Monday, August 25, 2008

Be All You Can Bee


The other night I was in the kitchen waiting while Brooke finished getting dressed for our night out on the town. We were running late, so I had already shut out most of the lights in the apartment, not unlike they do at the theater when the curtain’s about to rise and everyone needs to take their seat. Except Brooke keeps the lights on in the bedroom, so really I’m just an asshole standing there in the dark.

While I was waiting, I indulged a bit of my OCD and straightened up the kitchen. On the marble countertop next to the cutting board was a small dark fleck. Assuming it was a breadcrumb or other random bit of foodstuff that goes flying around the kitchen whenever I get over-hungry, I picked it up to throw it away.

Immediately something felt weird: The breadcrumb was sticking to my thumb. And not in a “breadcrumb covered in chocolate pudding” kind of way, but almost latched on. I opened the trash and tried to flick it off, and that’s when I felt the sting. Not of regret or rising gas prices, but a literal sting. I brought my thumb close to my face and there, clutching my thumb with all its tiny might, was a little baby bee.

My gut instinct was to yelp and dance around like a Indian until it came off, but for the briefest second I thought BE A MAN. My dad could have a rattlesnake on his thumb and he would still take the time to properly grab the snake by its head to release its fangs, which only made a shallow dent in his manly calloused skin anyway.

Halfway through thinking all this I began to violently shake my hand and bang it against several things, like the countertop, my leg, the refrigerator, and my other hand. I figured a compromise of flailing without making any emasculating guttural noises was the appropriate response. Baby steps.

Finally, the little bee fell off my finger and into the trash. I looked down at it on top of a heap of magazines and bean salad and thought, “What up now, bitch?” I finally turned on the light and noticed that the stinger still sticking out of my thumb. With a coolness that can only come with being a victor of war, I carefully removed it and threw it in the trash with Bumbley.

As I was running my hand under cold water, I took a moment to replay the situation in my head. Clearly, I thought, the bee must have been nearly dead for it to lay so still on the countertop. What had happened? How did a nearly dead bee end up in my kitchen? Was he beaten and left for dead by a rival hive? Did he get lost in our air conditioning ducts and, after a harrowing, chilly journey, end up (to his ultimate dismay!) to have made it inside instead of out? Was it retarded?

It was then that I started to feel a bit ashamed of my actions. Here’s this undersized bee, on the brink of death in an unfamiliar place, yet when an enormous human thumb closes on it, it still, still summons the energy somehow, someway to battle back, not go down without a fight, to use the last of its energy to preserve what little time it had left to think about his family, his comb, that time he and he Queen’s daughter got in trouble for flying off to the orange grove and staying out past curfew. And here I was acting like a wuss. That brave bee didn’t deserve to die. I did. He is the better warrior then me.

Too bad the bitch ate it.


Blogger the gazelle said...

Well-told story. My thumb hurts a little now in sympathy.

August 25, 2008 at 6:55:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Joanna said...

A true man's character is portrayed when he goes to war with Bee.

Way to take on the tiny thing like a man! "What up now, bitch!" cracked me up.

August 25, 2008 at 7:37:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous You can call me, 'Sir' said...

Confucius say: Guy who stand in darkness awaiting primping chick will get stung by young bee in kitchen.

Truly, a story as old as time.

August 25, 2008 at 8:01:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Princess Sophia said...

They may be tiny but I've seen them bring a grown man down...hard!

August 25, 2008 at 8:23:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Camels & Chocolate said...

My thumb, too, starting throbbing while reading this! The mark of a good storyteller!

August 26, 2008 at 12:15:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Bitter Chocolate said...

Love the way you're telling the story in all the details, makes me feel as if I was actually standing in the kitchen. Except for had I really been there, I would have probably been dead of heart attack right now, all kinds of insects creep me out in the 'jump on the table and shout' way. I'll try to remember the ending of the story the next time I'll be freaking out over a fly...

August 26, 2008 at 6:05:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got bit by a recluse spider once. I was only 8 or so and it hurt so badly that I wanted to turn to kill it. Unfortunately my Opa saved it in a glass jar, something about taking it to the hospital with us for the poison.

That bitch should have gone down.

August 26, 2008 at 3:07:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tropical bees don't fly around like NYC bees do. It probably wasn't half dead but just acting like a tropical bee, which entails sitting still. You have stighlty less to be ashamed of.

August 26, 2008 at 4:36:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Rachel said...

This post reminded me of a song my twin sis and I sung when we were little. Sadly yes, I still remember the whole song, but sufice it to say that it talks about scooping up a baby bumblebee, wont my mommy be so proud of me...then squashing up the baby bumblebee after it stings you. Yea good times as a kid.

August 26, 2008 at 5:59:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous ms cute pants said...

Aww well that's just too bad. You know bees around the world are dying right? Pretty soon there'll be no bees at all, and then well no food for us either. Who's the bitch now?

Yes I know it was an accidental sting BUT what if you realised it was a bee before it stung you, would you have released it?

August 27, 2008 at 5:10:00 PM EDT  
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December 11, 2008 at 2:43:00 AM EST  

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