ShoreBilly's Swill on ShoreBread

Let’s go ahead and try to wrap up this bee sting story this week so we can get back on track with tales about the loathing of some, not all, tourists. I think three weeks of having a mental visual of my grossly swollen face is plenty. And since I’m a bartender in a seasonal resort town, and Fourth of July weekend just passed, once again the story is writing itself. Needless to say, I was surrounded for several days by the best and brightest society has to offer. With that said, I’ll deal with you next week, tank top boy. Now back to my less than conventional way I discovered to get rid of the wrinkles in my face.

Speaking of wrinkle removal, if you are considering BEETOX as a viable option, you most definitely want to consider a lot of things. I will admit that it’s a very effective method of getting rid of all the lines in your face, and it works in only minutes. But the pain is excruciating, the positive effects are temporary, and once you’ve ended the day by having to purchase an epi-pen, it’s no less expensive than the method you’ve already been employing. So you’re better off continuing your monthly visits to let a med school wash-out inject a potentially deadly virus into your brow and lips for the sole purpose of being as fake on the outside as you are on the inside.

So I’m in the car with my wife. Needless to say, she’s driving because my eyes have swollen shut. I’m in that odd netherworld between temporary Benadryl coma, and fear and adrenaline keeping me going. So, as always, I’ve resorted to my only “go to” defense mechanism, which is my warped sense of humor. I unintentionally vaulted my wife through a veritable cavalcade of emotions ranging from love, and concern to “should I just dump this goof in the bay?” By the way, those are my words, not hers.

We, at some point in the process, opted to go to the Urgent Care facility instead of the hospital even though they were pretty much equidistant from our house. I don’t recall why we made that decision, but ultimately I was happy with it. As it turns out, if you walk in to a medical facility looking like Rocky Dennis, you IMMEDIATELY jump right to the front of the line. Even the people in the waiting room who had been there long before me were like, “ Yeeeeah, go ahead and take him first! He looks like he could die. And could ya take him back like right now so we don’t have to look at “IT” please?

We approached the check in desk with me in the lead. The receptionist had been looking down at some paperwork on her desk when I walked up to her. She looked up and immediately did the huge eyed, gaping mouthed, head twitch double take. At that moment, I looked at my wife and said, “See, I told you it was noticeable!”

The nice young lady behind the window asked how she could help us, even at the risk of her potentially turning to stone from looking directly at me. I gave her some basic information, and she asked the reason for today’s visit to which I responded, “I’m pretty sure it’s tennis elbow, but my wife seems to think it may be something else.”

At this point I was nudged out of the way, and my bride completed the exchange. I took advantage of this time to turn and face those sitting in the waiting room. I could still make out figures, so I glanced in the direction of each of them one at a time and say things like, “How ya doin?”, and “Beautiful day, huh?”

It was positively glorious the way my physical appearance was making so many complete strangers uneasy. I can’t even begin to tell you how fun that is for someone like me.
By the time my wife was finished the info exchange, a nurse had already come to retrieve me and take me back to an examination room. Like a child, I insisted that she come with me. Before the nurse had finished checking my vitals, the doctor was in the room as well. Apparently, people who come in looking like a bobble head doll get the “stat” treatment.

They were both checking me over and asking me a series of questions. Most of which I answered with a hint of sarcasm (if you can imagine). The doctor asked me when the sting had occurred. I told him that at this point it had been approximately two hours. He chastised me and wanted to know why I hadn’t come immediately. To which I responded, “I got here as fast as I could Doc. It took me awhile running through the forest with all those villagers chasing me with pitch forks and torches!” I heard the nurse try to repress a chuckle, and the Dr. shot her a glance.

The doctor took on a very serious demeanor at this point. My behavior had led him to believe that the venom, or whatever the hell that little buzzing pervert had pollinated me with had made its way to my brain, and was now causing my delirium. My wife realized what was happening, and intervened, and explained to the doctor and nurse that I was acting perfectly normal by my standards and that nothing was wrong with me neurologically. She said, “don’t feel sorry for him, just politely laugh and move on.”

The nurse looked at my wife and said, “Wow, you must laugh constantly at home.”

To which she responded, “Yeah… not at all. He doesn’t turn this off, and the novelty wears off after a few years.”

The doctor also asked me if I had taken anything after the sting. I explained that I had taken two Benadryl. He told me it was a good thing I had because without, there was a very good possibility my throat would have closed up before I’d gotten there. Well, that would have sucked!

Throughout this process, I was being poked in the arm with needles like I were Gulliver and the Lilliputians were having tryouts for their javelin team. I don’t know how many times I got stuck. I wasn’t really paying attention, and it was probably the least painful thing that had happened to me that day, so I didn’t really feel it either.

The injections worked instantly, and the swelling had started to go down just enough that I could see a little bit. Just then, a fly landed on my right thigh. That’s when I had a Karate Kid moment at the most perfect possible time. With one quick motion, I swiped at the fly and caught him in my hand. Both doctor and nurse looked in complete amazement as I shouted, “Holy shit! Doc, do I have super powers now?! Am I Bee Man?”

He leaned back, furrowed his brow, stared deeply at me, and paused for a moment. He was actually contemplating his answer as if it were a distinct possibility that I had indeed developed super hero status from a bug raping my leg. I thought his look was the funniest part of the day. Just to punctuate the moment, I shook my fist violently before opening my palm to release a now completely disoriented fly for all to see.

Doc didn’t quite share my sense of humor, but at this point, the nurse had stopped trying to fight it, and was now laughing hysterically. Through her laughter she said to me, “Could you please stop back in here next week? I have got to see what you look like normally.”

The doctor wrote me four different prescriptions, called them in and sent me on my way. I returned to the lobby area to a room full of befuddled onlookers as I was smiling and followed by several people laughing very hard. As I checked out at the desk, the girl behind it gave me a sympathetic look and said, “Bye, I hope you feel better.”

I without hesitation replied, “It’s not really the way I FEEL that’s the issue right now. I’m kind of hoping to LOOK a little better. Thank you just the same though.”

I turned and walked away, presumably with my wife right behind me shaking her head. (I get that a lot.) As I walked out the front door, everyone in that building, be they medical professionals, or patients, were either laughing, or at the very least smiling. This made me feel good. Suddenly, sickeningly hideous disfigurement, a near death experience, and having to carry a really expensive syringe with me everywhere I go for the rest of my life seemed a small price to pay.

We proceeded to “The Mart” to pick up my prescriptions. I told my wife I preferred to wait in the car given my present appearance. She laughed and said, “Really, THIS is where you’re concerned about someone seeing you like that, of all places?”

To which I replied, “No! It’s just that I don’t want somebody running up to me with a royal blue vest and a roll of smiley face stickers telling me to get my ass back to work.”

Believe it or not, there’s still just a little bit more to this story before I can properly wrap it up! I’ll pick it back up next week right where we leave off. It’s not enough left for an entire piece, so just the first part of next week will be the close of the bee sting saga, and then I’ll start on something else. Thanks for playing along.

Until next week,

Syd Nichols