Freudian Slips: School of Hard Knocks

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

June 05, 2005

School of Hard Knocks

I feel like my life is on a swing in that I can be knocked off at any time. Knocked off is the operative word. I have had two close calls with stinging insects in the last week and I hope it is not any indication of what the summer will be like for me. I haven't been stung by a bee in four years and my skin disease, Mastocytosis, is enjoying the time off. Knock on wood. I attract bees like a honey magnet and the freak encounters mess with my fragile psyche. If I were a superhero I would call bees my arch enemy and be done with it. The Bee Man of Blackwood, as Ripley's Believe It or Not has dubbed me, is anything but an ordinary life kept on guard.
Last Saturday, I went out with friends to play tennis. I took timeout to lean against the metal post of a tennis net. A red wasp started to buzz my face. I had no food, don't wear cologne, and I wasn't bothering the insect. It remained annoyed and darting. It would not relent until I moved backwards to stand against a chain link fence. After I obliged, I noticed that the wasp flew into the slither of a crack atop the metal post. Wasps had nested inside the warm confines of the metal post. My hand had been covering the entrance to the nest. With wasps coming and going, I do not know why I was not stung.
While doing repairs to our wood deck, I had another close call with bees. Knock on wood. I had just removed the rope lighting from underneath the overhang and gave a deck plank a whack of the claw hammer. Knock on wood. I reached my hand underneath and tried to pry the planking off. Carelessness caught me without work gloves. So much for a life on guard! Without protective gloves, I felt a foreign papery substance in the corner of the planking. Wait a minute the coarse feel of paper can mean only one thing. A bee's nest! I jumped backwards and landed on my butt about five feet behind where I took up shop. With splinter's wedged in my buttocks, I crawled forward to investigate my fears. Not only did I put my hand on a bee's nest but the nest was inhabited by a mindful yellow jacket. I have no idea why the bugger didn't sting me when I all but crumbled its nest.
I should be in a hospital emergency room right now. I could be dead. I am alive for a reason. Life is a bunch of hard knocks. Knock on wood.

Who said all hands on deck?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

WoW! For a second I could hear your heart beating!you had the time to face your fears, thanks for sharing this!I think that for the third time you are a lucky man Joe!chi

5:43 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

It could drive a man to cigarette smoking. I may settle on Lucky Strikes smokes.

9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank your sweet Lord that you were not stung. You are starting to scare me with your reckless behavior. Please take more precautions while working outside. We all love you too much to have anything happen to you. ET

11:06 AM  
Blogger PaxRomano said...


Bee careful Joe, you must avoid the stings and arrows of outrageous fortune (misquoting, but punning Shakespeare all for your benefit).

Every time I kill a bug, I say, "That's for Joe, you sonfabtich!" -- what are you doing for my karma, man?

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are blessed not to have been stung. You are being watched over that's for sure. From one Mast Cell Disorder Patient to another Bee careful out there!!!!!! I know what it is like to have this life threatening thing happen. DANG SCAREY. Put on that bee suit. Emily

6:17 PM  
Blogger justrose said...

you know i don't know personally what it's like but i do know what dodging the supposedly innocuous at someone else's behest is like, and i got a totally sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, reading this. a feeling that i wish i didn't know but have felt way too many times. take care of yourself, joe!

8:57 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

i don't grill my bees the way others do but the bees were as close as my deck.

I think of you everytime I see lime jello in the supermarket.

Sometimes I think God wants me every now and again to take one for team Masto.

I guess it is like a truck of peanut butter cups falling in front of P.

10:20 PM  
Anonymous zeldaparker said...

Trying to give us a scare, well good work. Please wear your suit when work outdoors. You have important writing to do....and we have not seen your greatest work yet! Be careful!

6:59 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Maybe you have seen my greatest work but are expecting more from this wannabe writer than the imagination exudes.

8:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe,, this is your wife commenting and what I would like to know is how did you get the picture of the hive and the jellow jacket. Finding it in the first place was an accident and you were lucky, going back an taking a picture of it for your blog was reckless. PLEASE be meore careful. Di

12:13 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Must have been a delayed reaction. I think I need mouth-to-mouth CPR.

4:11 PM  

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