Last Sunday afternoon a semi-truck crashed on Highway 20 in Idaho spilling its load of over 400 bee hives and filling the air with 14 million angry bees. Truly an ‘Oh, Fuck!” moment. The driver was probably more concerned about the effect the accident had on his truck than on his load of bees. Other drivers coming onto the scene of an humongous black swarm of pissed off bees . . . well, I’m sure it’s been difficult getting that smell out of those cars. Not exactly the recipe for a pleasant Sunday drive.
The local fire department, wearing protective gear, killed the swarm of bees using fire-fighting foam. The crew didn’t finish cleaning what was described as a river of honey off the road until late Monday. Fire Chief Kenny Strandberg pointed out a larger concern than the bees: Grizzly bears. He was worried the honey would attract the area’s bear population to the highway. And as scary as millions of pissed off bees may be, a sloth of hungry grizzly bears is an even more frightening thought.
Thank god it happened in Idaho. ‘Cuz like no one really cares what happens in Idaho.
Bees never used to be much of a concern of mine. I’ve been stung too many times to care. As a child the sheer exuberance of rolling down a grassy hillside was too tempting to resist; that that meant pissing a few bees off and getting stung mattered little. As a teen, I spent almost as much time rolling down hills, though that probably had more to do with being stoned than the enjoyment of indulging in childlike behavior. The bees did their thing anyway, so more stings came my way. As an adult I haven’t been stung as often. Though I still can’t resist rolling down a grass covered hillside. So I still clock in the occasional bee sting. It’s probably a good thing there aren’t that many large grassy areas around anymore. These days it takes a lot longer for the world to stop spinning when I reach the bottom. Being stung still doesn’t bother me. What my body feels like the next day after rolling down a hill does.
Our avian friends on the other hand, have been problematic ever since my parents allowed me to watch Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. No, let me be clear about that: they did not allow it. They took my brothers and me to see the horror flick at the young, impressionable age of seven. And I’m sure as with many parents from the ‘50s, they will spend years in hell for the massive psychological trauma they routinely inflicted on their offspring.
But it wasn’t enough for my folks to introduce my brothers and I to a whole new phobia. Soon after seeing the movie they took us on a day trip to Bodega Bay, where the movie was filmed. We spent the day touring local movie locations, pinpointing the spots where each death and disfigurement occurred. Because there is nothing that says good parenting skills more than ensuring you blur the line between horror movie fiction and reality in your child’s mind. The vision of bloody, darkened, pecked out empty eye sockets and school children under winged attack have been indelibly seared into my consciousness. The blood, gore, and death from above wasn’t what bothered me so much, but rather the indifference of mother nature: in that movie, there was no solid, rational reason why the birds were attacking and killing people. Especially the children.
So I’ve always kept an eye skyward, wary of ballistic bird attacks. Bee stings I live with. Bees were never scary in my world. Even in the early ‘70s when the government tried out their initial terror level alerts by broadcasting the coming danger of killer bees. The word from officialdom was that swarms of angry and aggressive Africanized Bees were headed our way from Mexico, looking for small children and pets to attack. Gotta love the U.S. government. It wasn’t enough that there was a new breed of angry bees out there, they were African. And sneaking across our border like other millions of illegal aliens. A nice two-fer to scare white middle Americans.
The predicted swarms of killer bees, dead dogs, cats, and kids never happened. But it did provide for a few memorable Saturday Night Live sketches with the late, great John Belushi doing his Killer Bee thing. And as much sense as the idea of African bees sneaking over the Mexican border made, that lack of logic allowed the former Republican presidential nominee John McCain to recently blame a rash of forest fires in Arizona on illegal Mexican aliens. Somethings never change.
So neither a fat, dead comedian nor the threat of swarms of killer bees managed to raise my concern over bees. But then in Hawaii, managing a small townhouse complex early in my career, I met the enemy and came to realize just how scary bees could be. Early one morning I received a call from a resident that a colony of bees had formed a hive on the side of his building and had been buzzing into his condo through the attic. Huh. Cool. I went to take a look.
