• Written, directed, and performed by Kestutis Nakas [excerpt from the full performance]. No Bees For Bridgeport is included in the anthology, Animal Acts: Performing Species Now, edited by Una Chaudhuri and Holly Hughes and published by University of Michigan Press. Performances staged at the University of Michigan's Duderstadt Media Center, March 21-23, 2013.

Transcript

  • WEBVTT

    1
    00:00:17.277 --> 00:00:23.260
    And so that concludes my talk
    on how I saved the bees.

    2
    00:00:23.260 --> 00:00:26.000
    Are there any questions?

    3
    00:00:29.364 --> 00:00:31.442
    Here's one, how about this.

    4
    00:00:31.442 --> 00:00:33.390
    Have I ever been stung?

    5
    00:00:36.120 --> 00:00:36.620
    Yes, I have.

    6
    00:00:37.750 --> 00:00:39.020
    Quite severely, in fact.

    7
    00:00:40.320 --> 00:00:46.390
    I was attacked by angry bees and
    stung repeatedly in and around my eyes.

    8
    00:00:46.390 --> 00:00:51.237
    In fact, the eyes you see in my head
    aren't really my eyes at all, but

    9
    00:00:51.237 --> 00:00:53.169
    the donated eyes of my son.

    10
    00:00:53.169 --> 00:00:59.742
    [LAUGH]
    Don't worry, he's alive and well.

    11
    00:00:59.742 --> 00:01:03.202
    He's back home in Chicago,
    probably listening to the radio right now.

    12
    00:01:03.202 --> 00:01:06.726
    [LAUGH]
    Waiting for his dad to return so

    13
    00:01:06.726 --> 00:01:09.000
    he can have his eyes back.

    14
    00:01:10.771 --> 00:01:13.267
    Maybe I better explain.

    15
    00:01:15.531 --> 00:01:16.751
    Yeah, I think I should.

    16
    00:01:16.751 --> 00:01:21.535
    Let me take you back, way,
    way back to the golden

    17
    00:01:21.535 --> 00:01:26.340
    age of Daley the Second,
    almost four years ago.

    18
    00:01:26.340 --> 00:01:30.530
    [LAUGH]
    Well,

    19
    00:01:30.530 --> 00:01:35.290
    I'm 55 years old and I'm finally happy.

    20
    00:01:35.290 --> 00:01:39.514
    It might be some kind of delusion but
    I don't care.

    21
    00:01:39.514 --> 00:01:44.443
    I am fat, 55, and finished.

    22
    00:01:44.443 --> 00:01:48.360
    [LAUGH]
    I can pretty much just

    23
    00:01:48.360 --> 00:01:52.240
    screw around now because all of
    my masterpieces are written.

    24
    00:01:54.150 --> 00:01:56.350
    Don't worry you haven't
    heard of any of them.

    25
    00:01:57.740 --> 00:02:02.280
    Works of true genius are only
    recognized by later generations,

    26
    00:02:02.280 --> 00:02:03.825
    I'm resigned to that.

    27
    00:02:03.825 --> 00:02:09.177
    [LAUGH]
    But even when later generations

    28
    00:02:09.177 --> 00:02:15.220
    do recognize my works,
    that's not really immortality.

    29
    00:02:15.220 --> 00:02:18.860
    There's no such thing as immortality.

    30
    00:02:18.860 --> 00:02:22.440
    Even Shakespeare will die someday
    when the planet self-destructs.

    31
    00:02:23.550 --> 00:02:30.734
    So, really the whole concept
    of immortality is for suckers.

    32
    00:02:30.734 --> 00:02:34.760
    It's just the frightened
    trembling ego that craves it.

    33
    00:02:34.760 --> 00:02:39.703
    See in human consciousness, the ego
    is the last actor to leave the stage.

    34
    00:02:39.703 --> 00:02:44.381
    [LAUGH]
    What forces him off?

    35
    00:02:44.381 --> 00:02:45.334
    Silence.

    36
    00:02:49.537 --> 00:02:56.990
    [LAUGH]
    I've had plenty of that.

    37
    00:02:59.130 --> 00:03:04.772
    But now for me, the last actor has left
    the stage leaving only an egoless,

    38
    00:03:04.772 --> 00:03:06.876
    deep soul consciousness.

    39
    00:03:06.876 --> 00:03:12.414
    [LAUGH]
    That's the real, essential self,

    40
    00:03:12.414 --> 00:03:18.266
    the universal soul in relaxed,
    attentive concentration.

    41
    00:03:18.266 --> 00:03:25.533
    And it's that concentrated awareness
    that I bring to my beehive.

    42
    00:03:25.533 --> 00:03:31.001
    See, beekeepers, really good ones like me,

    43
    00:03:31.001 --> 00:03:37.017
    [LAUGH]
    have a very special kind of knowledge.

