Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The B&B Bee

When Aunty Penny and I went on our mini-break to Northam to go Hot Air Ballooning we stayed in a cute little B&B right on the Avon river. It had everything you would expect from a B&B - a comfy bed, a clean bathroom, tea and coffee facilities (aka a kettle and a couple cups), and a TV that got My Kitchen Rules. Turns out it also had a free added extra in the form of a stow-away bee that came in on my jeans.

Walking around the town we'd seen bees bloody everywhere. Every tree we walked past was buzzing and we kept doing the I've-just-been-dive-bombed-by-a-bee ninja dance. The thing is no one else sees the bee so it just looked like we were both spontaneously break dancing. Badly. It was very attractive.

I have been stung by bees more times than I care to remember (a result of embracing my inner-feral and refusing to keep my shoes on as a child) and every time I would swell up like a balloon and be rushed off to get some antihistamines. Nothing life threatening, just a temporary case of what looked rather like elephantitis.

The last time I was stung was the day of the end of school concert when I was in year one. I was two weeks away from the huge milestone of turning six (requires TWO HANDS to display = major milestone) and as I sat cross legged in the sun rehearsing "The Daisies In The Meadow" a bee landed just above my ankle, no doubt attracted by a group of children with oversize daisies on their heads.

For the first time in my whole life I did not panic. My mum had flicked away bees with her fingernail so many times and I was sure I could do the same. I would be a hero. I would go home and tell her proudly that I had done what she had always tried to get me to do. There would be NO STING on concert day. I calmly went to flick the bee away, just like I had seen her do... only I hadn't paid too much attention and flicked so hard down the bee IMPLANTED IN MY FUCKING LEG!

There was much crying and flailing as my teacher dug out not only the sting but a few legs and a wing. The swelling started straight away and my parents were called to pick me up. I spent the rest of the day with my leg raised, sucking down antihistamines and begging to be allowed to perform on stage at the concert. I hadn't put all that effort in to my ice-cream bucket hat with petals attached for nothing, ya know?

Image Credit via CC: Treesha Duncan

A pair of tights were sought and the show went on. The ultimate performer with a flower hat and one leg twice the size of the other all the way from my toes to my hip. For the record, me and my fat leg completely rocked out and I still remember the words to that song. No doubt the trauma of the day has imprinted it in my brain for eternity.

So anyway, back to Northam! Aunty Penny and I were getting ready for bed at the Nanna time of 8:00pm when the bee dropped from my jeans on to my foot between my toes and, deciding that his lack of grip on denim was in fact my fault, stung me immediately.

I graduated from bee avoidance ninja dance to holy-fuck-I-don't-remember-it-hurting-so-damn-much cha cha followed by the desperate flamenco of someone thinking they're about to have an allergic reaction.

It had been 25 long years since my last sting and in those years I was always told to assume the allergy remained and rather than subject myself to a sting to test the theory I just went with it. So after scraping the sting from between my toes with my fingernails I put my foot up and so began the "Great Toe Stare of 2013". For someone who hates feet, this was almost as painful as the sting itself.

As we watched to see if my whole leg would swell I started Googling things like "outgrow sting allergy" "bee sting allergy pregnant" and "why me?". Meanwhile Map Guy informed me that if I did have a reaction I'd have to go to hospital since extended trading hours is a concept still quite foreign to that tiny town. Great.

The area started to puff up a little and a red line started to streak down my foot. Oh fuck, here it comes, I thought. But then the most lovely thing happened... nothing. The anti-climax to beat all anti-climaxes! I am officially no longer allergic to bees!

Despite this fabulous news I am still going to be ninja dancing my way around them though because DAMN it bloody hurt.

How long since you've been stung by a bee? Are you a ninja dancer?

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