Friday, July 05, 2002

There are bees in my apartment.

They're ordering pizza. They're menacing my cat with mental cruelty. They're drinking my beer.

Not really. They're not doing any of that. But it is a fact that there are bees in my apartment.

I noticed it a few days ago as I lolled around the house. I would glance up to the screen door and every five minutes or so there would be a couple of bees puttering around, trying to find a way out. I would walk to the door and gingerly approach, querluously extending my arm like a big sissy, and slowly opening the door. Then I would encourage them to take their business elsewhere by saying things like "Outside, bee!" or offering monetary compensation.

With sneering glances in my direction that let me know in no uncertain terms that I was only alive because they wanted me that way, the bees would buzz off onto our balcony, to go do whatever it is that bees do. Probably off to menace some poor unfortunate on a lower floor. Being on the top floor is kind of the crux of the problem.

See, living on the top floor we have a fireplace. Having a fireplace in Southern California is like having an air conditioner in Minnesota. Still, a couple of times each winter the temperature dips alarmingly below 50°F and we rush to the store for wood, in the hopes of surviving the arctic cold. The fireplace is now providing an entrance for our bee tormentors.

Being the whiz-bang thinker that I am, after only about six hours of observing this peculiar bee phenomenon, I finally figured out the fireplace-bee connection. Admittedly, this was after charging with reckless abandon through the almost four rooms of our apartment, looking for an open window. Then, having exhausted the open-window possiblities, I would repeat the search, confident that I had somehow passed over the offending window. I would like to reach a point in my life where I trust myself enough to have confidence that I have actually done something correctly the first time, but for now I theorize that inanimate objects are indeed plotting against me and move themseles around for no better reason than to make me look foolish. Well done, inanimate objects!

Armed with staggering powers of deductive reasoning, I made the connection, leapt into action and sealed up the edges of the fireplace with packaging tape. A less creative individual might have done something that made a little bit of sense like lighting a fire. Me, I went with the tape. As a result, I am now able, every few minutes, to see a very pissed off bee battering itself against the glass doors of the fireplace shaking its antennae at me and promising me a painful, sting-ridden death.

But tonight, when it gets cooler than the 85° it seems to be right now, I am going to light a fire. The wife and I will put on some wool sweaters and warm ourselves by its cheery glow, as sweat runs down our faces and we lose 15 pounds each.


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