Monday, July 17, 2006

The Hazards and Indignities of Summer

I went to the pool at our town park late on Friday afternoon, for an after-work swim before watching my son’s baseball game at the same park. In the changing room I pulled up my bathing suit and felt a quick, sharp pain. I reflexively reached back with my left hand and scratched, and when I did it was as if the pain got deeper. I knew instantly what had happened. In a cartoon-character panic I took the bathing suit off and, with the pain starting to sear, turned it inside out and whacked at it with my hand.

A bumble bee fell onto the floor, buzzing. It had stung me on the left butt cheek.

It really hurt. Outside, near the pool, my daughter, who is 13, was in a lounge chair.

“I’m going to tell you what just happened to me,” I said, “but under no circumstances are you allowed to laugh – I absolutely forbid it.”

I told her. She laughed so hard she fell off the chair. When I told her it would be her job to see if the stinger was still in there, she laughed harder.


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