It was in the fall of 2000. I had spent the summer in Japan but was back in Provo, ready to pick things up with Jeremy more or less where we left off. He had spent the Bridgetless summer in Provo working at the MTC and living at an apartment complex southeast of campus called Sparks II (yes, "II"). His roommate was a Palestinian who learned English in large part from watching The Simpsons. The apartment kind of sucked, but what else is new? There was a girl there who was interested in him, who gave him movie ticket vouchers, perhaps hoping he'd use them with her, but he didn't. He used them with me, and we went to see Vertical Limit. It was a terrible movie and I'm glad we didn't have to spend money on it. Thanks, random girl!
Anyway, although Jeremy had since moved away from Sparks II (to an informal Arabic House south of campus), we still went back there sometimes to play ping-pong together in the common room. Technically, I guess it was intended for residents' use only, but we figured that as a former resident, he came close enough.
Every once in a while, we'd have the place almost to ourselves, but usually there were other people milling around and we'd take turns at the ping-pong table.
One very special night, however, we showed up at the Sparks II common room and nobody was there. Not a soul. We had the run of the place. We couldn't believe our luck! No sharing the ping-pong table. No scrounging for paddles. It was all ours. Sweet!
We began playing as usual, still rejoicing at whatever mysterious circumstances had led to us having the common room all to ourselves. We played for a few minutes, and then I noticed something strange, namely that there were dead bees all over the ping-pong table. I don't know how we didn't see them immediately; chalk it up to our elation at being the only people there that night.
We thought it was a little weird that there were dead bees on the ping-pong table, but whatever. We kept playing. Then we looked around a little more. Not only were there dead bees on the table, there were dead bees everywhere. On the couches. On the floor. On the windowsills.
Some of the bees were even still alive, swarming lazily out of the AC vents. That did it. We high-tailed it out of there as fast as we could to escape from the bees.
Looking back, I can't quite figure it out. Why was there no sign on the door warning us to stay away from the bee-infested common room? Why were the doors even open?
I don't think we ever went back to play ping-pong at Sparks II. We stuck to King Henry's common room after that and never encountered bees, dead or alive. Go figure.