    44
    00:03:37.017 --> 00:03:42.066
    It's an ease that allows us to draw near

    45
    00:03:42.066 --> 00:03:47.430
    the hive without arousing fear or anger.

    46
    00:03:49.560 --> 00:03:54.470
    It might be a gift, but I think it's
    something we develop over time.

    47
    00:03:54.470 --> 00:03:55.460
    Lots of time.

    48
    00:03:56.650 --> 00:03:58.595
    Did I mentioned that I was 55 years old?

    49
    00:03:58.595 --> 00:04:00.557
    [LAUGH]
    I did?

    50
    00:04:00.557 --> 00:04:03.749
    [LAUGH] Fat, 55 and
    finished, did I say that?

    51
    00:04:03.749 --> 00:04:08.230
    [LAUGH] Okay, sorry.

    52
    00:04:08.230 --> 00:04:17.270
    Anyway when I draw near the hive, the hive
    tells me what to do, not vice versa.

    53
    00:04:17.270 --> 00:04:19.370
    I'm no longer in control.

    54
    00:04:19.370 --> 00:04:23.140
    See, that's what's wrong
    with the world today.

    55
    00:04:23.140 --> 00:04:24.904
    Certain people trying to control everything,

    56
    00:04:24.904 --> 00:04:26.722
    like some of these
    hate mongers in the media.

    57
    00:04:26.722 --> 00:04:27.686
    You know what I mean?

    58
    00:04:27.686 --> 00:04:29.230
    That ain't the way it oughta be.

    59
    00:04:29.230 --> 00:04:31.529
    Love, that's where it's at.

    60
    00:04:31.529 --> 00:04:38.560
    Acceptance plus gratitude,
    that is happiness.

    61
    00:04:38.560 --> 00:04:40.900
    Let go, live in the moment.

    62
    00:04:40.900 --> 00:04:46.280
    You find all your desires melting away
    along with whatever is bothering you.

    63
    00:04:47.780 --> 00:04:50.329
    Like my job.
    [LAUGH]

    64
    00:04:50.329 --> 00:04:52.151
    YOU DON'T FIRE ME, I FIRE YOU!

    65
    00:04:52.151 --> 00:04:53.243
    I FIRE YOU!

    66
    00:04:53.243 --> 00:04:58.838
    [LAUGH]
    Stop adjusting reality to suit YOU.

    67
    00:04:58.838 --> 00:05:04.703
    [LAUGH]

    68
    00:05:04.703 --> 00:05:07.837
    Bloom where you're planted, right?

    69
    00:05:07.837 --> 00:05:09.713
    Right, Holly?

    70
    00:05:09.713 --> 00:05:17.260
    I'm planted in the Bridgeport neighborhood
    on the South Side of Chicago.

    71
    00:05:17.260 --> 00:05:21.312
    That's where I live with my wife Ona,
    and my four year old son Lukas, and

    72
    00:05:21.312 --> 00:05:23.849
    that's where my beehive
    is in the backyard.

    73
    00:05:23.849 --> 00:05:25.687
    Did I mention I was a beekeeper?

    74
    00:05:25.687 --> 00:05:28.949
    [LAUGH]
    I am with my own hive.

    75
    00:05:28.949 --> 00:05:32.580
    The hive came in the mail
    as a build-it-yourself kit.

    76
    00:05:32.580 --> 00:05:35.030
    It was hard nailing those
    frames together too.

    77
    00:05:35.030 --> 00:05:37.146
    The nails would keep
    splitting the flimsy wood.

    78
    00:05:37.146 --> 00:05:42.393
    [SOUND] Shit. Give me the right-sized nails
    and clear instructions and I will do fine.

    79
    00:05:42.393 --> 00:05:45.847
    [LAUGH]
    Those greedy thieves at the beekeeping

    80
    00:05:45.847 --> 00:05:48.160
    supply company wanna send the new hobbyist

    81
    00:05:48.160 --> 00:05:52.310
    the cheapest shit they can get away
    with just to hold on to a few pennies.

    82
    00:05:52.310 --> 00:05:55.493
    Such clever minds out there just
    thinking up ways to screw me.

    83
    00:05:55.493 --> 00:05:59.800
    [LAUGH]
    That's bad karma, man.

    84
    00:06:01.030 --> 00:06:04.170
    After all, I am just trying to get ahead.

    85
    00:06:05.300 --> 00:06:08.710
    But anyway,
    I finally get my new hive built.

    86
    00:06:08.710 --> 00:06:09.670
    And my buddy Chip and

    87
    00:06:09.670 --> 00:06:15.110
    I drive out to Indiana to pick up a fresh
    young bee colony, a nucleus colony or nuc.

    88
    00:06:16.260 --> 00:06:20.170
    I figured handling those bees is gonna be
    a lot easier than building that stupid

    89
    00:06:20.170 --> 00:06:21.270
    hive was.

    90
    00:06:21.270 --> 00:06:26.120
    After all, bees are part of nature like
    me so we'll understand each other.

