Recently I commented on a friends blog and she said that the rhythm of the comment reminded her of the old lady who swallowed a fly. That in turn reminded me of a run in I once had with a bee some years ago.

I’ve never swallowed a fly, but when I was about 15 or 16, I was riding my bike at my usual break-neck speed when I started to yawn. The yawn was one of those yawns that goes on for ages and makes you wonder if you might get jaw-lock!

The yawn was proceeding within usual yawn standards when suddenly something very large, a bee I assumed, flew straight into my open mouth in what must have been an unavoidable flying accident. I damn near crashed my bike as the bee, that seemed unusually large, shot straight into my throat and began to buzz for its life. I was now stopped, hunched over the handlebars of my bike coughing, chocking and wretching, doing anything I could to get the bee from my throat. The bee itself was in serious trouble and buzzing like a Geo Metro with a lunatic at the wheel.

I’m a peace loving kinda guy, and try to avoid killing wherever possible (especially people). I wanted the bee to get out of my throat for a number of reasons. I wanted it to leave and continue a normal happy life, able to tell its grandbees about how it once fought its way out of a humans vocal chords. But the truth is, you can only have a buzzing bee in your throat for so long. Eventually, despite my peaceful intentions, and my hope for a satisfactory outcome to this bike stopping moment, I had to bring an end to what was fast becoming a roadside chokathon.

I swallowed as hard as I could. The kind of big ol’ swallow you do when you’re trying to get some oversized tablet down without tasting it. The bee was now in serious serious trouble, as the muscles contracted and pushed him another inch toward the end of its life, it became ever more desperate to escape. It was buzzing so loud that I was concerned he may be sending out some kind of bee S.O.S and that in just a few seconds I would be surrounded by more angry bees wanting to flying down my neck and rescue their brother in arms.

Another huge gulp followed the last, and I felt the bee move down another inch or so still furiously buzzing what were to be its traumatic last buzzes as seconds later the buzzing stopped and the bee slipped away to begin its final and rather unpleasant final journey.

I stood up straight and took a huge gasp for air like a someone who had been underwater for a few seconds more than is comfortable. Cars continued past blissfully unaware of the drama that had just taken place. I felt bad for the bee, but in the end it had come down to a simple question of life or death for both of us, and I won.

I composed myself and took to the bike once more to continue on my way. From that day on if I ever needed to yawn I never forgot my manners again. I always put my hand over my mouth now so as to be sure to avoid any future repeats of the bee incident.