The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

By Jack H. Smith
Ledger Publisher 

The bee in my sweatshirt


October 4, 2017

It was business as usual last Wednesday at the Whitehall Ledger office.

While Melissa is making the weekly jaunt to Anaconda to pickup the paper, I stay put and get the website updated, as well as a variety of other tasks to get ready for the next edition. Sure there is probably a lot of surfing true crime web sites, but I do use the day as an opportunity to get ahead for the next week.

When Melissa had returned around noon I had started to get hungry so I made the short trip to KFC for lunch. When I was walking back into the office I felt something crawl or fly into the back of my sweatshirt. I violently shook my clothing to rid myself of the problem. I never find it amusing to have something crawling on me so I wanted to remedy myself of the situation and move on with my day.

About two hours later, I started to feel something slowly crawling down my back. At this point I quickly realized that I had not rid myself of whatever had visited. Whatever it was had found a nice resting spot and after chilling for an hour or two was ready to either escape or make my life miserable.

Before I could even get up and try to get rid of whatever it was I felt a sharp pain in the middle of my back and instantly freaked out. I had been bit or stung and it felt like someone had just pounded a nail into my back. Rather than keep a level head, I leaped from my chair and started running around the office. Melissa is so used to me being overly dramatic that she really wasn’t paying attention as I ran to the bathroom at a speed I probably haven’t produced since high school. I thought about running outside, but glad I didn’t go run into traffic on Legion Avenue.

I ripped of my sweatshirt and started once again shaking my body in an attempt to get rid of whatever had found a home in my clothing. I probably looked like a very out of shape belly dancer.

Finally after a few minutes of my screaming and childish behavior, Melissa came into the bathroom to see what was going on and we both looked for the cause of my sudden pain.

After a few minutes of searching, we found nothing and I stopped acting like a five-year-old and came out of the bathroom to finish my work for the day.

My back was red and irritated, but by bedtime I had completely moved on with my bug experience.

The following morning Melissa went into the bathroom and announced she found what had plagued me the day prior. There was a bee on the floor. I felt bad the bee wasted its life on me, but it also made me think why in the world it sat in my sweatshirt for so long before making a move. How did I not realize there was a bee in my clothing for two hours? I was seriously baffled that I couldn’t notice a bee was hiding out. I’m sure it would have had to move in that long of a period of time and I can’t explain how I didn’t feel it. I used to just have to worry about semi trucks going fast enough to get into hyperspace or the town siren going off, but now I’ve added bees to the mix.

There is a popular myth that talks about how many spiders a person will swallow during their sleep in a lifetime and while I usually don’t try to think about what happens when I’m sleeping, the bee incident gave me the shivers thinking of the type of shenanigans that go on while I rest.

I’ve luckily never had a bad spider bite and until this year, had only been stung by a bee or wasp once in my life. The first time I was stung by a bee was had only been stung during my senior year of high school -- that just so happened to be as I was leaving the school the only time I “skipped’ during my high school years. That was a great case of karma stinging me for a bad decision.

I thought I would never get stung again until I was sitting outside this summer and a wasp stung me in my ear.

I thought I might be good for another 20 years without a sting, but I guess I was wrong. I’m hoping this Wednesday is sting free and Melissa doesn’t have to see me dance around the office like a crazy person.


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