Monday, May 07, 2007

Fear of Bees

Apiphobia, Melissaphobia, Melissophobia - Fear of bees.

Summer’s right around the corner and the pool is almost ready to be opened. In the backyard, I plant my basil, parsley, tomatoes and other vegetables right on my deck so the cute little bunnies don’t get a huge vegan buffet. Usually, people put gorgeous flowers out on display. I, on the other hand can’t do that. I’m deathly afraid of bees. They scare the crap out of me. I have a huge problem with hornets and wasps. We don’t get a lot of yellow jackets, but we do get a few occasional bumblebees that are way too fat to even chase you. They don’t concern me.

The area where the pool is has a corner full of shrubs and perennials that are gorgeous, however, they attract a lot of bees and other unseen wildlife that lives among these bushes. It makes it literally impossible for me to lay out in the sun for more than five minutes at a time, without having to jump, leap and hop over the fence, running away as fast as I can due to some wasp deciding to sting me. My family and friends laugh hysterically, because it’s like a bad scene from Benny Hill, when he’s running down that huge lawn in fast motion with that crazy music. I totally freak out.

Here’s the real problem. I don’t know if I’m allergic to bees or not. I don’t want to find out either. (The hard way, I mean.) So, one day, I called my allergy doctor. The receptionist answered the phone and I explained to her that I would like to come in for allergy testing, as well get tested for food allergies. Here’s how our conversation went. Mind you, this is not elaborated or fabricated in any way to entertain or amuse you. This is the complete and honest truth…sadly enough.

Receptionist: “Dr. Stinger’s office…”

Me: “Yes, hi. I wanted to know if I could come in for allergy testing.”

Receptionist: “Well, what are you allergic to?”

Me: "I don’t know. This is why I want to come in.”

Receptionist: “Well, what do you think you may be allergic to?”

Me: “Well, when I eat shellfish, my tongue swells at times, and I develop a rash—but not all the time. I’m going on vacation and I want to be able to eat shellfish.”

Receptionist: “Well, if you think you’re allergic to shellfish, then don’t eat it.”

Me: “But I want to know for sure, so I can eliminate that it’s ‘all in my head’ type of thing. I also want to know if I’m allergic to bees, because I have such a great fear of them.”

Receptionist: “I would suggest don’t go near them then.”

Me: “But, I’m opening up my pool, and they’re out everywhere.”

Receptionist: “Did you try calling a bee keeper or an exterminator for this problem?”

Me: “Can I get an appointment with the doctor???”

Receptionist: “Not until you have a severe allergic reaction to something.”

Me: “Great, thanks for your help. I’ll see you when I need that epipen, gasping for air blown up like the Goodyear Blimp. Have a good day now.”

Any suggestions?