A Stinging Short-Story by Chris Joseph Stancato

On the Heels of the Bee’s Knees

Who are we gonna call Ron?”

“Well, it aint gonna be Ghost Busters.”

“Should I laugh now or after we die from bee stings,” Daryl said.

Ron crossed his arms, smiling. “I thought it was funny.”

Daryl crossed his arms as well, but frowned. “It won’t be funny if mom gets stung.”

“First of all. They are honey bees,” Ron said.

“Stop right there Mr. Science,” Daryl said.

Ron looked up at the large bee hive and didn’t utter a word.

“Bees don’t discriminate,” Daryl said.

Ron folded his arms.

“Secondly, if mom knows that we let this be, pun and a possible punch in your mouth intended, it’s gonna be both our asses,” Daryl said.

“OK tough guy. Mom will be home in five hours. And…I told you when we arrived, we had an easy option.”

“I’m not calling that freak.” Daryl said.

Ron clasped his hands.

“Did you try calling Lee Your Bee Buddy?” Daryl said.

“Yes.”

“And?”

“His wife said he has the flu,” Ron said.

“Did you try calling Carl the Critter Controller?” Daryl said.

“Carl doesn’t do bees. He recommends, like Lee’s wife did, to call ‘I’m the Bee’s Knees.’”

Daryl turned his back to Ron.

“You tell me Daryl?”

Daryl remained silent with his discrimination loud as he thought: That freak, that nasty man who wears dresses. The last thing I need is a drag queen parading…

Ron rubbed his chin, waiting for an answer.

He turned as Ron turned with him, staring at the beehive—buzzing, buzzing, buzzing

Meanwhile, Thomas Glassrow, a beekeeper and the owner of I’m the Bees Knees,was performing his weekly inventory check in his garage. The phone rang…

I’m the Bee’s Knees, how may I help you?”

“Hello my name is Ron; I have a large beehive at my mom’s house.”

“Hello Ron, thanks for calling. Where is it located?”

“On the shed—”

Daryl loudly interrupted him. “By the alley, tell him alley-side.”

Thomas moved the phone away from his face then brought it back. “Ron, is it by the alley?”

“Yes,” Ron said.

“What is your mom’s address?”

Ron gave Thomas the information with his brother pacing and making comments under his breath like, “tell it to take the back alley, the back alley” and “the less neighbors, the better.”

Thomas wrote down the information. “Alrighty, I’ll be there in thirty-minutes.”

Ron said good-bye. “Let me tell you something, big brother, this anger that you have better come to a head because I have news for you.”

“And what’s that?”

“Thomas will be here—”

“Thomas or Tammy? Tammy is probably more appropriate.” Daryl said.

Ron smiled. “You can call him whatever you want when he arrives.”

“What does that mean smartass?” Daryl said.

“I have to be at work in fifteen minutes. Good luck. And one other thing…”

Daryl was pacing and quickly rubbing his hands.

“Thomas is a professional and the beehive needs to be removed. Think about mom first or—”

 “Or what?” Daryl stopped pacing.

“Or remove yourself from this ugly thought and be fair to a person, albeit a professional, who is highly respected.”

Ron walked away, entered his car, and started his engine as his brother started talking.

“He better not wear a dress. He, or it, better take the ally. She better…”

Daryl’s last comment was unheard as Ron drove away…

“I could probably take it down,” Daryl thought. “If I take care of it now, that freak won’t be here to embarrass me.” He ran into the shed with a few bees swarming. He grabbed a pair of goggles, a baseball cap, and a shovel then ran back out of the shed with more bees swarming.

The bees were busy working…

Thomas was parking in front of the house.

And a knight, with his lance aimed, prepared to knock off the horseman that was going to hamper his character…

Daryl was profusely sweating. His goggles kept sliding over his nose. He wielded the shovel at the beehive and then…

“Help! Help! Help!”

A plume of smoke permeated over Daryl who was in the fetal position.

“Help! Help! Help!” Daryl yelled again.

Another plume of smoke and then a tap on the knight’s helmet.

“You’re fine my friend. Relax, relax…”

“What?” Daryl said.

Standing before him was a tall figure, wearing an all-white jumpsuit, helmet and veil. “It’s fine friend, you can get up.”

Daryl stood, swatted at a few bees. “Who are you?”

Thomas lifted his veil…

“Oh, I thought you were somebody else,” Daryl said.

“Nope. One guy, one business, one job as a beekeeper—day by day.”

Daryl remained silent.

You’re welcome,” Thomas said.

Daryl slowly extended his hand.

Thomas extended his as Daryl looked to see if his nails were painted.

After a firm grip by Thomas, Daryl looked up at him.

“Thanks,” Daryl said.

Thomas contained the bees, removed the hive, and finished the job.  

Daryl watched him the whole time then followed him, as per Thomas, to his van for the bill and payment due.

“Thanks again Thomas.”

“No problem. You know, they are honey bees, easy job—ya know?”

Daryl nodded. “Yes. I know now.”

“You’re lucky I was available.”

“Why is that?” Daryl asked.

“I was taking an inventory of my dresses.”

Thank you for enjoying this humorous story about discrimination. You never know when you’ll need help, whether it is a service call or a stranger lending their kindness. We are communities. We are neighbors. Be ready and willing to be…the bee’s knees!

Chris Joseph Stancato

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