Heading Back Home
episode ii
Pees with bees


In our last episode, we managed to get as far as picking up our viciously yellow rental car. Now it is time for


Pees with bees

Normally we head through Wasco when we want to get to the 5 from Bakersfield, but the rental car place is on Seventh Standard Road, so we just stuck to it and went straight to the 5 on it, which is generally rumored to be quicker anyway.

The 5 is the California autobahn but I restrained myself by using the cruise control. The 5 is also a soulless street. It's a shame the 99 isn't as speedy because it is much more pleasant a drive than the desolate (and sometimes smelly) wastelands that run alongside the 5.

If, by "wastelands," you imagined unpopulated nothingness, you are on the right track. It is unpopulated nothingness. Unless you include the hundreds and hundreds of beehives that just moved in. (Where the bees find sustenance is beyond me, but there are the hives, in clumps of three hundred.) And so when the Big O declared an immediate need to pee, there was nothing to do in this nothingness but take the next exit and find a reasonably private patch of dead brown and let him pee.

Except getting out of the car is suddenly fraught with peril.

I'm not afraid of bees. I'm thirty years old and have never been stung and have for years and years had a cavalier attitude about the critters and a fearless manner when dealing with bees and their pals the wasps and the yellowjackets and other stinging beasties. But suddenly the rules have changed.

Before I even turn the car off, the car is swarmed with dozens of bees desperate for a flower. And when the world's biggest yellowest beauty pulls up for their pleasure, who are they to say no? They are crawling around, probing about, looking for nectar, finding none. I'm not sure how we'll be able to get in and out of the car without bees finding their accidental way inside.

Somehow I manage to get O out without letting any in. I cannot say how.

For reasons I feel very strongly about but which I don't feel like getting into now, the Big O has not been trained in the art of peeing while standing. And there we are off the 5. Nothing to sit on. Down an embankment, off a freeway ramp. No toilet for the practical equivalent of a billion miles.

Solution: I hold him parallel to the ground so he may pee straight down.

Tangent: This morning I hear Lady Steed yell, "Oh, gross!"

The Big O has a tendency to pee sideways now and then. This morning he managed that trick and peed all over his leg. He grabbed a tissue and wiped off his leg. Then used the same tissue to wipe his nose.

Anyway, there I am, my arms outstretched, squatting on the ground--Lady Steed yelling down to me that ten or so bees are crawling on my back--the Big O's pants to his ankles, lying naked in my arms, supposedly pointing downwards.

Then he pees.

Now, I'm not a parent with a lot of gross stories, but here I am, in a hostile, insect land, my car under attack, my shirt under investigation, holding a peeing three-year-old, his pee suddenly appearing not down but straight to his right

directly away from me. Phew. That was close. That was not thinking, Theric. But lesson learned without a soaking. That's the best way.

What precisely Lady Steed was doing while I was helping the Big O is not certain, but when I got back in the car, miraculously bee free once again, I am informed that she needs things out of the trunk and that, if I will look, the hood of the car is now covered with our food.


Get out of the car.

Get into trunk.

Remove item.

Don't let any bees in!

Slip it through her door.

Don't let any bees in!

Get food off hood.

Accidentally squash bee in the process.


Don't bee corpses let off some chemical that pisses them all off?

As a former Kern County newspaper reporter, I know perfectly well that all bees south of Fresno (ALL BEES) are Africanized.


RIP, Theric.

We knew thee well.

Hurriedly slip food through Lady Steed's door.

Don't let any bees in!

Go around to the driver's door.

Jump up and down.

Shake shirt.


Slip inside.

Don't let any bees in!

Start car and drive off.

Get a couple miles down the 5.

Observe the beehives stretching to the horizons.

"Oh. You wanted to drive, didn't you."

"It's fine. Just keep going."

"Are you sure?"

"I said it's fine."

Tune in next time for Episode III: THE ALBANIANS.


  1. Never have I had so much fun on the 5. All my experiences with it have been numbingly boring. Clearly I need to move back to CA so I can get in on the action.

  2. Funniest episode yet!

  3. PS I wonder if a hundred years from now, we'll be able to trace the breakdown of society to the schism that emerged between Old Bloggers and New Bloggers.

  4. .

    I wouldn't doubt it. Speaking for myself only, I certainly hate you all.

  5. hahahaha!!!! It really was that funny. Though I am grateful that no one got stung.

  6. I have to say that this takes road trips to a whole new level.

    Thanks for helping me start the day laughing. Can't wait to hear what happened next.