Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Dreams of Peter Cook

It was a Tuesday. Nothing to do but sit at home, contemplating what might have been and thinking up ways of ridding the world of the scourge that is Vanessa Feltz for once and for all, when the doorbell rang, tearing me from my plot.

It was a brightly uniformed man delivering a parcel. Reg was his name. Reg wore a badge.

"Mr Duck?"

"That is I."

"I've got your bees."

"My what?"

"Bees, sir. Two hundred bumble. Two hundred killer and one hundred Chinese fighting bees. If you'd just like to sign here..."

I hadn't ordered any bees, and I told him so in no uncertain terms.

"I haven't ordered any bees," I said.

"I know sir. These are a gift."

A gift? A gift from whom? It was all very irregular - there are very few people in this world who know that I am a bee man. It's not the kind of thing you like the general public to find out - some sections of society can be so intolerant.

Bees are wonderful. Happy smiling faces, sweet yellow-and-black stripy fur like a cute little jersey. Not like those evil leathery wasps that'd sting your face off given half the chance. And it's public ignorance whipped up by a tabloid frenzy that kicked off those riots a couple of years ago. Who'd be a bee enthusiast in this day and age when you face bricks through the window, evil graffiti and insults in the street? It's a badge I wear with pride and not a little shame.

"Anonymous, sir. That's the beauty of send-a-swarm-dot-com, it's the gift of buzzy insects that keeps on giving. There's free membership of Bee of the Month Club thrown in as well. I envy you, sir, if you don't mind my saying."

Good thing I had my spare hive at the ready, then. Gladly I signed, and took the parcel to my most secret of secret places to inspect my prize.

Seconds later, and I am marching down the front path towards a frightened delivery driver "Reg at your service!", my face a mask of anger and allergic reactions.

"I'm dreadfully sorry sir," he said, straightening the peak of his yellow-and-black striped cap, "these mistakes do happen. Please accept this cream with our sincerest apologies."

But wasps? Who'd send me Japanese Ninja wasps, today of all days? Feltz had better watch her back.

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