upon a time I was involved in a sting operation.
It happened in a local super market’s produce section where I was
picking out apples in a box. Never satisfied with what’s visible
on top, I always dig deeper, seeking better, fresher fruit.
Ouch! What was that!
In response to my question, a bee buzzed to the top of the box.
About that time, a woman walked by and sensed I was hurting. “Are
“No, I’m not OK,” I told her. “I just got stung by a bee.”
She sympathized and told me to report the incident. “Are you sure
it was a bee?”
“Yes, I’m sure. See -- he’s right there on top…” Not any more.
The bee had left the building.
A store employee approached the apple box.
“Are you sure it was a bee?”
“Yes,” I kept telling him. I know a bee when I see one. It was black
and yellow, just like John Belushi’s outfit on those old “Saturday
Night Live” skits.
Actually, I didn’t mention the comedy costume to the employee. The
sting operation was going badly enough.
The bee (yes!) attacked my ring finger on the left hand, and it
was swelling and turning red.
“We have to fill out a report,” said the employee.
“Don’t want to.”
“Have to. It’s store policy.”
He told me to wait there while he fetched the proper forms.
The man with the papers returned quickly. The question/answer session
went well until he asked for my Social Security number .I’ve been
told it’s not a good idea to share that number so I wouldn’t.
He didn’t argue about it – probably because he wanted to finish
the paper work and get me out of there.
Meanwhile, the man in charge of the produce section was probing
the apple box.
“Are you sure it was a bee? I don’t see no bee.”
I told him
that, after the sting, the bee had made a bee line out of there.
He didn’t smile.
Maybe he was afraid I’d sue the store, remembering the woman who
sued McDonald’s years ago when scalded by hot coffee.
I wouldn’t think of suing. The sting was something that was strictly
between me and the bee. It wasn’t the store’s fault.
Although my finger hurt badly, I resumed shopping, guiding the grocery
cart with one hand, up one aisle and down another. Reaching for
a box of crackers, I suddenly jumped out of the way as countless
boxes of Waverlys, Wheat Thins, Ritzes and saltines came tumbling
down. I still don’t know what I did to cause that.
A nearby shopper had to move out of the way to avoid the cracker
crash, too. Coincidentally, she was the one who saw me in pain in
the produce section.
As the last box of crackers hit the floor, she observed, “This isn’t
your day, is it.”
Collecting cracker boxes with one hand, I mumbled, “I think I should
just go home.”
And she said, “You should have never left home.”
© Wanda Orton
Baytown Sun Columnist, November 1, 2014 column
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