Give the bugs a wide berth

The Examiner

I’ve been stung by a bee twice in my life. No, that can’t be right. Bees can’t do that. I’ve been stung once by two bees on two separate occasions, years and years apart.

Annie Dear

The first time was when I was about 6 and hauled myself out of a pool, planting my hand smack down on a bee. Needless to say, the bee was displeased. I can’t say I was too thrilled about it either, being a small drama queen at the time.

The second time, some 30 years later, I’d taken myself off on a long walk down a beach. It was just after a rumpty of a storm, so the water’s edge was strewn with storm trash. And one bee, upon which I trod. He too was as displeased as his ancestor, and I was faced with a really long hobbling trudge back to my towel and the nearby lifesavers who extracted the sting and sprayed my foot with magic spray. The magic wore off, naturally, and I was left with an itch so intense I could’ve taken a grapefruit knife to it. A goodly dose of Benadryl and a 12-hour sleep later, I’d recovered, leaving me with an extreme wariness of small stripey things with sharp bottoms.

I’ve seen Sir’s encounters with bugs. In Sydney I’ve seen him limbo under a butterfly. I’ve seen him do a John Travolta Saturday Night Fever dance on espying a four-inch huntsman spider on the wall, and I’ve watched, paralyzed with helpless laughter, when he face-planted smack dab into the middle of an enormous spider web in the garden. He watusied his way through the day, plucking bits of web and spidery lunch off his person – a sight to behold in the middle of a bridge club full of twinsets and pearls, let me tell you.

The other day I spotted a wasp making his way into the recessed light fixture on our front porch, so Sir, being the Galahad he is and using the screen door as a shield, flooded the light fixture with wasp spray. We watched in a tad of horror approximately 60 wasps drop out, or fly out, of the fixture. This, funnily enough, displeased both of us.

The next day he was a brave boy and managed to get the light out of the socket to reveal a nest, which he knocked down with a stick. “Um, honey?” I commented, “that nest wasn’t big enough to hold all those beasties.”

More poking ensued, and guess what, so did more wasps. In the safety of the inside of the house, I watched Sir combine the choreography of a Boston Pops conductor, with a '60s style music video incorporating the boogaloo, while he danced and waved his stick about.

“Open the back door,” he yelled. I did, exited and – I guess rather stupidly – closed the back door. “Open the $((#*$ door!” came another more panicked cry, as he barreled my way, still waving his stick. Thankfully the cranky wasp was left out the front, angrily pushing the doorbell demanding entry.

So I think in honor of his bravery I’m going to suggest a new solo category on "Dancing With the Stars" _ "Men and Stripey Stingy Things." Sir’s a shoe-in to win.

Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at