The story of Bill:
Bill is about 60, incredibly sexist, and really, really allergic to bee stings. To help prevent his premature death, he has a custom-made beekeeping spacesuit made of thick leather and so, since alot hive maintenance has to take place in summer, he stinks of sweat all the time.
Me: "Deodorant, Bill?"
Bill: "What? Not a chance. It makes the bees angry."
Me: "Your smell makes me angry, dammit."
Anyway. Half the association went out to see/disassemble/inspect one of the members' hives and we ended up breaking into groups of three per hive. My father callously abandoned me and I end up with Bill. Bill has forgotten his leather suit and his gloves.
Does Bill abandon his decision to open a hive of bees that he's been forewarmed are unusually aggressive? Hell no. He borrows a spare veil off someone, then rummages around in his pocket and passes me some tube thing I've never seen before. It was an EpiPen.
Bill: "Now, I'm going to open this hive here and look for the queen. If I turn bright red and fall over, could you take the top off that thing and stab it into my leg for a count of ten? There's a love."
Surely if you're this well-prepared for walking into a situation which is potentially lethal, you know NOT TO DO IT.
Me: "Let me make this very clear: I do not think this is a good thing for you to do."
Bill: "I'll only be five minutes, love."
He then opens the hive, pulls out a frame with perhaps 1000 bees on it and then SLAMS IT against the side of the hive to knock them off.
Yes, he did get stung - three times. Yes, he went into anaphylaxis and puked all over this poor guy's bees. Yes, by some miracle I used the EpiPen properly and called 999 without freaking out like a girl. No, he never thanked me, but congratulated my dad on raising such a level-headed daughter so I suppose that counts. No, I never agreed to help him open another hive.
Bastard. I was also stung four times while dragging him away from the hives and trying to keep the bees off him.
Thallium's revenge: I reported him to Trading Standards for stamping the same batch number on every jar of honey he's sold in the last 25 years. I'm not actually sure whether or not it's illegal (laws surrounding sales of honey are really vague, and there's no strict definition of a 'batch') but I'm sure they'll send him an angry letter anyway.
The story of Joe The Mellisophile:
I'd been a member of the association for about four months when Joe joined. He was in his early twenties, slightly chubby, dark hair, quite attractive. I ignored everything but the first point, because everyone else in the assoc was 50+ and strangely cliqueish, so hard to talk to.
So we got chatting at the monthly meetings, then over MSN, then started texting/calling each other etc. etc. He seemed like a really nice guy, just a bit introverted, and we had plenty of common interests besides bees.
We went on a few dates and got on nicely; things seemed to go well and progressed normally if a bit slowly. The major alarm was that he didn't really seem to be interested in doing much physical. This was doing horrible things to my self-esteem (since I am about 40% uglier than the average bear), but he assured me no, he thought I was attractive and everything was OK. This conversation led to some clothes-on heavy petting and would have gone further except, well, Little Joe was suffering some sort of systems failure.
I didn't mention it. I figured it was embarrassing enough as it was, and whether or not we had sex didn't really bother me.
About another 2-3 weeks go by. He starts asking me some odd questions about my pain threshold and I mention casually that I quite enjoy having injections/giving blood because, well, I do. What? Not in a sexual way, although in retrospect I should have pointed that out.
After our next date, he tells me his parents aren't home and asks me if I want to go home with him. I say yes. We end up sitting in the field behind his house where his family keeps their 12-ish hives and we're pretty much close enough to hear the buzzing. I think this is a bit weird, but the sunset's pretty and it's warm so who cares. Insert some cuddling and extremely light petting here.
I glance down and notice that Little Joe is extremely ready for action. I still haven't quite made the Joe + bees = physical arousal = disgust connection, so I ask if we can go up to his room.
Joe: "No, we can't."
Me: "Well, I thought we might...you know...oh, sod subtlety, I don't think either of us want to be exposing our sensitive parts within spitting distance of 300,000 bees."
Joe: "You don't?"
Me: "......I'm sorry?"
Joe then dons this 'helpless puppy' face which I have never trusted on anyone else since.
Joe: "Well...I thought...you were saying that stuff about needles and I thought you might be like me."
Me: "Um, I'm sorry again. Can you define 'like me'?"
And at this point he stands up, pulls down his trousers and reveals what I can only describe as an erect penis which is absolutely covered in bee stings.
Joe: "We have so much in common, I thought this is something we could share....at least try it once, then you'll know."
I took the bus home. He did not come to any more association meetings.
Thallium's revenge: Oh fuck no, I'll just be happy when the image of his Beenis fades from my memory.
The Remains of Bidet (James Ivory, 1993)
We might find we have more in common than we think if we just stop fighting long enough to combine our bodies into a singular organism.
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