Do you remember as a child being told that a bee would only sting you if you provoked it? Do you also remember the dissemination of this bit of information generally came moments after being stung by a bee?
I recall an instance in my childhood, sitting in my backyard, quietly playing in a manner that could be described as “angelic” when a bee decided that it had become sufficiently provoked. My youthful playtime came to an abrupt halt with the introduction of searing pain to the side of head.
I went in search of sympathy, the only thing I got was an accusatory, what did you do to it?
What did I do to it?
They might as well have said to me, “You were stung by a bee? Bees only sting stupid ugly children”!
I have cruel aunts and uncles.
This experience is why I watched in amusement as a tour guide on the travel channel condescendingly told Vinny from Yonkers, “don’t be alarmed by that stingray brushing against your leg, they only attack when they’re angry or provoked.”
Vinny from Yonkers response was to act alarmed. He then gave the tour guide a look that generally precedes a punch in the face.
Any animal in which the word “sting” is prominent in its name, is probably an animal of which to be wary. In fact, any animal with the ability to sting, is any animal to be wary of.
Things that sting:
- Stinging nettles.
- That vicious rejection from the cute girl you asked out.
- Yellow jackets.
- That slap in the face you received when you overestimated a woman’s age by five years.
- Gordon Sumner. (Sorry. This is from the “things called sting” list.)
And how would you go about determining wether or not a stingray is in a state of agitation. I’ve never seen one that didn’t look completely ticked off.
It’s probably hard being a big flat fish living on the bottom of the ocean, always being afraid that some fat tourist named Earl will step on your back.
Stingrays have their mouths and nostrils situated on their underbellies; that cannot be a pleasant way to exist.
And have you seen what stingrays look like? They’re all crazy ugly. Stingray sex must be just awful.
A stingray’s sting can result in extreme pain, illness, the amputation of affected limbs, and in extreme cases, death. (They can also cause you to get punched in the face by a guy from Yonkers named Vinny.)
Any animal that on a whim can cause my life to end, is by my way of thinking, a source of alarm.
Or is it possible that you could run into a stingray with a sense of humor; a stingray that finds it amusing to sting a condescending tour guide.
Either way, you should be careful before you smugly tell someone not to be alarmed. You could be dealing with a stingray with a sense of humor or guy named Vinny without one.