SCORE one for humans. And zero for the bees.
Or whatever insect it was which bit me on my neck Monday morning while I was out for a drive in those tight, two-lane highways in Quezon City where tricycles rule the streets and pedestrians casually walk along areas especially reserved for roadkill.
But then again, it was a good thing that the bee bit me when it did.
After all, this humble, patient, law-abiding motorist was at that time reduced to first gear, moving at the pace of a three-legged turtle. Because when I felt something sharp digging into the left part of my neck, I applied the brakes all of a sudden, putting the car at a full and immediate stop.
Had I been cruising along Commonwealth Avenue — by far, one of the most dangerous thoroughfares in northern Metro Manila — I would have created a vehicle pile-up from Tandang Sora to Fairview, elicited a special traffic alert on the radio, and incurred the perpetual scorn of irate motorists.
But since I was only negotiating a stretch of road filled with so much people it might as well be EDSA during any of the two peaceful revolutions, my sudden stop only caused the the tricycle driver behind me to grunt, curse, and spit (in that order).
Dismissing the thought that Count Dracula was in the back seat, I reached out for my neck, grabbed the creature with my fingers, squeezed it until it was sufficiently incapacitated.
In an unparalled stroke of genius, I threw the irritating insect on the floor, right by where my feet was, giving it another opportunity to have a go at my lower limbs if ever it decides to wake up from its coma.
Fortunately, the insect didn’t bother me any longer.
It either stayed dead, flew out of the window, or still trapped in all the gunk and caked dust collected by the car’s floor mat.
Meanwhile, the tricycle driver behind me revved up his engines, took a quick left, and sped on.
As he overtook me, the driver gave me a look usually reserved for cheapskate passengers and irritating people in general.
Nervous insect in hand, I forced an apologetic smile while pointing to my neck, a gesture which I knew he understood to be the universal sign language for either
a) “my neck hurts,”
b) “I have sore throat,”
c) “I have lost my voice,”
d) “I am thirsty,” or finally,
e) “I have swallowed an insect.”
Moral of the story: have the aircon fixed so that foreign objects — inanimate or otherwise — would be disallowed from entering the car through the open window.
Either that or simply close the windows and endure the heat.
This was written two years ago in a separate blog.