Here’s a seasonal safety message from Bathtub Safety Officer Rafferty.
At Ease, Civilians! But don’t be TOO easy.
I’m here to remind you that this is the week before Labor Day, so there’s lots of traveling going on and picnics are happening everywhere. People are in their relaxed, summertime frame of mind. It may seem like fun to you, but from my perspective that’s a dangerous combination, especially compared to wintertime when you just assume that something bad involving extreme cold or loss of traction is going to happen to you in the next ten minutes.
Winter is harsh and difficult by nature. Summer is soft and easy. And you’ve had so much of it leading up to the last day of August, your guard could very well be down. I’m here to tell you, just like our nation’s military, you should always be trying to re-up your guard! You never know when you might have to re-deploy to respond to a new threat!
Why, you ask? What could happen?
Bees! Bees could happen to you at the end of summer. Wasps, yellow jackets, bumble bees, all creatures with pointy back ends are of great concern to me, and they should be to you as well! Some specific advice:
- Always remember to look INSIDE the open pop can before you take a great big drink out of it. Because you don’t want to have a bee in your mouth anymore than a bee wants to be in there! A human mouth is a gross, scary place to be, and if you were caught inside one, you’d panic and would do anything to get out.
- If you decide to go rolling down a grassy hill in celebration of the end of summer, be sure to conduct a careful survey of the terrain. Ground nests, once disturbed, are like those clown cars at the circus – there seems to be no end to the number of scary individuals who come pouring out. And why shouldn’t they? If a huge fleshy thing rolled over your house, you’d be upset too!
- Some people roll on the ground or jump in a lake when under attack by bees. This is NOT a good escape strategy. Rolling on the ground is what you do when you’re on fire. Jumping in the lake also works to resolve a flaming-clothes situation. But bees can find you in either of these scenarios, and will simply wait for an opportunity to inflict their portion of pain. The best approach is to run like crazy, pulling your shirt over your head to keep them away from your eyes. If you do this, the bees will get tired of chasing you, and they’ll also become helpless with laughter. But it is always a good idea to have your bee attack escape route mapped out at all times. Make sure your intended path doesn’t cross a major thoroughfare or a scenic overlook.
Even a single angry bee can set off a disastrous chain of events! The bee in the shirt of the bus driver, the bee in the hair of the horsewoman, and the bee up the pants leg of the construction worker have caused far too much havoc and heartbreak. So never, ever stop thinking about your next random encounter with our tiny, stingered citizens. Give them the space and respect they need!
Bathtub Safety Officer Rafferty
This strikes close to home for me, since I was put in the hospital by a few bee stings when I was ten years old. I have been known to do a vigorous but spastic “bee dance” whenever one is nearby – an upsetting scene for everyone, bees included.