Thursday, February 5, 2009

Op-Ed: About Bees

by Ravnhild

I have come to the firm conclusion that few, if any, things are as humiliatingly emasculating as a simple bee. A recent confrontation near San Diego left me with serious and unnerving doubts about everything I thought I knew about myself. Think back, gentlemen, to your most recent encounter as I unfold for you this depressing horror.

My wife and I stood in a relatively enclosed space waiting to board a monorail at the Wild Animal Park north of San Diego. Occupants of this enclosure included several trash receptacles with their attending bees. So from the start I am surrounded by bees with nowhere to run. My wife and I delicately attempt a conversation but our darting eyes leave us with little to say. Now comes the point where a bee actually approaches me. This is when dignity and masculinity quickly break down. I shall attempt a rough analysis of the sequence of events as they follow. Keep in mind I have nowhere to move or run out to.

The bee buzzes just in front of me moving from side to side as they do. The first step in the breakdown is to look menacingly down my nose at the bee as I keep my feet planted but lean backwards. The bee is hardly menaced and begins to move closer towards my stomach. At this point I attempt a feeble swat in the bee’s direction. The swat is feeble for two reasons: first of all, the bee is too close to me so the actual motion of the swat is quick and close to my body which looks extremely feminine and, secondly, I have no real intention of actually hitting the bee. Un-intimidated, the bee begins his ascent from my stomach to my chin and I give another feeble swat, this time in the direction of my face. This motion is much akin to the one a woman makes when brushing her long and beautiful hair away from her face. My hair is tucked safely under my hat. When this futile swat fails I resort to blowing at the bee. First I blow in the bee’s direction and then I lean back and blow even harder in the bee’s direction. This seemingly well-planned combination of maneuvers has yet to have any real effect on the bee that keeps buzzing around my chin. I now have two options: I can run away from the bee, pushing strangers down in the attempt or I can flail my arms wildly while squinting my eyes in a final attempt to scare off the bee. I choose the latter. At this point I have almost no consciousness of my masculinity and I begin flailing. During this episode I actually connect with the bee. Since I have touched a bee my mind transmits the signal to my body that I have been stung because of the unfailing logic found in the fact that I have touched a bee and bees sting. I then recoil that hand and fold it across my chest while the other hand continues to flail. Then I chance to open my eyes to see if the bee has gone or if he continues to stare me down. If the bee is still there then I have no choice but to run. To my joy, the bee has gone.

I did not scream during this episode and that is the only reason I can continue to believe that I still have some vestiges of manhood. Several days must pass before I can actually look my wife in the eye. We boarded the monorail to see the animals in the park but I admit I was too emotionally distraught to enjoy them. It is hard for me fathom any other situation whereby a man could be more emasculated. I understand that some terrible joke could befall a man, like being de-pantsed or something, but in this situation another acted upon the poor man. In the bee instance, I did these things of my own free will and choice. I have tried to reassure myself; I have tried to say, “Next time things will be different!” I think in my heart I am simply happy that winter is here.

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