Saturday, October 11, 2008

"The Birds," the bees and the crystal ball

The secret life of bees is not so secret anymore.

You know all those alarmist stories that tell us that bees are disappearing, soon they won't be pollinating any more fruit or vegetable plants and life as we know it will end? That is bull.

I know where the bees have gone. They are all in my bedroom!

In keeping with our October blog theme of sharing stories from the supernatural, it is like something out of Hitchcock. There is a flock of them on the bedroom ceiling. Every time I kill them, more swarm in to take their place.

Naturally Howard leaves it up to me to kill the bees. I was also responsible for our victory over the great fly invasion of '05. I had to go spray the Raid around the kitchen while all Howard did was pipe in a recording of Wagner's "The Entrance of the Gods Into Valhalla." He leaves it up to me because I am German.

So the other night after interviewing Lynn Harrell about Leonard Pennario, there I am, getting up on chairs, killing bees -- not exactly with my bare hands but with pages of The Buffalo News. Meanwhile Howard cowered, criticizing what I was doing. "Don't drop them!" he told me. "Eeeuw! Do you have to do it that way? Can't you--"

"At least I'm killing them!" I yelled. "What are you doing?"

Then we both started laughing at how dumb the situation was.

These bees have a sixth sense, is what scares me. Five minutes ago there was one sleeping on the ceiling and I took a page of the Wall Street Journal and just went for it. You have to fold the paper up so there are about seven layers of paper between your fingers and the bee. And because the bees have such big bodies -- they are about an inch long -- it is hard to do them in. Do not think I enjoy this. I do not.

Anyway, I labored for a while on this one. I finally was able to ball it up in the paper and get it out of the room. And right away, this bee on the complete other side of the room -- miles away -- starts stirring and buzzing toward me. He knew his buddy was in trouble!

Speaking of little flying objects brings us to the supernatural story of the day. And you thought the bees were it. They are not! I have so many weird tales in my life that I can squander them. I could tell a dozen a day and still have enough for the whole month.

This story is actually my friend Michelle's but I will tell it anyhow because I was with her when it happened. Remember the Lily Dale trip I talked about a few days ago, from a few years ago, when I was still allowed to go to Lily Dale? We were all asking questions about our love lives -- this was before I was married -- and Michelle was told she would meet a guy who flew planes.

We all chewed on this eagerly on the way home. I wondered if it was going to be this cute friend of Howard's, a pilot for US Air. Or maybe it was going to be an executive with his own Lear jet!

A few weeks after that, Michelle goes on a blind date. They meet for dinner at Flying Tigers. Remember Flying Tigers, that crazy World War II restaurant out by the airport? You could watch the planes take off and listen to 1940s radio broadcasts. That was sad when that oddball place closed. All the World War II-era people must have been getting too old to go out.

Michelle did not like her date, as it turned out. I can't remember what went wrong but a whole long laundry list of things did. A few days later a bunch of us gathered over drinks to go over this list. That is the fun of blind dates.

One of the things Michelle told us was: "He's a model plane freak! He told me he has hundreds of them, hanging from the ceiling." We all burst into delighted laughter.

But then the words of the medium came back to us! And we all just froze with our mouths open, staring at each other.

Is that something out of "Seinfeld" or what?

No, Lily Dale is always stranger than fiction.

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