Wednesday, April 19, 2006
All the Buzz
Somewhere under there is a biker.
Can you find her?
picture thanks to the guy who took it at
Once a week I don the fancy biker pants complete with inset butt extender (otherwise known as a "gusset," or something equally unattractive) and commute from one of my jobs by bike. It's a sexy thing to do, I know: I'm all decked out in my padded pants and my used and rather tired hyper-fiber clothing originally from REI but recycled through previous bikers and a second-hand shop. Add to that look my perpetually worried face as I wonder if I'll make it home this time without a tire exploding somewhere en route, usually in some far-off BUFU locale where the only sounds are duelling banjos and the dripping of road-kill-possum fat into the campfire. I have those nifty shoes that clip into my pedals which are, I know, relatively awe-inspiring except when someone's Darwin-reject child darts out in front of me, and I can't get my foot loose from the pedal, and I go down with a very unBikerDudelike thump, hopefully taking the child with me and thus doing a public service in the name of tidying the gene pool.
All of this is merely a preface to my real discussion, which is about yesterday, when I rode, open-mouthed and oblivious, through a massive swarm of bees. "Open-mouthed" because I was panting from the exertion of biking. "Oblivious" until the Holy-Crap-I-Just-Rode-Through-a-Swarm-of-Bees awareness dawned. I had visions of a cartoon funnel of angry bees, disrupted in one of the more stressful moments of their busy little lives, coming after me, all butt-beweaponed and churlish. I could ride my bike into the lake, I realized, and likely drown because I wouldn't be able to get my feet loose from my pedals, but never mind, at least they wouldn't be picking bees out of my nose with tweezers at the hospital as they counted the stingers and wondered what I could possibly have done to piss off these relatively benign flying honey-pots.
Amazingly, despite riding pretty much right through the center of the gang (visions of swaggering, leather-jacketed tough bees, smoking last year's honey comb, beating up the larvae and shouting, 'Hey, biker, you want a piece of me? How 'bout an abdomen?'), I came up unstung. Even the one that blundered through one of the vents in my helmet and pinballed around my ponytail for a while opted to keep his stinger to himself.
Nothing much else happened, all the rest of that day.
Posted by Shannon Perry at 10:16 AM