Act I; Scene I: A bumblebee the size of a cherry tomato buzzed its way into our screened-in porch one day. Humane removal did not resolve the issue, because a bee appeared about every two hours during daylight hours for the better part of two weeks. It made no sense. How was this bee getting in? We plugged up any obvious apertures in screens or access points to the outdoors. And yet, a bee. Not many bees. One bee, at a time. A call to the exterminator was not useful. The guy had no clue and only asked if I wanted it dead. "How?" I asked. "Step on it,' he said. No. Eventually, we deduced that the bee was a single operator, returning again and again as if in some apian version of Groundhog Day, the movie. It did not end well for the bee, but at least now we know that our deduction was likely correct. We have not seen a bee since.
But, as this is Shakespeare Week, I thought our little buzzy friend at least deserved a proper send-off.
To bee, or not to bee: that is the question:
Whether 'tis futile to bumble against this screen,
And suffer the shouts of outraged homeowner,
Or to take aim against a swat of cardboard,
The thousand natural smacks that bees are heir to,
And by opposing, sting them? To prick; to die;
Or fall by fly swatter's ignoble whack?
Oh, cursed screen that doth impede my flight
And holds me captive in this porch!
For who would bear the Raid can's scorn,
The exterminator's steel-toed boot,
To be stepped upon as though a lowly ant?
It is a consummation devoutly to dismiss,
When we are on the endangered species list.
But that the dread of something flat and swift,
Thus, must give us pause;
Aye, now there's the respect,
That only apian buzzing can produce;
The homeowner in retreat doth lose resolve,
And patient merit of unworthy thwacks.
Enterprises seek exit from this meshy jail,
To grunt and sweat under weary mission,
Make us take up our quest for flight.
Oh, but with the chance to sleep, perchance to dream
And cling to wire mesh window; to imagine
The undiscovered country for which we yearn.
But what is this? A bare bodkin? Or plastic take-out?
A container! Thus capture makes cowards of us all!
I am done and lose the name of action, except to buzz
Against this slippery trap.
With this regard my fortunes turn suddenly,
To freedom, airborne on western breeze.
The fair homeowners hath released their apian guest.
Be all my sins remembered.
Forsooth, in mine orisons, I will return again.