Friday, August 3, 2012

To anger bees and wasps

There have been many things over the years that I have felt qualified to offer advice about or give an opinion on. Trouble is, most of the time I have been the only one who has felt that way. However on this subject I do indeed have vast experience. You see, for more than a couple of decades I have excelled in pissing off bees, wasps, ex-wives, and other remarkably annoying creatures. But for now, I’m going to stick with educating the general public on irking the flying insect variety of stinging nuisances and inciting them into attacking you.  In fact, I’ve incited bees into killing themselves just to have a go at me. It is really an amazing thing to anger something to the point where it gladly gives up its own life just to cause another creature an hour or two worth of annoyance. I’ve thought of doing just that, when the cable guy didn’t show up for two days and after he did and left, the problem I called about still persisted. Have you ever lost a game while playing online due to lag? Or wrote a 700 word blog just to lose internet connection before posting? (I’m plugging Xfinity here. What kind of name is that anyway? Is that infinity, as in it takes forever to connect? With an X as in I will soon be an X customer?). [BTP. You remember BTP from the previous post right? No? Well go back and read it, I’ll wait…]. Well if you have been frustrated by such things you can understand the bee’s mindset. Okay, I’ll admit, I wouldn’t act like a bee and tear off my body parts in retaliation, but I would rant and complain. That’s kind of close to the same thing.
[BTP] So if you have never been stung by a flying insect you really are missing out on one of life’s most unique experiences. To feel the sensation of fiery electricity burning through your soft tissue because of some turd of bug, no bigger than the size of my little toe decides to assault you for no good reason, (other than it felt its life threatened or bad internet connection), is something I feel everyone should know, because, as my wife recently found out before a procedure, when a nurse tells you this I.V. will feel like a bee sting, a person should have a point of reference. Having never been stung, my wife’s expectation of pain was smaller than it should have been. She should have started screaming and swatting at the nurse. To that end I will, from this point on, give you a step-by step tutorial as to how to achieve this. These suggestions all come from personal experience or from watching others. None of this next section is made up. Now I know you’re saying, “wait aren’t you that fantasy author who is hoping to make a living by lying about rampaging, viscous, intelligent, killer penguins in his upcoming novel Rise of the Penguins?” (Shamelessly plugs book). Why yes, yes I am. But I swear this stuff I’m about to write is the gospel truth. So now just sit back and read about how to piss off wasps and bees.
            I) Obliviousness. You can achieve this by paying little or no attention to your surroundings.
I first learned this method when I was about 10 or 11 years old while hurrying to look at a dead rattlesnake that got ran over while riding with my dad in the hills. Now I stated before that I live in Devil’s Tookus, California. In the hills above the valley where Devil’s Tookus lies, are great bodies of water called lakes. (I say this for the benefit of Nebraskans. I don’t think they have lakes or water there). Surrounding these lakes is dirt. Lots of dirt. And in this dirt a horrific beast known as a Mud-Dauber wasp makes its nest. So as I made my way to see the spectacle of rattlesnake guts I stepped on a ground nest of these minions of hell. Now I’m going to age myself here and tell you that this took place during the 1970’s. For some reason during this era, pants only came in two styles: Bell-bottoms and Super Bell-bottoms. I was wearing the latter. *As a side note, if you choose to adopt this technique, the modern-era equivalent of bell-bottoms would be those super baggy pants or man-capris. If you wear skinny-jeans…well just don’t. Go out in your boxers or whitey-tighties instead, it wouldn’t be less humiliating for you. The baggy pants are bad enough, but if you’re a man, do you really want to wear pants that look like leggings? Unless you also wear a tunic; then you’d kind of look like Link from the Zelda games. For women, wear a dress and you’ll definitely get the full experience of this. [BTP] The bell-bottoms perfectly funneled the death-dealing hellions up my legs. As I said, this was the ‘70s, so I was also wearing tube socks. Because I was adorned in the traditional tube-sock/bell-bottom garb of the time, the only logical place for the flipping things to sting me were the back of my knees. I don’t remember if I used profanity, I might have, but I do remember gyrating wildly in the middle of the mountain road, frantically shaking the beasts out of my pant legs. I might have dropped my pants, but I don’t know. I also remember burning white pain and a vague sense of my dad calling me something that sounded like Nancy. Nancy? Maybe it was pansy or panty, or sugar-tits. In fact I’m sure of it.
