Producer/Engineer: Bill Pollock
Editors: Sarah Rendo/Robert J. Baumann
Cover: Rob Mitchell
Satchel Paige was the greatest pitcher that ever lived. He was famous for a number of pitches, including the bee ball, a pitch so fast it buzzed past a batter’s ear like a thousand wax masters. What you might not know, probably because you’ve been drinking too much pop, is that in tribute to Paige (or in an awe-inspiring coincidence), a giant jumble of bumble bees continuously hovered around Paige’s memorial in Forest Hills cemetery.
At first several visitors to Paige’s grave got bumble bites all over their face, arms and noses and it seemed that all hope for peaceful visits to the grave of the great hurler were lost. That is, until one day when Elmer Fartz accidentally plopped a tiny honey and peanut butter sandwich on the ground. By the time Fartz stooped to rediscover his sandwich, dozens of bees were busily slurping honey off the bread. The bees ate to their great content and a hearty round of bee burps soon followed. Some even allowed Mr. Fartz to pet them and scratch them behind their tiny, yellow ears.
Word spread quickly and it appeared that the bee problem had finally bumbled over. That is until a visitor named Dolorous fell for the ultimate dupe: she accidentally bought a low grade honey substitute. The imitation honey stand had obviously escaped the dragnets of the local bureau of the sweetness police.
Dolorous set the jar of honey with great respect in front of the grave and the bees began to slurp. At first all appeared well and their bee faces began to curl into smiles. But then their tiny bee lips sucked down that first bundle of fake honey molecules and they became furious. The bees assembled into a cloud in the shape of a yellow hammer.
The yellow hammer of bees smashed into Dolorous’ beautiful leather purse, popping out the keys to her Crown Vic. The yellow hammer then transmorphed into two giant hands and slid the keys into the ignition. Unless you are knee deep in circus peanuts you can guess what happened next: one big bee hand grabbed the wheel while the second pushed down on the gas and the sedan went speeding around the graveyard.
Dolorous’ Crown Vic careened around the cemetery, narrowly avoiding trees and Paige’s statute, until finally slamming into the side of the Battle of Westport’s confederate soldier’s memorial in the corner of the graveyard. The obelisk snapped in half like a fun-dip sugar stick.
As the tires continued to spin against the limestone, the bees dispersed into a thick cloud above the monument and released untold gallons of honey atop the stone structure. The honey drizzled with great thickness upon the faces and names of the fallen Robert E. Lee lovers. Dolorous watched as the great pouring of honey continued creating a sludge on the broken stone.
Over the next several days, the honey hardened and formed a golden husk over the stone. Before leaving, Dolorous left a tiny note on a baseball next to Satchel Paige’s grave:
Woe to ye imitation honey jars and confederate ghosts alike.
Do not anger Satchel’s bees.
Heed them or you will learn to fear their sweetness.