Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bees in the Attic

The drone of the million or so bees living in the attic of the church had become more than Pastor Jerguson could handle. Keeping his parishioners attention was hard enough without the incessant buzzing putting them to sleep. First thing on the docket Monday morning was getting Grady and Goober to remove the hive.
“Bees ain’t hard to get rid of if you find the queen,” Goober told Pastor Jerguson. Goober had his own, highly classified method of extracting the queen which involved a stethoscope, a pair of tweezers and a ziplock bag. He said the queen had a different pitch to her buzzer than the rest of the bees. Grady thought this was among the craziest things he’d ever heard Goober say but as long as he didn’t have to go up into the attic with a nest of agitated bees he didn’t care how Goober found the queen and got the hive out.
Every morning Goober would grab his equipment and a flashlight and crawl up into the church attic. A couple of hours later he’d come down empty.
“Can’t find her,” he told Grady.
“Better figure out how,” Grady said. “We gotta get rid of them critters by Sunday.”
The week ended and still no queen. Plan “B” fell into Goober’s head. “Alright, I know what we’ll do. We’ve got till church time tomorrow, right?”
“Meet me here in the morning and we’ll get them suckers out.”
“Don’t you mean stingers?” Grady corrected.
Sunday morning Grady met Goober in the parking lot. Something told him the two twelve gallon shop vacs and the three hundred feet of extension cords in the back of his truck were signs of impending disaster. They each took a vacuum and cord and crawled up the ladder into the attic.
From the north and the south they came at the hive with full suction capturing bees through the three inch hoses. Hundreds at a time were drawn into the canisters. Hundreds of angry and vicious bees. Others that refused to go quietly into the hoses were driving their stingers into the exposed arms, neck, face and hands of the two exterminators.
The organ began to rumble underneath them. Church had begun. They could hear the muffled voice of Willie Bob cranking up the worship. Most of the bees that were on the hive were now in the canisters. Grady began to wave the hose around in the air trying to scoop up some of the dive bombers still after him. Everything was working just fine until he dropped his flashlight. When he bent down to pick it up, one very angry bee nailed him in the bohunkus causing him to lose his balance. He lunged head first through the ceiling. Goober grabbed for him and caught hold of his ankle, then felt himself following Grady into the hole.
Down from the attic came a shop vac full of highly irritated bees followed by Grady, followed by Goober followed by another shop vac full of even more highly irritated bees. They crashed onto the floor right in front of the pulpit. The canisters broke open and bees swarmed around the room stinging everyone in sight. The beautiful stained glass windows were suddenly sacrificed to the need of an exit. Everyone scattered and emptied the auditorium in record time. Even Mr. Antonio, who usually crept along in slow motion on his walker, tossed it aside and pushed the row of widows out of his way as he dove through the nearest window. Gladys Stone, who was allergic to bee stings felt her face begin to swell up. She took off for the back door but before she got there here eyes had swollen shut. She missed the door and caught the door jamb squarely on the bridge of her nose then fell out cold in the foyer.
The bees gave chase and within minutes there were no bees left in the building or in the attic. Grady and Goober crawled out from under the front pew and congratulated themselves that they had finally done something right.

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