Friday, August 3, 2012


      Somewhere between Otter River and Cape Cod one day at the
end of July, a bee flew in the open window -- in the 1950s, air
conditioned cars were few -- and landed on the seat between me
and Paula. I sat still, tightly controlled, knowing that frantic
swatting and whapping at a stinging insect would probably incite
it to defend itself. I maintained rigid calm even when the beast
crawled up the leg of my shorts.

     It soon crawled out again and went back to exploring the
seat of the car. At this point -- I can't imagine what took her
so long, unless she hadn't noticed the bee before -- Paula threw
one of her classic hissy fits. Nobody, then or since, throws a
hissier fit than Paula.

     Overstimulated by the tumult, the bee reacted after the
fashion of its kind; fleeing Paula's flailing and screaming, it
flew over and stung me.

     There's no justice in this world.