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From the Mouth of the River

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From the Mouth of the River

Titsi, Dizzy, Lefty and the bees

It’s spring in the great Northwest. I know, I know what you’re saying but according to the calendar, it’s supposed to be spring. Just ignore the snow and we will assume it’s spring.  

Titsi McGillas, the bartender over at the Dirty Shame Bar and Grill (formerly known as the “Tub a’ Guts”) decided it was close enough to spring for her husband, the ex-prize fighter, to clean out the woodshed and the den of pack rats that has been smelling up the place all winter. 

Dizzy, as his friends called him because he had taken too many to the head, will sometimes catch you off guard when he ducks his head and yells. “Boy, a flock of ’em went over that time,” he will say, looking up into an empty sky, causing people who don’t know him to search the sky for a flock of birds. Kids who pass him on the street will point down at the ground and yell, “Snake!” just to see how high he will jump, all the time knowing there aren’t any snakes around here. Okay, maybe a little garden snake or two, but nothing poisonous. 

At any rate, this morning found Dizzy out in the woodshed raking up chips and bark to be hauled out back to be burnt. The few sticks of firewood left over he tossed up against the back wall to start next winter’s firewood collection. With each stick of wood that bounced off the back wall a large roar would erupt from within its framework. Dizzy would stop and look up, listen for a minute, and continue on raking and loading his wheelbarrow, thinking the buzzing sound was just another addition to the many sounds already being created within his head. It wasn’t until he pushed his loaded wheelbarrow around the corner of the woodshed that he discovered what was making all that buzzing sound. 

It was Mrs. Abernackie who first noticed the commotion while hanging her clean, washed knickers on the clothesline. A wheelbarrow full of tree bark and chips went through her yard, taking her clothesline with it. 

Dizzy, with his head looking like someone had beat him with a sugar sack full of golf balls, was close behind with a hive of bees in hot pursuit. It was discovered later that a hive of bees had moved into the back wall of the woodshed, using a knot hole to enter, and Dizzy had been disturbing them by tossing firewood up against the wall. And by the time he walked around the side of the shed pushing his wheelbarrow, the whole hive was up in arms and looking for someone to take it out on. 

Two loafers who had been hanging around on the porch at the Mercantile saw Dizzy streak by with a dark cloud following close behind. They pursued, and caught up with Dizzy down at the river where he had jumped in to save hisself from the bees. They led him back home as his eyes were swollen shut from the bee stings as well as his ears and he kept slapping his head thinking now that all that buzzing he heard was bees inside his head. 

When Titsi got a hold of him she knew she had to do something to stop the swelling and alleviate the pain. She grabbed a bottle of rub that fighters used to relieve pain; this in turn set Dizzy’s head on fire because its base was Everclear. Banking off of three walls before he hit the kitchen door, Dizzy found the sink and a source of cold water to help wash away the burning sensation on his head. 

Word soon spread about the bees in Titsi’s woodshed.  Lefty, Titsi’s brother who lived up the river, got wind of the bee problem and came up with a solution. 

“Sis,” he said, “me and Heavy Anvil will rob that bee hive in your shed, capture the bees and take their honey. It’s just that simple. 

“First, we’ll build a box the size of a bee hive, then nail it over the knot hole, go inside and cut a hole down at the bottom of the wall, stuff it with old rags and set fire to ’em. The smoke from the rags will move the bees up and out and into the beehive. Then we close its opening and taa dah! We have a hive of bees and all we have to do is open up the back wall and expose all that honey.” 

Never before had anything worked so smoothly for Lefty. Late that afternoon, with the new hive in place, Lefty and Heavy found themselves smoking the bees up the wall and into their new home from a small hole they had cut inside the woodshed near the floor. Waiting until morning to collect their prize, Lefty and Heavy showed up at daylight with buckets to be filled with honey. They walked around the corner of the woodshed just in time to see a large black bear lumbering off up the alley with his belly full of honey. The back of the woodshed was in splinters, along with the new bee hive. 

It was said by those who witnessed the race from the porch of the Mercantile that Heavy Anvil was in front of Lefty when they went by the store and they gave age not weight to be the factor. That, along with the fact that most of the bees were on Heavy. With the back of the woodshed torn open leaving room for a draft to suck in, the smoldering rags soon started a fire, eliminating any need for Dizzy to clean out the wood shed.

Now, I’d best get off this computer and head outside to see what kind of spring cleaning Lovey has for me to do.

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Author info

Boots Reynolds Boots Reynolds The "internationally-renowned cowboy artist" Boots Reynolds has moved his comedic interpretation of life into the writing field with his regular column in the River Journal - From the Mouth of the River.

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spring, Titsi McGillas, bees, honey-dos

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