Angry Bees

Autumn in Southern California might as well be called the Season of the Angry Bee. Wildflowers and their luscious nectar of golden pollen have become fewer and further between with the advancing of days. Thus, the hunt for them, has reached frenetic proportions. The ever maddening search for sustenance by those fuzzy little buggers with the sharp, pointy bottoms has made them angry - more angry than any overworked, underpaid fast food industry worker you will ever see putting your burger together. One, and more, local writing rider has penned thoughts on their own encounters with the angry bees, and today, I join that select club.

does it look like a fat lip? it feels like it

Over the years I have developed a strategy for keeping little flying critters out of my mouth - lips ever so slightly parted with my biggest front choppers right up against the lower lip. It makes me look like some mad rodent, but nothing gets in, and down, that way. It works, as long as I am not gasping up a long climb, or struggling along on someone's wheel as they attempt to drop me like so much drool from the mouth of Laurents Ten Dam. It worked today. Maybe too well.  Wedged in there between cheek and gum - no, wait, that sounds too much like a chewing tobacco commercial - pressed in there between lips and teeth, that little bugger let me know his displeasure. I didn't have the guts to go all Jens Voigt on him and bite back. My only thought was to get him out of there as quickly as possible.

This as it turned out, was not nearly fast enough. Oddly, though, I first thought I had escaped the encounter undamaged. There was no real sting per se, but soon enough that odd numb, tingling sensation began. Next thing I know, I started talking to myselba lika dis. Da fak dat I kep prodink da spod wid my finga, an pulling onda my lib didin heb mattas adall. That lower lip started getting bigger. Once that started, I was doomed; the tongue started in on the action, prodding from the inside, spreading that venom even more. A little further along my route I caught another rider and tried to engage in some small talk, sounding all too much like I did when talking to myself earlier on the ride. All he could do was say, "man I can't understand a thing you are saying". "Sawway, bee stingk", I replied, and waved him on his way. It might just have been my imagination, but I could swear I noticed him make that universal 'twirling finger at the side of the head' symbol for crazy as we parted. "Damb, anodda pershon whowil nebba follada blog now."

A little later, when I reached home, there was not much left to show for my encounter with angry bee, though stings are always good for a little commiseration from the wife, if nothing else.

Fortunately, this has been a pretty good year as far as bee stingks go; if I am not mistaken this has been the only such gift I have received. Unfortunately we now enter the most unpredictable and dangerous time of the year, and the sooner those velvet dressed crooners hunker down for the winter the happier I will be. Rida fashd, bud be safe owd dare.

*Fat lip translation provided upon request.