Sentinel Progress

Let me tell you what all the buzz is about

I, along with millions of other Americans, am aware that bees are dying all over the country.

I know that they are an essential part of our ecology as pollinators (and I know that honey is delicious on toast) so I try my best not to swat them or use harmful pesticides in my never-ending war against fire ants.

In addition, I have a yard full of ripe and juicy dandelions that they are more than welcome to.

But, for all my efforts, there’s at least one bee out there who was completely ungrateful — because he stung me.

What a jerk.

You guys, I have not been stung by a bee since I was a kid and I forgot just how much it sucks.

Now to those of you out there who are all tough and can just shrug it off — more power to you. But I would argue that one’s experience depends largely on two factors: whether or not you are allergic to said bee stings and where exactly on your person you happen to be stung.

In my case, I was lucky as far as that first part. I’m allergic to a lot of stuff, but thankfully bee stings aren’t one of them. As far as the second half of that equation … Well, let’s just say it really hurts to sit down right about now.

Before you all assume I was out running around Pickens County pants-less, let me explain …

On Monday I was out in Easley shooting the Honoring Their Service ride. I arrived early, staked out a perfect little photo perch on the opposite side of the street and successfully defended it against the TV news crews for the better part of an hour.

Yes. I was wearing pants.

About midway through the ride, I felt something crawling on the back of my shoulder and swatted at it, just trying to brush whatever it was away so I could finish my shoot and head back to the office.

Instead, I felt it fall down the inside of my shirt and start crawling around inside the waistband of my jeans.

Convinced it was a spider, I wigged out. I dropped my camera and broke into a full on “Oh my God it’s on me” dance right on Main Street in the middle of downtown Easley.

The people standing around me must have thought I was nuts.

That’s when he got me — right on the tailbone.

In truth, I don’t know exactly what it was — I never saw it — so even though I’m blaming a bee I suppose it could have just as easily been a wasp, hornet or a particularly aggressive ladybug.

I just don’t know.

But either way, whatever it was left a welt the size of a golf ball and going on 24 hours later, the swelling still hasn’t gone down.

It’s also painful to touch so for the foreseeable future, I’m forced to don the ever fashionable yoga pants to completely inappropriate destinations: the office, the grocery store, council meetings …

To the nice family who was standing around me when I freaked out on the side of the road, my sincerest apologies. I’m sure that was … awkward.

To the bee, (or wasp or hornet or particularly aggressive ladybug) I’m not sorry for swatting at you.

In fact, I hope you were a bee because then I would know that stinging me was your last act on this planet before you (hopefully) died with half your behind … left behind … in my behind.

Just for that, I’m mowing down all my dandelions.

Strickly Speaking

Kasie Strickland

Kasie Strickland is a staff writer for The Sentinel-Progress and can be reached at Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not necessarily represent the newspaper’s opinion.