So I decided to doodlewash something potentially creepy again. This time I tried to capture the likeness of Philippe’s arch nemesis. We’ve enjoyed slightly warmer weather lately and have been able to sit on our terrace at dinner. Unfortunately, we are continually joined by an unwanted dinner guest in the form of an insidiously persistent sweat bee.
The humorous part is that it’s usually just a single bee, though I know it’s likely always a different one, so it seems truly like being visited by the same one. Without fail, we’ll be sitting down to eat outside and Philippe will suddenly jump up from the table and spin around in a circle waving his arms. The evil sweat bee has returned to attempt to ruin another calm and relaxing evening.
When the sweat bee first showed up to dinner, Philippe would began by politely shooing it away with his hands as you might anyone who showed up to dinner uninvited. This seemed to work for awhile, but then the bee would return shortly after as though he thought he may have misread the signs and the shooing meant, “Why yes, that chair right… over… there! We’ve been saving it for you!”
Things took an ugly turn for Philippe and the guest-that-wouldn’t-leave when the sweat bee’s cousin had shown up drunk on sweat and “nearly” died on the deck. Phineas ended up stepping on it with his paw and got stung which caused him to limp for the next few hours. Seeing his baby in pain was the final straw for Philippe and the politeness immediately ceased. It was time for this villainous sweat bee to go away… permanently.
The battle began first with an Eco-friendly and, of course, dog-friendly spray. When the evil sweat bee would arrive, one of us was meant to quickly grab the bottle, while the other shielded the wine, and spray the beast. It was all so dramatic that in my haste to try it the first time I had the cap backwards and ended up spraying myself in the face. Philippe returned with, “OH! C’est pas vrai!” which translates to many things including “No way!”, “I don’t believe it!”, and, in this instance, “I can’t believe I married this idiot!”
The spray did nothing to deter the sweat bee who seemed to enjoy the fragrance, so it was time to up the ante. Philippe ran to the basement and came back with a little spray bottle I once bought for watercolor because I thought I might use it one day. He filled it with white vinegar and rushed back outside holding it like an undercover pocket pistol.
When the bee visited he spun around in circles spraying vinegar everywhere before stopping to ask, “Did I get it?” As the bee, completely unharmed, buzzed by my face I said, “No, but you did manage to douche the deck.” We sat back down to the smell of strong vinegar in our noses, and although the bee didn’t return, it was a shallow victory because everything we ate or drank now tasted like salad.
The evil sweat bee hasn’t returned since that incident so I think the smell was equally offensive to him. Either that, or he flew off to another outdoor dinner party where the hosts were more accommodating, actually invited friends over, and were not so weirdly violent.
Perhaps the bee is also somewhere nicer and he can now be found sitting by a luxurious pool sipping on a sweaty cocktail. He’s finishing his last sip and immediately getting angry with a pool boy who’s slow with his next drink, holding up his tiny little fists and shouting to the sun, “OH! C’est pas vrai!”
Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!