What if the bees have it out for me? What if they’re waiting? Today after walking the dog we went through the usual ritual; I paused at the trash to throw away his collected offal, and he strained at the leash as he does every day, not wanting extra seconds to elapse between NOW and the nightly Frosty Paws treat; after this he bounds up the stairs, and I take them two at a time as well. To the back gate; unsnap the leash; he runs to the back door and BARKS as though somehow the bestowal of Frosty Paws is in doubt. Well. He goes up the stairs, I follow, and OUCH: there’s something jabbing the back of my leg. I brush off an insect, make it a few more steps before the enormity of the pain becomes apparent. There’s nothing quite like a bee sting – the injection that keeps on giving. Am I allergic? Do I swell up and die, perhaps exploding at the end in a shower of hot angry meat? We’ll find out! Stay tuned! I hobble to the door, get him his fargin’ Frosty Paws, and examine the latest insult from Our Enemy, Nature. Nothing bad. But it stings. Duh: it’s a beesting. Hence the name. At least I know the bastard died in the process. Then again, he was successful in his mission, which I suppose means we are losing the war against bees.

An hour later I’m in my studio, and I hear a buzzing; something’s skittering up against the wall. Another bee. Ah: so they are against me, then; they’ve sent another. This one seems panic-stricken, though; he has none of the self-composure you associate with bees, that indifferent bad-boy attitude. I grab a magazine, the first step in ensuring Things Go Poorly; he flies across the room, hits the wall, and falls on a radio – on his back. I advance. He flutters his wings. He can’t get up. Here is a bee who cannot turn over. This is not an A-list bee. This is not exactly a professional. I almost feel bad; I should let him go, infect the rest of borg-beedom with his lousy code, but on the other hand my leg still stings. WHAP. Bee jam. I can only hope he sent off fearful death-signal chemicals that warned other bees not to bother. The man, he too strong.

Little shites. Of course we’ll meet again at the State Fair, when great choking clouds of yellowjackets will hover around the trash barrels dining on atoms of pork and sugar. In the future I expect we will have our own armies of hunter-killer nanobots who will track them down and neutralize them. Note to future programmers: two words. Auto-termination subroutines. People get so caught up designing microscopic bee-killling robots they forget to make them die automatically after the Fair’s done. Then you find three billion of them flensing your dog. Never fails.

That was today’s excitement. Also wrote and filed my monthly Minneapolis history piece for Mpls / St. Paul magazine. (Bleats aside, it’s a six-column week, which is not unusual, but it does cut in to the fun.

Oh, a note about the art: Monday’s picture was the Ideal Diner in Northeast Minneapolis, right by the old Northup King plant where I used to work. Today’s art is from a St. Paul liquor store on Snelling; obviously they changed the sign. For the worse. Not entirely, but for the worse nonetheless.

And a note about the site: still upgrading and fixing. Many things, she no work. It is a tribute to my webmaster skillz that for a day my 404 page could not be accessed, and instead called up a generic 404 page. If I had the time I’d do more, but today – in addition to, well, JUST ENJOYING MYSELF FOR A FEW MINUTES without bending over the machinery typing in a dim room – Gnat had a friend over, which meant supervision, lemonade fetching, hovering up the Play-Doh fragments, etc. Sometimes when the kids are playing, all you can do is either stand there in neutral mode waiting for a request, or you can do something vital like reorganize the kitchen junk drawer. Which I did. Transferred Post-It note jottings to the iCal or the address book, threw away the strange unidentified jetsam that gathers in the drawers (ball bearings? Why do we have ball bearings? And why, having found one, did I put it in here?)

More to do tonight; amuse yourself with a new Fence, which is almost indistinguishable from a Bleat – as long as I can get away with writing the whole dang thing myself, I will. Screedblog updated as well. Now I have another piece to write; more tomorrow.

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