I think I’ve found out where all the bees are going. They’re hiding inside the light fitting in my cellar. I can hear them buzzing away in there, but they know I suspect something and have lookout bees warning the light fitting hive if I start to look in their direction. Somewhere just beyond my peripheral vision a spotter bee performs one of those intricate little dances, which communicate so much to those of an apian persuasion. The dance of the spotter bee says “Watch out, he’s turning his head towards us.” My gaze fixes on the light fitting, but the bees, having been pre-warned, have already fallen silent.
I discussed this phenomenon with a couple of friends, both of whom tried to fob me off with the same implausible explanation. They suggested that the electrical wiring of the light fitting is generating the noise itself. They allege that the fluctuating electro-magnetic field, generated by the alternating current of the mains electricity, causes tiny mechanical effects in the wiring, hence the noise.
“Aha!” said I “If that’s the case, why does it stop when I look at the light fitting?”
They suggested this is because my ears are on the sides of my head.
“For goodness’ sake” I said, “I suppose you’re suggesting that I’d still hear the noise whilst looking at the light fitting if I had an ear on my forehead?”
“Well, yes.” they replied.
But they’re wrong. It’s the bees.
I’m not a big fan of shampoo commercials. They try to make out that their products are full of special chemicals that, whilst being entirely safe, can actually change the molecular structure of your hair to make it shinier, straighter, or curlier, (depending on the current fashion). Rather cleverly, I think – if it were true, the chemicals also undo all the damage done by the other straightening, curling and colouring products the same people try to sell you. When all’s said and done, shampoo is just over-priced detergent. It’s washing up liquid with a bit of scent and the silky looking stuff you find in those squishy rubber eyeball things, available from the dubious toys counter at your local newsagent. You’ve only got to look at the shower-gel most hotels insist on providing, instead of decent, honest soap; the claims printed on the average shower-gel bottle usually suggest that its contents are optimised for your hair, face, under-arms and even your nether regions; one dreads to think what effect the anti-wrinkling agent may have down there.
The manufacturers try to justify their outrageously inflated detergent prices by inventing scientific sounding names for PH neutral surfactant, with a bit of colouring and some harmless additive with a made up name – curlystraightium, or something similar. Perhaps the additional cost arises from the necessity for ethical animal testing?
“Is everything OK under the dryer Mrs Flopsy? Would you like a magazine and another carrot? Have you been on holiday?”
Eventually something will hit it. Be ready for that eventuality. A skateboard helmet is light, but surprisingly sturdy. Being of open-face design, it doesn’t get in the way of eating, drinking, licking postage stamps etc. and can be decorated with small herbs; I favour the chive.
I’m sure there are spiders living behind my noticeboard. I can hear them whispering to each other and giggling at each other’s arachnid quips. I wonder if they post their own notices on the back of the board, which they consider to be the front? If so, perhaps they have discussions about the human they suspect lives on the back of their noticeboard, commenting on the fact that they’re sure they can hear the occasional, unmistakable sound of a chive falling from his skateboard helmet.