Saturday, November 09, 2013
It fell from outer space. Like a piece of orbiting Russotrash.
There it was in the middle of my garden path. Big. Dirty. Alien. Larger than a man's head. Even mine.
I suppose it could have been worse. It could have fallen to earth while I was heading down the garden path (I knew you were just waiting to hear that) and Wicked-Witch-of-the-East'ed me.
There it sat. Just waiting for a curious hand to come examine it. That would be me with my curious hand in the air.
And examine it I did. Apparently, forgetting just over two years ago, a similar apparition crashed to the ground on my patio (out of the blue). I should have remembered to show a bit more caution than I did.
I grabbed one of the sticks. After all, the sticks looked utilitarian enough. As if they were purposely placed to allow the mass to be easily turned for close inspection by a 12-year old mind.
While I was turning my find, I noticed a black fly land on my right elbow. "Great!," I thought. This thing is filled with maggots.
Then another fly. And another. And another. Each of them seemed to be quite intent on trying to do something to my arm. And then I felt something like a sting to the back of my arm.
It was at that point, I realized there were probably fifty or so "flies" on my arms, legs, shirt, and shorts. Then it hit me, I had just disturbed the home of a social collective. A bunch of commie bees had targeted me for their fall from grace -- or the mango tree.
Assimilation was not their goal, stinging was. In my, case resistance was not futile.
I dashed off with more bees in pursuit, brushing off the ones I could see. Ran into the house, stripping all the way. And jumped into the shower.
The mopping-up operation took a bit longer. Quite a few bees had followed me into the house. But a bit of grit, determination, and Raid left the place bee-free.
I have an acquaintance down here by the name of John. He showed me a nest of black bees that had a powerful sting. All I could think of was how lucky I was to be stung only once.
I told my land lady of the danger in the garden, and she called Civil Protection to relieve us of the nuisance. But, before they arrived, Esteban the Gardener showed up to do his hosing.
I warned him about the bees. When he looked at the hive, he told me these bees do not sting (no pica). When I showed him my one sting, he shrugged as if I was whining that I could only find 12-grain bread when I wanted 7-grain.
But I trusted him. As a rule, almost everything in nature is a potential danger to him and needs to be dispatched as quickly as possible. Snakes. Spiders. Caterpillars.
I needed to weigh that against the fact that this is the same guy who left a scorpion crawling on his arm so I could see it, and who brought me a nasty-looking yellow and red hornet (in his hands) that has just stung him.
I opted for trust. His plan had the advantage of simplicity. I would spray Raid into the hole of the nest (that meant I needed to get my head right over the top of the territory that had just invaded my arm). When I thought we had sufficiently anesthetized the occupants of the nest, Esteban would pick up the whole mess by its handy handles and carry it to the laguna.
It worked like a charm. Of course, Esteban has once again confirmed that I am just another northern hysteric who has yet to come to grips with nature.
I was about to say he may be correct. Until evening rolled around.
I almost forgot I had promised my friends Vern and Elke I would attend the grand opening of Ambar (our local French restaurant) in a new venue. The promise predated swearing off eating in restaurants.
And I am glad I went. The setting is perfect. The staff was turned out in chic black -- as were some of the patrons. All looking quite elegant for our little bay.
There is something about a good restaurant filled with well-dressed life-loving patrons that warms the heart. Several years ago, I was talking with the maitre d' at Maxim's. In a sweeping gesture with his hand (something the French seem to do naturally), he drew my attention to the full dining room and said: "Doesn't she look lovely tonight?"
I felt the same way about Ambar last night. Everything had pulled together during the day in this wonderful evening.
Yes, Georges, she does look lovely tonight.