Monday, July 6, 2009

Bees and Blasts

Too many people who know me are aware that I am not a lover of bees. No apiary on my land, thank you. I know that our agriculture depends on them and that their sudden decline may leave farmers in a hum but I just have never cottoned to them around me. I don't like anything flying that stings, so that includes wasps, hornets and yellow jackets too, but I don't think they have any big cheering squad, except maybe the last at Georgia Tech or University of Rochester. (And yes, there's some Wasps rugby team in England, too, and the Charlotte Hornets, so don't get on me.)

So we're sitting in these nice seats on the Toyota Terrace as it is styled of Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, on the day of the game against the Houston Astros, a day prior to the Return of Manny on this same site. Now we have a ballpark named for people who sell dog food. Not that I mean to slight the sushi and Anthony's Fish Grotto version of my beloved Manhattan clam chowder that we were enjoying on said terrace overlooking left field. The Padres were not impressive against the Astros so at the top of the 8th we began to depart the premises, only to hear on the monitors as we moved around the park to the first-base side that play had been suspended and the "swarm delay" lasted 52 minutes.

A swarm of bees invaded left field and landed largely on the jacket hurriedly abandoned by the fleeing third-base line ball girl. First various security types displayed their customary ineptitude in real challenge situations and finally (by this time I was listening in the car to the sportscasters firmly into rain-delay time-killing mode) an actual beekeeper in uniform emerged to deal with the swarm and play resumed.

Saturday night we went to Long Beach City College stadium (home of the 49ers and the Dirtbags baseball team) to watch the old-fashioned fireworks show put on by the fire department there, complete with displays by canine crusaders against crime-- although their ability to seize frisbees may or may not confirm their overall prowess. The fireworks blasted wonderfully right over our heads and there was plenty of patriotic music. Every time I hear the start of The Stars and Stripes Forever, I see Clifton Webb in the title role of The Story of John Philip Sousa opening the score he is about to conduct.

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