Richelle Mead (blue_succubus) wrote,
Richelle Mead

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Whatever happened to the killer bees?

When I was in elementary school, we used to get these things called Weekly Readers. They were essentially faux newspapers, featuring compelling articles about world news relevant to children. One of the most popular topics was the Boy in the Bubble--not sure which one, though, as there were two of them in the 1980s. The other most popular topic was killer bees.

Yes, the killer bees. How I feared them. The Weekly Readers told us all about how this crazy, aggressive strain of African bees was in Central America, rapidly moving north toward us! There were little maps and everything. I was terrified. The descriptions were really scary: these bees who swarmed and killed when they got angry enough. Holy crap. I would eye those maps, count the states between Mexico and Michigan, and wonder how long until Armageddon.

Then, while driving the other day, it hit me. What happened to them? I haven't heard hide nor hair of those menaces. According to the WR, the bees should have been here by now. Our homes should have long since been laid waste and converted into hives and honeycombs. Confused, I naturally went to the only source I could trust to answer this for me: Wikipedia.

I confess, I was a little disappointed by the article. The killer bees are still on the move. Only, they've been slowed down in the southern U.S. by mixing with gentler, less sociopathic European strains. Furthermore, it turns out they only kill you if you pose a threat. They don't travel in swarms, door to door, as I'd imagined in elementary school. Fortunately, my bee allergy still keeps me at a heightened threat level, even if the killer bees are a bit more softcore than I'd thought.

Although The Man no doubt wants to keep us in blissful ignorance, there are some who still haven't let down their guard about this nefarious honey-coated threat. Hidalgo, Texas has embraced its title as Killer Bee Capital of the World. And, if you can handle the caps lock being left on, this website tells you what to do in case of a killer bee attack and advises: "RUN LIKE HELL AND YES RUN IN A ZIGZAG PATTERN. A BEE CAN FLY FASTER IN A STRAIGHT LINE ( A BEE LINE) WHEN YOU ZIGZAG , THE BEE MUST COMPUTE YOUR MOVEMENTS TO FOLLOW YOU. BY THE TIME YOU ZIG THE BEE IS STILL IN YOUR LAST ZAG. THE KEY WORD IS RUN FAST."

Heed those words, peeps.

In closing, was anyone else scared of these guys in the 1980s? Does anyone else remember other sensational stories (like the Boy in the Bubble) that were hot then but virtually unknown now?
Tags: silliness

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