Attack of the killer beesBy TIM BEELAND,
It was still dark when I woke up Friday morning. I could hear the gurgle of the automatic coffee maker and the inviting smell of Maxwell House French Roast drifted up the stairwell as I made my way down to take the dogs out for their morning ritual.
We were at the Reservoir house where my daughter now lives. I had a business meeting Thursday in Jackson and wife Danny had Friday off from school at Conehatta Elementary for American Indian Day, so we thought we would spend a couple of nights in the city.
I flicked on the outside lights and hitched up the dogs to their leashes — all three of them — and out the door we went. There isn’t really a front porch on that house, just a small stoop not much wider than the door, with a black iron light fixture hanging up above. Usually there are spider webs and spiders up there too, and, at certain times of the year the Mayflies like to hang out under there as well.
Anyway, out the door Dottie, and Bella, and Roxie took me. I should pause here to say that all three dogs were actually picks of daughter Rachel-Johanna’s at different times in her life, but have all come to live with the grandparents in Sebastopol for some reason or the other. Just wanted to clear up why in the world I had three dogs to walk while spending a couple of days at the Rez.
Like I said it was still dark out, except for that little light in the stoop and the dogs did their regular thing — which mainly consists of barking at anything that goes bump, or does not go bump, in the night.
They barked and then took care of the business they were actually taken outside for, and with a tug of the three leashes we headed back to the door.
That’s when I heard this weird sound.
It sounded kind of like a hair dryer, or a vacuum cleaner, or something like that whirring above. Then I felt the first pop on the top of my head. I looked up at that light and dropped immediately to my knees on the concreate sidewalk. Hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands it seemed at that point, of bees were swarming around that light. And, around my head!
Desperately I reached for the door handle while trying to hang to those three dogs and swat the bees off my head and arms at the same time. Finally I crawled back into the foyer, dropped the leashes and de-beed myself. When I was done flailing a dozen or so dead bees lay on the floor at my feet, several more were flying around in the hall, and on the outside of the glass in that door, oh, on the outside of the glass in the door, hundreds more clung eager for their chance at me.
It was like a scene from a nightmare or better yet, a horror movie. The bees were everywhere and they didn’t look like they had any plans of going anywhere, anytime soon. They were mean little boogers too, packing a big wallop into each pop, which looked like — make that felt like — at least one pop for each of those dead ones on the floor.
Ends up there were six on the wrist of my flailing arm and six or seven on top of my head and some more on the back of my neck. And every one of them felt like little hot match heads burning deeply into my skin. No kidding, it was a rough wake up call Friday morning.
The coffee no longer smelled inviting, and the thought of walking past that door again and back up the stairs to shower and shave for work turned my stomach a little bit. As I headed back down the foyer toward the stairs I flicked on the outside lights again — just to make sure it wasn’t a nightmare — and sure enough those varmints were still there waiting for me. It gives me chill bumps just thinking about it, more so to write this.
I didn’t wake my sweet wife from her peaceful slumber, but Rachel-Johanna was already up getting ready for work herself and had seen the pile of dead bugs on the floor when she went down to fill her own coffee cup. “Where did all those bees come from,” she asked with a shudder.
“They were swarming around the light outside the front door,” I replied. “and all those dead ones were on top of my head.” She shuddered again at the thought as chill bumps ran up and down her arms and her legs weakened just a bit.
That, my friends, is when I put my hand to my head, nursed the battle scars from the morning, and commenced to plan my revenge on one giant swarm of killer bees residing at the Ross Barnett Reservoir!
Tim Beeland can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.