The Evil of Summer

When the bee stingsAt this time of year I like to begin mentally preparing myself for Summer, which generally involves thinking about things like green lawns and trees, sprinklers, and the smell of barbeque smoke. Although Spring won't officially arrive in this hemisphere until next week, it's never too early to start thinking about the season that follows. In the spirit of fairness, it's also a good time to contemplate Summer's evil.

One of my earliest memories of Summer—I think I was three at the time—is of my little wading pool in the backyard, and how much fun it was to splash around in it with my toy boats. It was a happy oasis amid the heat of many Summer days. But one morning everything changed. On that morning evil visited my wading pool, and Summer hasn't been the same since. That was the day I discovered a bumblebee drowning in my wading pool, and offered my finger as salvation.

This is why there was a cloud of dust and tire smoke in my rearview mirror as I tried to bring my vehicle to a stop on a similar Summer day, many years after my awareness—not to mention my finger—was first expanded by that bumblebee. It had nothing to do with careless driving, and everything to do with the sudden realization that a large black and yellow object had just been deflected into the open driver's side window, and had landed squarely in my lap. I think it would require superhuman restraint and presence of mind to remain calm with evil incarnate between one's legs, actively searching for a suitable stinging point as retaliation for whatever—in its insect mind—might be responsible for its dilemma.

I've heard it said that bumblebees violate the laws of physics; their stubby wings don't provide sufficient lift for their oversized bodies. This may be, and wouldn't really be at all surprising when you consider evil's reputation for thumbing its nose at rules and regulations. But unless an invisible hand threw the bee at my car, I don't see how else the creature might have been in a position to enter my window in the first place.

Well, there's one other possibility, but it's one I'm reluctant to contemplate this early in the presummerization cycle. It's possible a rift in the space-time continuum allows the same bumblebee to repeatedly materialize in my world, thereby not only scarring my childhood, but continually scraping off the scab throughout my adult life. If so, I imagine I can look forward to at least one black and yellow wrench in the gears of Summer, and all the pain and suffering that goes with it. Now that I think about it, maybe Summer isn't such a great time of year after all.


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