Saturday, October 16, 2010
Honey Don't (Saturday Rerun)
I have sustained far fewer lacerations in the area of my carotid artery of late, since I make it a habit to listen to NPR while shaving, instead of AM talk, which tends to focus on the uninformed hollering at the malinformed about the actions of the misinformed. All those constant references to the president being an illegal alien from Mars, from people whose version of "Q.E.D." is "It's all a bunch o' garbage, and that's all I gotta say!" led to many a slip of the razor, and we can't have that, can we, now?
Yesterday, NPR had a story about a scientist named Brian Hocking, who figured out a way to measure bee miles-per-gallon. He fed honey to a bee, tethered the bee to some sort of pole, and talked the bee into flying around until she (the bee) was too pooped to fly any longer. Then, calculations were made, and it was clear from all scientific evidence that, on a gallon of honey, a bee could fly 4,704,280 miles.
The point of this was to show counterpoint to Volkswagen's trumpeting the 170-miles-per-gallon efficiency of its new model, the cleverly-named "L1". This is a car that only weighs 837 pounds, mind you, so while it will be quite unsafe to drive it any further than the end of your own driveway, it will provide lots of mirth and merriment for testosterone-y athletes looking for something new to lift.
I'm a big fan of the late author Studs Terkel, who also wore red socks. Studs would interview people of all sorts of backgrounds and transcribe their words into great reading on sorts of topics. You might find his book "Working" to be fun to read if you enjoy hearing about other people's jobs. It will likely make you appreciate your own situation a lot more, too! But just picture this scientist fellow, Hocking, taking off his white lab coat and going home to his wife.
"Hi darling! How was work today?"
"Oh, the usual. Fed honey to a bee and tethered him to a pole to see how many miles he would fly per gallon."
"That's nice, Brian. Hurry and get cleaned up - Lord and Lady Fingers are coming over for dinner."
And then, of course, the bee comes home to the buzzing hive:
"Hi, honey!" (Editor's note: I figure bees have great sense of humor and make wry statements like this all the time. They probably ask each other, "What's the buzz?")
"Hello, Bertha. Man, I am beat. What's for dinner?"
"A nice clover salad. Did you have a nice day at the office?"
"Well, I would have, but that jerk Hocking tied me up in that stupid harness thing again and made me fly around a pole. Dammitall, I should have gotten that promotion that Buzzy got. He sits around all day long listening to Sting CDs and flapping his wings."
See? No matter how tough your job is, at least you don't have to listen to Sting all day long! There ya go!