He was right. Nestled just under the building’s eaves was a big fat hive some twenty feet up the side of the exterior wall. And there were a few more bees than normal flying around, too. No problemo. I hooked up a high pressure hose, attached an insecticide sprayer filled with Malathion, and went on the attack, allowing Ortho to resolve the problem. That did not make the bees happy. At first, the air slowly filled with more bees buzzing about. But they were no match for my steady stream of poison. And it was kinda fun aiming at individual bees instead of the entire hive, which was quickly becoming drenched and losing large chunks of honeycomb that slid down the wall. And what the hell. Not only was I armed, but a good forty feet away.
But then the queen bee decided it was time to move. And the bitch was pissed. All creatures have, deeply inbred into them, the fight or flee instinct (except for deer who have a fight/flee/or freeze instinct which hasn’t worked out all that well for the species). Fortunately for me, the gods look after the stupid. Because they are so fun to watch. So the queen bitch opted for the flee option instead of going into attack mode on my ass. When she did, I picked the same response along with another ‘F’ option: Oh, Fuck!
I can not describe the sight of a few thousand pissed off bees swarming. An angry, black, house-size cloud alive with malicious buzzing promising to inflict major pain comes close. This swarm would have blocked out the sun it was so immense, but the sun was behind me so I got to see the full effect. The hair all over my body stood on end. My balls beat a hasty retreat, withdrawing inside of me. And I took flight, running off quicker than a catholic priest after an altar boy’s plump, rosy ass.
I have no idea where the swarm landed. I’m just glad it headed away instead of toward me. I do know that I have a much more healthy respect for bees these days. Especially psychotic ones. Like Michele Bachmann. That is one scary bitch. Now there’s a B we all need to be worried about.
Ms. Bachmann, the lady who confessed deep within her beats the heart of a convicted serial killer and kiddie rapist, is running for the Republican presidential ticket for the 2012 election. And has been good for a few laughs until the other crazy bitch, Sarah Palin, makes her move. But she is quickly becoming the front runner according to several polls. That this crazy bitch is being taken seriously by the party faithful fills me with dread.
Michele, currently the GOP’s clown princess, is a good Christian. Which evidently means having a heart filled with hate. She recently signed a pledge that basically endorsed slavery as a good thing, though it’s primary purpose was a vow to fight against homosexuality. A fight her husband Marcus has been proudly battling as a fake psychiatrist for years. Even though the potential First Dud is pretty gay himself. Even Cher’s gaydar pings like crazy over Mr. B.
Cole Porter may have sung “The birds do it, the bees do it”, but Cole was gay and the Bachmann’s – a pair of uneducated fleas in their own right – have a major problem with two guys, or two women, doing it. Because their story of love is filled with racism and homophobia.
Now the ‘lame stream’ media – which evidently is everyone except FOX news – would like to attack Michele over her husband’s clinic that offers to treat gay clients through reparative therapy, something that has been universally discredited and assailed by every credible medical association on the planet. Both Bachmanns have repeatedly denied his practice of offering to cure people of being gay, but a former patient has come forth with a video proving the clinic’s counsellors claim that through continued therapy god could perform a miracle and could turn gays straight. Personally, I think god would have a lot more fun turning straights gay.
But it’s not fair to blame Michele. It is not her fault. Michele did not want to marry her husband. She did not love him when they met. And he probably was eyeballing a cute young hunk anyway. But God told her to marry him. And though she did not want to do it, god also told her to become a lawyer. Because when you think of god, you immediately think of lawyers too.
I have no qualms over a person’s religious beliefs. As long as they keep it to themselves. But the idea that my country’s next president not only has a personal relationship with god, but that the supreme deity actually takes time out of his busy schedule to give her one-on-one instructions concerns me greatly. Call me crazy, but when god speaks to you – I mean with actual words like: marry the big fat gay guy – I think crazy is the right word. But that’s about you, not about me.
So America has a new killer B problem. A pair of them. Who could even get married legally again in New York now. And it’s a problem with far more potential for death, destruction, and damage than the last swarm that was headed our way. I can only hope that those honey-starved grizzly bears will be waiting when the Bachmanns make their next campaign stop in Idaho.