"I'd love to help you plant your vegetable garden, but my green thumb just turned black," I informed my neighbor regretfully.
Seriously, my thumb turned black, or more specifically some lovely shades of black, blue, purple, green, and yellow. You see, I was trying to put together an apiary in my backyard, but the bees couldn't seem to wait until I was done to molest me. As a result, I wasn't paying close enough attention to the hammer while I was driving in the nails, and I ended up smashing my thumb against the wood. I said a lot of words that my mother tried to make sure I didn't learn when I was a kid, and the whole digit swelled up within a few seconds. Multiple ice packs, several asprins, and a healthy slug of whisky later, I was grumbling and grousing around the yard, kicking the planks of the partially built structure.
Why was I building an apiary? I'm so glad you asked. It was because of my neighbor, the one that asked me for help. Nasty old crone by the name of Ms. Betts. Single, never married, no kids. I think she had a cat once, but it ran away. Not at all surprising. She'd spend her days sitting on her porch yelling at the kids whizzing by on their bikes or coming to her gate to snatch a passing adult and recounting her very long list of medical conditions. It got so that people would deliberately cross the street several houses before hers just to avoid getting in her clutches. Living next door to her, it wasn't so easy to avoid her daily visits, and I desperately needed some relief.
Well, as it turns out, one of her medical conditions is a severe allergy to bee stings. If I had an apiary, I knew my bees would love to pollinate her garden, especially since it wouldn't be a long flight between it and their home in my back yard. The kindest thing I could do, I reasoned, was to help out my dear neighbor by building a structure to house those wonderful bees. And, as an added bonus, they would keep Ms. Betts inside her house and away from the rest of the neighborhood. But now my thumb was all kinds of colorful puffiness, and building my apiary would have to wait, probably longer than my tolerance for Ms. Betts' chatter.
I wonder - does anyone rent them out for the season?