You know those days when you find yourself high on narcotics, standing in your backyard with your husband and a federal judge, watching a swarm of bees attach to a branch on your tree?
Yeah, me either. So here’s one for the record books.
It was a Tuesday afternoon. I was swinging on the hammock in our backyard while Aaron worked out. I had just gotten back from a dentist’s appointment where they told me my excruciating pain was not TMJ, but a dying, infected tooth, so I was balancing an icepack on my cheek and waiting for my own hyrdocodone induced Albert Hofmann-esque adventure to sooth the pain.
What I assume was mid-lunge, Aaron suddenly screamed “OH MY GOD!” in one those voices that means the sentence isn’t ending with “the McRib is back!!”
After a leap from the hammock which Aaron later told me was the fastest he’d ever seen me move, I turned to see a swarm of bees. A literal swarm. They were flying in a mini cyclone as if trapped inside a giant invisible clothes washer.
The freaking out continued as he ran around screaming “GET THE PUPPIES” and we both frantically attempted to usher the dogs inside, which only riled them up more, until we had to wrangle them a-la Rodeo Houston Calf Scramble style.
At this point, we weren’t really sure what to do. We attempted to call a local beekeepers association, before we eventually called 911. In retrospect, this was even more idiotic that it sounded at the time, but once you’ve seen My Girl there’s really no going back.
After being promised a “call back” on the world’s lowest priority emergency call, we decided to go tell our neighbors whose yards backed up to ours what was happening, in case the bees (which by this time I was convinced were Africanized) decided to swarm elsewhere. It was at this point I (although perhaps Aaron thought of this sooner) remembered our neighbors with the bee boxes, that were also adjacent to our yard.
So we knocked on their door, which was answered by a man wearing an OU shirt who greeted us as if we were old friends he had been expecting to swing by. We told him about the takeover happening in our backyard, to which he responded “oh, my girls got out, did they?” and promptly followed us back.
Within 20 minutes, after a lengthy Bill Nye-esque lesson on everything you never knew you wanted to know about bees, a few more references to “his girls” including speaking to them directly as such, our neighbor had set up a bee box baited with honey, lawn chairs, and a box of bee gear containing an actual bee suit.
At this point, Aaron has the brilliant idea to ask, “so, besides bee wrangling, what do you do here in town?”
Oh, he just happens to be the local FEDERAL MAGISTRATE.
So it’s Tuesday night, I’m high on narcotics (now on the couch, snuggled up to an ice pack), and my husband and a federal judge are hanging out in our backyard, drinking beer, talking shop, and waiting to see if the bee swarm migrates to the wooden bait box below the tree.
You know, just a week night typical night in Wichita Falls, Texas.
At some point, Judge Bill Nye called it a night, assuring us that we and the dogs were safe from the bees, and asking if he could return the next day to sit and watch (swarming being the highlight of any beekeeper’s year) to which we responded with a softer version of “why the hell not?”
The next day I kept peeking out the window to check on the bees, but at some point in the afternoon I managed to miss the mass exodus. Unwilling to check it out for myself, I called up our neighbor. He arrived promptly, suited up and checked the box. Empty.
After the whole experience, I have to admit that I learned a little bit about bees, lessened the affects of my My Girl-based phobia, and made some new neighbor friends. Not bad.
I just really hope the federal judge doesn’t think I do drugs.