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.