Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Agony

On the way back from lunch, Nancy shot her arm across the span of the car to turn down the “puppy killing” music that Kimberly had selected to help combat our post-lunch slump. She then turned her perfectly coiffed blonde head towards the three of us in the rear and fanned her face in mock excitement, exclaiming that up here on the left is where Robin and I were attacked by the bee!

She was right. And as far as I’m concerned, it should be hallowed ground protected by pink forcefields and vicious attack kittens because it’s not everyday that you pop your Embarrassment Cherry in front of the entire lunch-going population of West Little Rock.

It started at Mimi’s, a relatively new addition to the generic restaurant chains that sprout up in under fourteen days. These family oriented establishments come complete with a uniformed and seasoned crop of servers just dying to read you the specials, smile firmly in place, because working at Mimi’s is totally going to increase their tip revenue and waiting tables at On the Border is just so passé.

Throughout lunch I kept finding the crispy remains of flies on our table in places that had been decidedly fly-free only moments before. Like the heavens confused fly carcasses for manna and dropped them liberally upon unsuspecting restaurant patrons. And then halfway through the meal I saw something small, black and winged fly just past my eyelash. I have no idea where it landed but judging by its trajectory, the French onion soup one table over might have received an unexpected visitor.

For whatever reason, the six or seven dead flies I was personally witness to didn’t affect my gross-out factor. Because, I suppose, they were dead. If they’d been buzzing around my face, this would have been an entirely different story. Obviously whatever was supposed to kill them was killing them, however unfortunate their crinkled little black bodies looked beside the bread basket.

Nancy and I had taken my Honda to lunch, mainly because we like putting as many vehicles on the roads during lunch hour as humanly possible. Also, global warming is just a scam and it’s not like we really need the rain forest, anyway. On the way back we cranked up the air conditioner because September in Arkansas is akin to placing your delicate, naked body upon a hard reflective surface at high noon on the equator. Only it’s more humid here.

About a quarter of the way back to the office, Nancy inexplicably stopped mid-sentence and I turned my head, confused, just in time to watch her blue eyes go from normal mascared size to the kind of eyes you see on dead people. Specifically, dead people who have just been confronted with an alien race that intends to drown you in festering alien pus while sharpening their razor sharp teeth on your tailbone.

The only thing she could get out was a breathless squeak of unadulterated fear. She pulled her suddenly frozen hand from her lap and pointed at the side of my head, finally managing to form her mouth around the words that nobody trapped in a moving vehicle with air-tight windows wants to hear: BEE.

As Nancy finally gained her breath and forced a scream out of her windpipe, I lost every ounce of my sanity and swerved to the right, narrowly missing a silver Toyota. When I realized that a twelve inch tall curb significantly prevented me from ramping into the median, I swerved again, this time to the right. I imagine that the people behind me nonchalantly let off their gas pedals because look what we’ve got here, another corporate junkie coming off a liquid lunch. Surprise.

I turned a space just barely big enough to fit a tuna can into my impromptu parking spot and jumped out of the car, not caring that my door was open and the chances of it being ripped off were pretty high. Also, there’s that whole human body versus oncoming traffic thing but that’s just not what crosses one’s mind when confronted with a vicious bee in one’s hair.

At first I ran to the front of the car, hoping to dislodge it and send it on its merry way. But Nancy immediately and shrilly confirmed that it was most definitely still stuck in my hair and if I didn’t hurry it was definitely going to eat my face off. So I ran to the passenger side and threw my head towards my knees, assuming the quick flurry of activity would rid me of my unwanted hair accoutrement.

Here’s where it gets even more amusing: After twenty seconds of head-flipped-over screaming and indescribable panic, I finally convinced Nancy (via more screaming and panic) that she had to help me and she had to help me right that very second. So she sucked up her courage and got out of the passenger seat, scrunching her nose and averting her face, hands pawing at my hair in the manner of a girl-fight circa 1975 Connecticut. I say Connecticut because hello, I spent the majority of my high school years in a place (Mississippi) where girl-fights meant somebody’s weave was getting ripped out and the sign of a seasoned fighter was a string of self inflicted box-cutter scars on the forearm. Those bitches did not play.

I finally flipped my mass of hair back over, only to be met with Nancy’s horrified eyes. The bee, it was still there. Which just launched more screaming and general ass-hattery.

Three hair flips later and Nancy deemed my tresses bee-free. After a moment of hysterically tinged laughter, I got back in the driver’s seat and drove us back to the office, where we diligently reenacted our embarrassing and irrational display.

Also? That bee? It was already dead.

6 comments:

Kid Fury said...

This was the sort of scene best put on youtube. Shame we don't all have a video track.

Adam said...

So was the Bee killing the flies?

Manda said...

Ah the killer bee.

Drunken Chud said...

i had a buddy. this was around 4 years ago. he was 25. i was driving in my truck from god knows where to god only knows when all of the sudden he starts wildly gesticulating and shreiking not unlike a teenage girl faced with a spider. i'm confused as hell and i'm in the middle of rush hour traffic and keep looking over to see what the fuck is making this guy go ape. then i heard him gasp almost out of breath and almost beyond the range human hearing he formed the word, "bee". at this point i'm in hysterics laughing. this man is in tears, has lost all dignity, is bouncing around like a crazy person and has practically lost his voice due to the strain on his vocal chords from trying to reach the high pitch he'd been maintaining. finally, i see the bee. he's practically trying to crawl out of his skin to get away from this bee. we came up to a stop light and i decided to put an end to his misery. i reached over, grabbed the bee and threw it out the window, and off he flew on his merry way. as my buddy was slowly starting to "de-panic" he sputtered, "i'm allergic". so, myself, still laughing, say, "well, i'm sure you have an epi pen and there's a hospital a mile up the road. no bigs if he'd have stung you." he looked at me and had the audacity to say, "oh, i'm not THAT allergic."

i don't really talk to that guy anymore.

Janet said...

I had a similiar experience last summer when bonding with my sister. Except it was a wasp. And it was her hair. And it wasn't dead.

We didn't have an office to visit afterwards to reenact our andventure. Things with stingers terrify me. I wouldn't have been you today for anything.

kiki said...

i was once playing cricket and had to retrieve the ball from some bushes. a bee must have flown into my pants and proceeded to bite me many times.

agony for me and hilarity for my teammates ensued