At this point I’m just gonna move on. There are certain things that should be left in the past. We can talk later about the times when I picked up boxes or two by fours without knowing wasp were chewing on them. In fact, it was probably the same wasp. I’m assuming it was some kind of futuristic terminator wasp sent back in time to give me pause over swatting their kind with whiffle-ball bats. It did, so now I just spray their nests with lethal toxins.
            II) I’ll call this technique panic like a six year old girl.
I’m not saying that six-year old girls are the only people who are prone to panic, but I have a daughter who was once six years old and she would panic quite often. Though truth-be-told, it was usually while I was chasing her around the house with a spider I had smashed with a napkin and telling her, “it’s still alive!” The screams were ear-piercing, but it taught her how to power-sprint and deftly dive over furniture to evade the still alive (dead) spiders. In fact this was a tradition I carried on until she became an adult. It ended when, while attempting the next spider chase, my grown daughter looked at me with an icy steel glare, (you know the look; the menstruating-Mestophales-don’t you dare-glower that could stop a charging Bengal tiger in its tracks and cause the poor creature to slink back into the bush like a scared kitten?). Well needless to say the game was over at that time. Spider society is grateful to my daughter, because it was just no longer any fun to kill them if I didn’t have anybody to chase around while holding mutilated arachnid corpses. [BTP]. My first experience with the panic technique was while I was playing hide-n-seek in Pismo Beach. Now why I was playing hide-n-seek in a trailer-park instead of frolicking on the beach, I have no idea. But I was about seven years old and frolicking in a trailer-park must’ve seemed infinitely more exciting. At what point in a person’s life do we stop frolicking? I would probably get arrested if I were to go a-frolicking at my age. I’d be charged with over-age frolicking. I’m thinking you have to stop frolicking once puberty begins. It wouldn’t do for a person with hair on new places to frolic. I’m trying to see how many times I can use frolicking or a form of it in one paragraph.  I’ll wait while you count… Eight? Are you sure? I’ll wait while you double check… [BTP] While playing this game I squatted into some tall grass along the side of a chain-link fence and silently hid. I had excellent stealth for a seven year old. Nobody could find me. Looking back, I doubt anybody was actually looking for me. Regardless, I sat there as still as a stone gargoyle for the better part of the day until I was finally found. Trouble was it wasn’t a person that found me; it was a bee. I knew I blended in perfectly with my surroundings, as I was wearing my green and white Incredible Hulk t-shirt, because apparently this bee thought my nose was a blossom of a sort. I stared cross-eyed through the lenses of my over-sized turtle shell framed glasses at the fuzzy monster, (I give the description of my glasses so you can have an idea of what sort of specimen the bee was dealing with. As a child I inspired fear in nothing, perhaps that’s why the bee felt safe to perch on the tip of my nose). Fear struck me and I did what any other red-blooded American girl would do; I screamed, panicked, and swatted. In all fairness, I instigated this battle so I can’t blame the bee for retaliating. My attack initiated the bee’s suicide response and it plunged its stinger deep in my nose. I took the time to stomp on my already dead opponent before I ran shrieking to my Grandma’s trailer. People came out of their homes at the sound of my banshee like wailing; probably thinking a toddler girl had her dolly stolen or a pig had been castrated in the street. My Grandma ran outside and looked me over, probably thinking I had been shot or stabbed, then realized what the issue was, reassured the neighbors I was fine and I was indeed a boy, and then scraped the stinger from my nose. Eventually, my older brother, who was one the hiders or non-seekers, showed up and feigned concern. When my grandma left the room, I’m relatively certain he made reference to me being a woman’s reproductive organ, though at that age I didn’t know what it meant. Why was he calling me a cat?
I think that’s about all of the reminiscing my psyche can handle this week. Over the next week or two we’ll cover a technique which I observed my Grandpa performing. It’s called Bold Claims and Drunken Crapulence. Until then, I think I need a session with my therapist.
Ever yours,