Hey, you wanna go torture bees?
My brother: Sure.

It seems to me that we did this for hours each day, and to my knowledge we never killed a bee, at least not immediately. They might have gone somewhere and threw up and then died, but as far as I know, we were chased every time. We never got stung, either.

In fact, after that summer, I never got stung again, until many years later when I was a teenager, and a bee stung me while I was sneaking a cigarette behind the school cafeteria. My brother never got stung either, except for one time my mom hung clothes on the line, and a wasp was in my brother's pants, and she brought the clothes in and the next day my brother put on his pants and got stung right in the balls. True story.

Anyway, these days, I get stung at least five or six times a summer, and it's always just out of nowhere. I'll be walking into the house and get stung in the neck, or playing with the kids on the swingset and all of a sudden I get it on the back of the hand. Oddly enough, I often get stung while putting things in the shed. Of course, it's not the same shed. It's not even the same neighborhood. But I have to wonder... is this some sort of apian karma?

1 comment:

Zeemaid said...

A)I absolutely love your Blog name. (B)totally hilarious blog. Loved it! Great writing!