This place matters

This place matters

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Buzzed at the Meniru Meadery

Not long ago, a little shop opened at the end of my street, a place called Meniru Meadery. Apparently, mead, the very first fermented beverage that man ever produced, is enjoying a resurgence. It also turns out that mead is freaking delicious. Don't let the photo on Meniru's website fool you. There isn't a single table in the place large enough to hold that many people. Small table size notwithstanding, the place is excellent, and if you're in Canton, you should go there. Because I would like it to stay open so that I can keep walking to the end of my street whenever I want mead.
Now, while Meniru Meadery's mead is really great, the etymology their menu gives for the word honeymoon probably isn't. It gives up the more interesting of etymologies out there, that the word refers to the European tradition of giving newlywed couples a month's supply of mead as a wedding gift. That story, like many of the more interesting etymologies, probably isn't true - there's no real evidence to support the idea. The more likely explanation is the one the Online Etymology Dictionary gives - that the word refers to the period during which the marriage is sweetest - the period that will invariably wane within the first month. 
It's kind of ironic that a word for marital bliss should refer to honey because the critters that make the honey have some seriously messed up mating habits, and there's not much of any bliss involved. Or not for very long anyway. See, round about the time the queen bee gets randy, she flies out of the hive and waits for males, or drones, to come give her some sugar (see what I did there?). Each lucky drone that mates with the queen meets the same fate - the second he gets in there, he ejaculates so hard that part of his penis blows off. Or maybe the queen's just mad that he had such a hair trigger, so she keeps his junk as punishment. Then, to add insult to injury, the drone falls to his death. The queen mates with a dozen unfortunates, then flies on home. She'll use the sperm she stores for the rest of her life. Now that she's got no use for the drones she didn't bump uglies with, they're unceremoniously shoved out of the hive. Sometimes after the worker bees have chewed their wings off. And human males think it's a hardship when their mate wants to cuddle afterward. Drone, by the way, comes from middle lower Germanic and is probably an onomatopoeia
The queen gets hers, in the end. Once she gets old and feeble, all the other bees in the hive cuddle up to her and basically suffocate her, then appoint a new queen to take her place.
In summary, bees are assholes. 
Jeremy's and my marriage, by the way? Still disgustingly sweet. It's a tiny bit nauseating. 

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