Bayou City

The Secret Life of Bees, Watchful and Fraught as Our Own

Collage by Tex Kerschen

A few weeks ago I came home to discover a hallway in my home filled with bees; some living, some dead. Being the most Texan Texan you'll ever meet, my first thought was to kill them all. I keep a quiet home, and I keep it in a state of lockdown. I’m aware of my renter’s rights, castle doctrine, and the spirit of our times with regard to auslanders. Luckily, for the bees, cooler heads prevailed. We now coexist. On one hand the walls are dripping with honey. On the other hand, the walls are dripping with honey.

The real tragedy in this situation is that my morning dancing is now subject to interpretation. Before I was only dancing for myself, my Instagram feed, and whatever other tendrils of the all-seeing eye have wiggled their way into my home, undetected. But times change. Like Hitchcock had birds, like George McCowan had frogs, like Miss Hannigan had orphans, I have bees watching me. Imagine, I'm doing my usual routine, mucho macho, practicing my herkies, working on my wobble, Terence Trent D’Arby crackling through my bluetooth speaker, and there's that swarm, making shitty comments to one another and trembling in a manner that I've since come to recognize signals a bout of colony collapse disorder.

WHEREAS, if I’m creeping to something icy like the new slow-rider by Tomball's own Twisted Wires, tipping my Oakley Blades to all and sundry, they know that it’s going to be all right.

These asylum-seeking refugees bees, they're something else. Wrecking the flowers. Messing with the settings on my phone. Dissing Austin (a wonderful place). Dissing Dallas (also a wonderful place). Coming home at all hours, loaded on the unknowable, covered in fresh Houston Chamber of Commerce stick-and-poke inkings. Tweeting unspeakable things. Hiding the batteries to my remote controls. Wrapping themselves up in my American flags, and otherwise ruining the vibe.

Seasonal preparedness means many things. This summer it might mean getting the cowcatcher on your coal-roller waxed up. It might mean getting some tattoos redacted before you hit the beach with your new boo. It might mean stockpiling your favorite hurricane snacks. It means staying at work later so that you can save on your air-conditioning bills at home, keeping these words by Celine (in this case, Louis-Ferdinand, not Dion) first and foremost in your mind: "If you aren't rich you should always look useful."

Seasonal preparedness means many things, sure, but I’m way ahead of you there. I checked out years ago. I'm always saying to the void, "You fit me like a hook into an eye..." While my astral body catches up on sleep and my etheric body hits up the occasional concert or vernissage, making mental notes about drum tunings or relational aesthetics, my gross, physical body stays spread out across a couch, endlessly gorging on TV. But even I have limits. Watching the newest season of Mad Men, the one penned by Margaret Atwood, it seems that the Sterling Cooper boys have really gone beyond the pale with their sexism.

click to enlarge
Collage by Tex Kerschen
School's out for summer. Here's where to wobble this week.

The Cops Night featuring The Cops
May 31, Walters Downtown
Houston's Cops, not to be confused with HPD or any other band also called The Cops, will be taking a bite out of crime at this Wednesday freebie, which also presents two feature films about police life. No word yet whether it will be Robocop 1 and 2, or Bad Lieutenant and Bad Lieutenant, or if there are even more cop movies out there to be seen, but there will be free doughnuts and one free drink awarded to anyone who comes dressed like a cop.

Ann Wilson
June 4, Arena Theatre
We make no secret that we subscribe to the notion that the last golden era of rock music ended in the '70s. After all, we have no secrets from you; everything is here on the page, between the blinking advertisements. Rock was best suited to powerful cars like the Plymouth Barracuda, the latter made famous by Heart. After the '70s, just as Heart turned from power chords to power ballads, rock became something else. On the bright side, the Queen of Heart, Ann Wilson, is coming to town, and with or without her fleet-fingered sister Nancy, she has a voice so strong she could shout the fringe off your fringed leather jacket. Seattle has given us so many gifts, most notably The Sonics, Jimi Hendrix and Heart. A minor caveat: Her tribute to Chris Cornell is not entirely inspired, and would provide you an ideal time for a restroom break. Instead of that, by way of a living tribute, try this.

Big Freedia
July 7, Jones Plaza
New Orleans's Queen of Bounce pops it cheap and pops it early in the center of bustling rush-hour downtown Houston. This could have more historical repercussions than the time the Beatles performed in a Whataburger drive-thru. On that occasion everything went well until they were asked to leave on account of not having a vehicle in the drive-thru line, per drive-thru customs. This concert takes place July 7, but it is a testament to our commitment to you out-of-town readers and future raconteurs that we offer you this information early enough for you to make plans and buy your plane tickets.
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Tex Kerschen is a Houston based gadabout, dilettante, estimate reviser and the Houston Press music listings editor.
Contact: Tex Kerschen