Condo Collapse Disorder

Maybe, just maybe, beehives are condominiums. Living in the close quarters of a hive can be stressful. If I could just fly on out of this condo association, I would.

First we learned that frogs are early indicators of Global Doom. Frogs don't live in condos. They are single-family dwellers. Some frogs have McMansions and drive convertibles. The coolest frogs live in tropical rainforests and appear on "Dancing with the Stars."

Now we are learning that another early indicator has taken a ride and never come back. The media is abuzz about honeybee disappearances. The cellphone as culprit theory is fading. Bee rapture is another theory. I will refrain from bad puns about the Second Humming. The tribble/trouble with this hypothesis is its disregard for Scotty's bee me up ability.

The "Over the Hedge" comic strip suggests that the honeybees are living it up in Las Vegas. Maybe Firesign Theatre and Elmore Leonard have been trapped in an apian cable t.v. poker championship. Maybe we have an Animal Planet reality show to piggyback on Meerkat Manor!

In the middle of the night, stuck in my thermostatically-challenged middle age insomnia, I've added the honeybees to my worry list. They join the missing Anasazi, the vanished colony of Roanoke, and the lost civilization of Atlantis buzzing in my mental honeycomb.

Bluetooth technology has made it desirably mainstream to walk around in public gesturing and talking to the air like the marginal members of society in the previous millennium. I'm becoming more sure that we are all bozos on this bus:

“Sure, living in today's complex world of The Future
is a little like having bees live in your head --
But... there they are."

Belonging to a condominium association is a lot like having bees live in your head. My elderly neighbor, Wild Willy, resembles an aging meerkat. Wild Willy has two cars, each with lots of VFW stickers and some parts held on with duct tape. Wild Willy wears his PJs all the time, except when he puts on a too-large vintage suit and a threadbare shirt with cuff links (no undershirt) for the condo association meetings. Everytime I meet him outside, he tells me how he flew bombing missions in WWII, and how he's licensed to carry concealed. I respect our Greatest Generation vets, but I don't want them shooting my visiting sons and friends. Since a recent burglary in the complex Willy has taken to walking to the mail kiosk with a loaded gun in his PJs pocket.

Another neighbor exhibiting symptoms of condo collapse disorder dug out all the landscaping outside her unit today. She wants to plant purdy widdle flowers. This would be so hunky-dunky, except that she has confused condo-ownership with single-family-dwelling-ownership. The main reason people buy condominiums is their wish to escape lawn chores. That's why condo associations own and maintain the common areas outside the units. Oops. She has basically removed an asset belonging to all members of the condominium association.

Having received notice of a significant monthly condo fee increase, I'm a tad annoyed about the gun-toters and shrub-whackers. If I could just buzz away and leave my condo obligations, I would.

Clearly the honeybees have been listening to Springsteen:

Got a wife and kids in Baltimore jack
I went out for a ride and I never went back
Like a river that dont know where its flowing
I took a wrong turn and I just kept going

© 2007 Nancy L. Ruder

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