Do you remember as a child, adults would bandy about that old saw that a bee would only sting if you provoked? Do you also remember the dissemination of that 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 readily described as angelic, when a bee decided 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, only to find an accusatory tone. Unfortunately two of my aunts were visiting.
“What did you do to it?” The first asked in her typically snide voice.
“What did I do to it?” She was obviously confused by the sequence of events.
“You must have provoked it,” the other chimed in, with her less snide, but decidedly more mannish voice.
Note: my aunts’ inability to recognize a child playing in a manner that could be readily described as angelic, likely stems from their own entirely unangelic nature…they’re really bitchy.
Informed by this experience, I watched in amusement as a tour guide on a travel show 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. It is generally wise to approach anything with the ability to sting, with caution.
Things that sting:
- Platypuses (yes they sting; watch the Discovery Channel sometime).
- Stinging nettles.
- Graig Nettles, former gold glove third basemen of the New York Yankees, and his rapier wit.
- That vicious rejection from the cute girl you asked out. Seriously, she didn’t have to say that thing about your face.
- Yellow jackets the type of insect.
- Buzz the yellow jacket mascot of Georgia Tech. He didn’t have to say that thing about your face either.
- That slap you received after making an ill-advised comment about your aunt’s mannish voice.
- Gordon Sumner (Sorry, this is from the “things called sting” list).
Also, how would you go about determining the mental state of a stingray? I’ve never seen one that appeared happy-go-lucky.
It’s probably hard being a big flat fish living on the bottom of the ocean, always afraid that some fat tourist named Vinny 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.
Note: if you’re a condescending tour guide, 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.