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Monday, April 16, 2007

The Birds And The Bees - A Universal Fallacy

I was having a quiet coffee on my back patio on the weekend ("back patio" sounds like a euphemism for "arse", doesn't it? Except my arse can't fit a set of outdoor furniture on it, and I wouldn't invite friends 'round to drink beer on my buttocks. Well, not just anybody, anyway), when I looked around and noticed that almost the entire patio was blanketed in dead bees. I counted forty of 'em. It was a little bit surreal, like I was in a movie and this was the first scene where the character realises that something sinister is afoot. Less 'Killer Bee Movie' than 'Kill-A-Bee Movie'.

Out came the broom, and while I was sweeping (which also reminds me of movies - While You Were Sweeping. Or perhaps Sweepwess In Seattle), a recently-deceased bee plummeted to the ground right in front of me, just missing being engulfed in my ample cleavage. Okay, okay – just missing zipping past the space left by my underwhelming bosom. I'm of athletic build, I tell you. Athletic. Deciding not to risk having a bee falling into my clothing and performing the associated hilarious panic-dance, I retreated to cover and peeked out to see where the bees were coming from.

There's a very tall tree in my yard – it looks like a rubber tree, but I'm not sure – it's certainly tropical-looking, with big shiny green-yellow leaves and the inference of ukulele music. At the very top of the tree are sprays of big cluster-bearing sticks, each cluster made up of tiny flowery-seedy things, which the bees love. I saw them buzzing drunkenly around from flower to flower – complete cluster-sluts, the lot of 'em.

Also quite fond of the flowers, I observed in my Attenborough-esque frenzy, were lorikeets and mynahs – there were ten of them flapping around greedily, sucking at my tree's rubbery teat. Or my rubbery tree's teat. Whatever.

So it appears that the Birds and the Bees, who we've all been led to believe get along so well that they've been included in a universal metaphor for hot nookie, are actually quite annoyed by each other indeed. My theory is that every time a bird goes for a cluster that a bee has called dibs on, the bird gets a sting in the chops. The bee, having both stung the bird and remembered that they heard somewhere that bees die after using their sting, utters an obscenity under his breath and drops from the air to my patio in a tragic brown-and-yellow arc. That's what I reckon. Shut up.

Anyway, I'm left with a patio full of dead bees. Fifteen minutes after I sweep them all up, new ones start dropping. I was intensely irritated by this, until I thought of a game. It involves some beer, a group of people, some randomly numbered grids on pieces of paper, and correspondingly-numbered tiles on my patio.

So come on over to my house. Let's play Bee Bingo.


nick cetacean said...

Or Beengo (which is actually a Mexican game).

Or prone drone numeric zones...

Or (hey I learnt my lesson last time..)

mist1 said...

Rubbers don't grow on trees here. We have to buy them at the drug store. They're usually in a little glass case and I have to get the manager to open it up for me. I make a big deal out of it and ask him what he thinks about various brands and flavors.

Also, I just heard a thing on the radio about bees dying because of cell phones. I guess it confuses them and they die from exposure.

Memphis Steve said...

Much Ado About Steph sent me over, but I don't know about the bee bingo. I suppose after a few drinks I might.

Have you tried stepping on some of the bees to verify that they've lost their stingers? Just curious.

Jo said...

A friend was kind enough to step on one of the bees for me, and his yelps confirmed the stinger question.

Nude people should probably stay away from my patio. Unless they need a rubber from the tree.

redcap said...

Think yourself lucky the dead bees are outside. I found quite a number of beey corpses in my lounge last year and it took me about two days to realise they had made a nice little hive in my bloody chimney. It took two smokey fires, three roach bombs and finally Mr Bee-Gone to get rid of the sods.

jaz said...


The dying of the bees is not a good auger. How many Stephen King novels begin with roads strewn with mysteriously collapsed birds, et cetera?

Bee careful out there!

PetStarr said...

Firstly - Bee Bingo sounds utterly awesome, and I want to play.

Secondly - I understand how unnerving a collection of dead bees can be. I once cleared up a whole lot of clothes from my bedroom floor and found FIVE dead bees under them. FIVE. How the hell do FIVE bees get into my bedroom and collectively die under my clothes? I don't think I'll ever know.

Thirdly - "the inference of ukulele music" = best line ever.

chercher said...

This happens at my house as well, but they land all over the car and sometimes they are just drunk from nector and land on ground and i have walked on them and got stung...fuckers