Thursday, September 04, 2003

There are two things that will ruin just about any barbecue: bees and wetting your pants.

In my defense, I've never been stung by a bee and I could very well be so allergic to them that a simple sting would send me to fatal anaphalactic shock within minutes. Large swarms of bees are spooky, and bees crawling into my soda can remind me of the girl I knew in third grade who swallowed a bee, and the bee stung the back of her throat, and her throat swelled up so she couldn't breathe, and they had to cut a hole in her trachea so she could breathe through a hollow pen, just like that episode of M*A*S*H. (Well, it could have happened.)

Also, it is not my fault that I wet my pants. It is the fault of a giant, inflatable moon jump recreational thing, my co-workers' insistence that it would be fun to act like children, and the fact that I've given birth to two healthy, eight-pound babies.

I've often told my oldest daughter that when something unfortunate or embarrassing happens, you have every right to act like nothing's wrong. When you wet your pants in front of twenty of your closest coworkers, there is no reason to stop and exclaim, "Holy hell! I just wet my pants!"

In the same way, a third-grade girl with a pen in her trachea has every right to ignore the stares of onlookers and go right on picking bees out of her soda. If you don't draw attention to yourself, no one will even notice anything is out of the ordinary.

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