Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Like Winnie-the-Pooh Says, With Bees You Never Can Tell

I've been reading David Sedaris' essays lately so I find I'm thinking like him. It makes me notice the sublime regularness in every day and write it down. Or think about writing it down.
Yesterday, the boss pulled a spoon out of the pocket of his jeans at 9 o'clock in the morning. I knew that was something David Sedaris would jot down, would give dead-pan-humour meaning to but I couldn't manage it. I recognized the potential but couldn't lasso it. It wasn't funny until I muttered to my friend and co-worker Jane, "The boss is spooning himself."
Yet as always when I'm trying to learn a new trick, the lessons come frequently.
Late this afternoon, about fifteen minutes before quitting time, Jane informs me, "Apparently, we have a swarm of bees on the deck."
Her husband had just called to say that when he went to bring in the laundry that he'd hung out this morning, he couldn't get near the clothes because they are covered in honey bees. In fact, the entire deck from which the clothesline runs is covered in honey bees.
"What did Jerry do?" I asked.
This is the first question we ask when something goes awry at Jane's house. Jane is a Competent Person who finds herself helping incompetent people like her husband. And me. (Panic is my default reaction and hollering, "Jane!" is the first thing out of my mouth. Even when Jane isn't around.)
Now, I was home with Jane at lunch time and when we left at 12:30 to come back to work, the deck was fine. I noticed the laundry. I noticed that Jerry had mowed the lawn. Their dog Sam wandered in and out the door. There was no swarm of bees.
"I'm hoping maybe when the queen shows up, the bees will swarm and take off to find some place else to live."
It took me a minute to realize she wasn't talking about herself; she meant the queen bee. Although if anyone could make a swarm of bees go away, it would be Jane.
We had to discuss their current living arrangements: Jane and Jerry's underwear. Personally, and without getting into the size of them since I had my one big-butt zinger yesterday and it was so good, Jane is giving me a pass on retaliation, I don't see anything wrong with honey bees living in their laundry. I think that's rather friendly and welcoming and considering the current plight of the honey bee, rather environmentally responsible. It's the caring thing to do, allow these honey bees to live in their clean clothes.
Jane is waiting to go home and investigate before she passes judgement on the situation. (This is what Competent People do: they hold off, they evaluate, they make thoughtful, rational decisions.) I think she should get some hives and become a bee-keeper but more than likely, Jane will perform some remarkable Bee Whispering feat this evening and a swarm of bees will follow her down the sidewalk and across the park to their new home in a tree by the river. Maybe she'll guide them using a pair of underwear as a flag, like you see the leader of a tour group do.
"If I come in here tomorrow with all these swellings and knobs..." Jane is saying as she shuts down her computer. But she won't because she's competent. The bees will respect the queen.

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