I had a bit of a dilemma yesterday as I was driving home. It had great potential to become a catastrophe really but before we go too far, let me back up a bit.
I have never claimed to be, nor have I ever been accused of being, a “girly” girl. My entire childhood I spent making mud pies and playing “Cowboys and Indians”. Don’t get me wrong, I had my moments. I had an elaborate Barbie house, 20 or so Barbie dolls, and a garage full of cars. Because of that, I’ve grown into a woman that doesn’t get all upset when she gets mud all over her new shoes or gets fussy if the store doesn’t have the right brand of moisturizer. This is the type of woman that isn’t fazed by too many things.
I’m an outdoors-y type. I love nature, camping, getting dirty, being out in the elements; all that stuff that the prissy women tend to back away from. I don’t have a problem with bugs, snakes, spiders, or any other kind of creepy crawlies…
For clarification purposes, let me just explain that for me, the word “bee” is a general term. When I say bee I’m including anything that remotely resembles one meaning, bees, wasps, hornets, and whatever else may be flying around with a nasty little stinger on its tushy.
I have no clue why I’m so terrified of bees, I’ve never been stung by one and I can’t imagine it hurts much worse than anything else I’ve experienced before. I will willingly get into a car day after day knowing full well that it could crash causing me to break a bone or even worse, but for some reason, the threat of some tiny little insect with a needle on the end of its butt scares the crap out of me.
And for some reason people seem to think they are doing me some service by telling me “They won’t bother you if you don’t bother them.”
QUIT TELLING ME THIS!
I understand that statement may be true but that’s like telling someone who’s afraid of heights that “It only hurts if you fall” or someone who is afraid of the dark “It’s only scary when you turn the lights out.” If you are truly afraid of something, no rational explanation will make that fear go away.
Okay, so now that we have that over, let me tell you about my drive home yesterday.
Yesterday’s commute was a fairly uneventful one as far as traffic was concerned in fact; it was a pretty darn good traffic day. Here I was, driving down the road, minding my own business, singing my heart out to something on the radio and then…I heard it.
That unmistakable sound that literally sends chills up and down my spine and causes my cheeks to clinch.
The high pitched, squealing buzz of tiny little bee wings flittering faster than the speed of light.
Seeing as I was going about 85 down the highway at the time (yes, I’m a speed racer) I had to try and compose myself. I tried to turn the radio up so as not to hear the buzzing but it persisted. I began concentrating on my breathing, desperately trying to keep myself calm.
Finally, I saw it, my exit.
I exited from the highway and stopped at a convenience store, rolled all of the windows down, and jumped out. I began walking around the car in circles on my tip toes, crouching down and peeking through the very bottom of the windows to see if I could find the culprit. I circled the car about 3 times and finally saw him (or her, aren’t they usually drones you see? And aren’t’ the drones female?). She was resting on the inside of the back windshield.
I got a little smug at this point because I now realized that I was currently the favorite to win this battle. Since I have a hatchback, it should be no problem to simply open the hatch and coax the insect out, right?
I carefully pulled the hatch up, so as not to disturb the creature and cause her to fly before I was ready. I creeped under it and assessed my current situation. I found a magazine, rolled it up, and planned my approach for probably ten minutes before deciding to move forward. In all honesty, I was secretly praying that the bug would just fly off on her own free will, obviously that never happened.
I finally mustered up the courage, and slowly and cautiously got closer and closer. I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck tighten up and my lungs felt like they were shrinking by the minute. I held my breath, closed my eyes, and swung. I opened my eyes to see that not only had I completely missed the bee, I missed hitting the car all together. I tried again. And again. And again. Finally I realized that I must look like some crazy woman, out there flapping around, swinging a magazine in the air and jumping back and forth as if I was doing a rain dance. I came to terms with the fact that I would have to do this with my eyes open.
Again, I approached with extreme caution, moving in slowly. I stretched my arm out as far as I possibly could; making sure that my body was as far away from the bee as humanly possible. I couldn’t quite reach the bug from where I was standing and I wasn’t about to get any closer so I propped myself up on my tip toes and finally was able to just touch the insect.
She fluttered her wings but remained in the same place. I didn’t care though; I jumped back like cat that had just had its whiskers ripped out. Once I regained my composure, I tried again. Six or seven times we did this, the bee would simply flutter her wings and I would jump ten feet in the air and retreat. It was at this point that I realized she knew exactly what she was doing and was just playing with me.
I finally got frustrated enough that I decided to just go for it. I swallowed hard, took a deep breath that I never let out, and flung myself forward, swinging the magazine with all my might. I just barely clipped the insect which caused her to actually take off. For a brief moment, I celebrated. This reaction was very short lived because it only took nano-seconds for me to realize that the bee was flying directly towards me. I squealed in terror, probably a little louder than I would have wanted, and began backing up at a rapid pace, my arms flailing out in front of me and my squeals getting louder and louder.
Finally, I stopped. I stood still for a few moments, trying to catch my breath. At this point my heart was racing and I was downright terrified. I didn’t care that my little shenanigan had caused a good crowd of onlookers to stop everything that they were doing and laugh at my antics. I realized that the bee had flown off and was no longer trying to torment me. I walked back to the car, put the hatch down and started to get back in, only to see that she had flown BACK into the car and was now resting on the steering wheel.
I threw up my hands in disbelief. What had I done to deserve this? Had I angered some sort of “Bee God”? What would it take to please them again? Did I need to make some sort of honey related sacrifice? I was willing to do just about anything to get this little bugger (pun fully intended) to leave me alone!
At this point I looked up to see that one of the onlookers had finally found it in his heart to assist me. He came towards me, smiled, took off his baseball cap and with one fell swoop flung the bee out of the car. She went flying through the air, I’m pretty sure I heard her high pitched bee voice scream “By the power of Greyskull!”, and then she hit the ground with a thud and began twitching. I almost felt sorry for the old girl.
Slightly embarrassed, I thanked the gentleman for his assistance, he obliged, laughing while he did so. I tried to explain myself and my irrational fear of bees. He merely nodded his head and began to walk off. As I climbed in the car and began to drive off, I passed my helper. I waved at him and again thanked him for saving me from my distress and he smiled, tipped his hat, and called out to me…
“You know they won’t bother you if you don’t bother them!”