Getting busy

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  • Close up bee
  • At the risk of getting stung by a bee, I spent a few minutes putting my camera right up to the flowers that bees were landing on this afternoon. I watched them busily flying from flower to flower which looked exhausting.

    There’s no story behind today’s picture, but watching the bees reminded me of the time I swallowed a bee when I was a teenager.

    I was riding my bike one sunny afternoon when I started to yawn. It was one of those long yawns that goes on for a while. The yawn was proceeding within usual yawn standards when suddenly something very large, a bee I assumed, flew straight into my open mouth, in what must have been an unavoidable flying accident.

    I almost crashed my bike as the bee began to buzz for its life as it attempted to escape from the depth of my throat. I was now stopped, hunched over the handlebars of my bike coughing, choking on the frantic bee.

    Ordinarily I wouldn’t consider killing a bee. Flies are fair game, but bees seem a little more civilised to me. After all, they like flowers and make honey, whereas flies just like shit! But the truth is, you can only have a buzzing bee in your throat for so long. Eventually, despite my hope for a safe and satisfactory outcome to this bike stopping moment for all involved, I had to bring an end to what was fast becoming a roadside chokathon.

    I swallowed as hard as I could. The bee was now in serious trouble, it became ever more desperate to escape as I swallowed hard. It was buzzing so loud that I was concerned he may be sending out some kind of bee S.O.S and that in just a few seconds I would be surrounded by more angry bees wanting to fly down my neck and rescue their brother in arms.

    Another huge gulp followed the last, and I felt the bee move down another inch or so, still furiously fighting its awful fate. A few seconds later, the buzzing stopped and the bee slipped away to begin its final and rather unpleasant final journey.

    I stood up straight and took a huge gasp of air like someone who had been underwater for a few seconds too long. Cars continued to pass, blissfully unaware of the drama that had just taken place. I felt bad for the bee, but if we’re going to apportion blame here, I feel the bee should take some responsibility for colliding with me. I mean really, how hard can it be not to hit things when you’re as small as a bee?

    I composed myself and took to the bike once more to continue on my way. From that day on, if I ever needed to yawn I would never forget my manners. I always put my hand over my mouth now so as to be polite, and to avoid any future repeats of that bee incident.

    The bee story was adapted from a ‘blog post‘ I wrote back in 2004. You can read the original story here.

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