why i like bees but probably shouldn’t

Photo by Mike fucking Brown

Bees are fascinating little creatures. I mean, bumblebees supposedly shouldn’t be able to fly according to physics (something about their body being too big for their little wings to generate enough lift or something), honeybees make honey, and both are super awesome pollinators. Currently they’re dying out for unexpected reasons, partially due to mites, though it also has something to do with the frequency they use to navigate, which turns out to be the same frequency telecommunication companies use to connect cell phones. It’s causing bees to fly around and get lost, which is super impacting the plants that depend on the insects to pollinate their flowers (goes to show, never leave sex up to a third party). The bee problem could be fixed if the companies tried to change the frequency cell phones operate at, but that’s too damn expensive for the industry to justify, so we’re probably just gonna have to deal with less and less of the little buggers.

Unlike wasps and yellow jackets (two of the shittiest bugs out there), bees only sting when they’re threatened. Their stingers are barbed, and once removed they end up dying, making each sting a fatal kamikaze mission. In general, bees are very docile, though I guess those killer bees that I heard all about in grade school might be a tad more disagreeable.

Either way, I like bees. The only thing I don’t like is how crazy allergic I am to them. For instance, take a look at this photo. We were on tour in California and as per usual I was dead set on going to the beach. Begrudgingly, my bandmates and our two roadies decided to placate me by stopping by a sandy stretch of coastline in Goletta. I took off my shoes, started walking towards the water, and instantly stepped directly onto a bee. The bee, which I’m sure was less than thrilled about the arrangement, fought back by stinging the bottom of my foot. I started howling and hopping around like a crazy person, bitching about my luck and feeling the burn of the toxins making their way through my cardiovascular system. Typical.

Instead of doing something about it, I put my shoes back on and hobbled around, playing guitar on some rocks and drinking a couple of beers by the van. After an hour or so, I took my shoe off and realized that it had swelled to more than double its normal size. Not sure what to do, we drove to a friend’s house where they gave me ibuprofen, as if that was going to help or something. I was fucking miserable but we still had to get to L.A. that night, so my friends Brian and Rory helped me walk back to the van. My shorts were a little too big and started to slip down, a problem I made sure to point out to my friends, but they said it didn’t matter, we were close, let’s just get there and deal with it then. Mike Brown, who I’m pretty sure was on tour just to make sure to capture every moment anyone looked like an idiot for future shit-talking, snapped the photo, which since then is always assumed to be evidence of me being wasted out of my mind.

The ride South was filed with pain, and I had no idea what to do by the time we got to Orange County. I couldn’t walk but still had to play shows, which forced me to have to hobble uncomfortably around on stage in an Actifed-induced and alcohol-subsidized daze. Following the advice of a local pharmacist, I tried covering my foot in Irish Spring gel deodorant, but that didn’t seem to do much more than make my foot slimy and gross. Why Irish Spring? What was the deodorant supposed to do? How did that pharmacist even get to pharmaceutical school? What the fuck was that all about?

Long story short, I couldn’t walk for the remainder of tour, but I did still manage to rock n roll, even at that out of control eviction party Nick Gehrls “hosted.” It all worked itself out and I still like bees. But fuck bee stings, Irish Spring, telecommunication companies and Mike Brown.

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