    91
    00:06:26.120 --> 00:06:27.471
    [LAUGH]
    Sticks and

    92
    00:06:27.471 --> 00:06:28.966
    nails are not part of nature.

    93
    00:06:28.966 --> 00:06:31.815
    [LAUGH]
    My friend Chip,

    94
    00:06:31.815 --> 00:06:34.573
    he's about the nicest guy in Chicago.

    95
    00:06:34.573 --> 00:06:36.722
    He's from California.

    96
    00:06:36.722 --> 00:06:41.807
    [LAUGH]
    Chip takes the frames full of bees

    97
    00:06:41.807 --> 00:06:47.049
    out of the nuc, and
    sets them gently in the new hive.

    98
    00:06:48.410 --> 00:06:51.000
    Pretty soon the bees have
    settled into their new home and

    99
    00:06:51.000 --> 00:06:53.110
    they're out foraging for food.

    100
    00:06:53.110 --> 00:06:56.360
    My son Lukas is staying far
    away from the bees, but

    101
    00:06:56.360 --> 00:06:59.070
    I am trying to teach
    him to be less afraid.

    102
    00:06:59.070 --> 00:07:01.310
    Lukas and I love to get on YouTube and

    103
    00:07:01.310 --> 00:07:05.010
    watch Honey Land,
    an old 1930s cartoon about bees.

    104
    00:07:06.080 --> 00:07:10.120
    In it, a boy bee and
    a girl bee fall in love.

    105
    00:07:10.120 --> 00:07:14.880
    But then a spider abducts the girl bee,
    so the boy bee comes to her rescue.

    106
    00:07:14.880 --> 00:07:21.017
    He stings the spider repeatedly, but
    it's not enough so he sounds an alarm.

    107
    00:07:21.017 --> 00:07:27.015
    [SOUND] And a whole squadron of fighter
    bees flying in military formation hone

    108
    00:07:27.015 --> 00:07:33.402
    in on the hapless spider who, after all is
    only trying to live his predatory life.

    109
    00:07:33.402 --> 00:07:36.596
    [LAUGH]
    They sting, and sting, and sting, and

    110
    00:07:36.596 --> 00:07:38.963
    sting, and
    sting the spider until he runs away.

    111
    00:07:38.963 --> 00:07:43.734
    The girl bee and the boy bee are restored
    and there's happiness again in Honey Land.

    112
    00:07:43.734 --> 00:07:47.636
    But that cartoon lies.

    113
    00:07:49.864 --> 00:07:55.430
    For one thing, boy bees, or drones,
    they don't even have a stinger.

    114
    00:07:56.710 --> 00:07:59.580
    And a bee can only sting once and
    then she dies.

    115
    00:07:59.580 --> 00:08:02.792
    She leaves her stinger in her victim,
    and when she pulls away,

    116
    00:08:02.792 --> 00:08:04.676
    she in effect disembowels herself.

    117
    00:08:04.676 --> 00:08:07.870
    There's a lot of her guts stay
    attached to that stinger.

    118
    00:08:07.870 --> 00:08:13.600
    Those guts are her venom sack, which is
    a tiny natural syringe full of bee venom.

    119
    00:08:13.600 --> 00:08:18.570
    So even after she's gone, and off dying
    somewhere, the sack still pulsates,

    120
    00:08:18.570 --> 00:08:21.809
    injecting venom through the tiny
    barbed needle of the stinger.

    121
    00:08:24.250 --> 00:08:29.087
    Also boy bees or drones don't

    122
    00:08:29.087 --> 00:08:33.350
    live happily ever after.

    123
    00:08:33.350 --> 00:08:37.808
    A drone's penis is ripped
    from his body after mating.

    124
    00:08:37.808 --> 00:08:41.547
    Staying inside the female while
    he drops away and dies, so

    125
    00:08:41.547 --> 00:08:46.144
    that cartoon distorts the truth, but
    it does help Lukas love the bees.

    126
    00:08:46.144 --> 00:08:50.849
    [LAUGH]
    One of my backyard neighbors

    127
    00:08:50.849 --> 00:08:52.400
    loves the bees too.

    128
    00:08:52.400 --> 00:08:55.010
    He's a kind, old Chinese man.

    129
    00:08:55.010 --> 00:08:57.800
    Every time I see him
    standing in his garden,

    130
    00:08:57.800 --> 00:09:02.270
    he gives me a big beaming smile,
    points to the hive and nods approvingly.

    131
    00:09:02.270 --> 00:09:05.390
    He knows those bees
    are pollinating his garden and

    132
    00:09:05.390 --> 00:09:08.700
    will yield him a bumper crop
    of weird Chinese vegetables.

    133
    00:09:09.920 --> 00:09:15.278
    Now the neighbors on the other side of the
    fence, they're not quite as enthusiastic.

    134
    00:09:15.278 --> 00:09:20.224
    "A beehive!?!" That's Angie,
    the renter on the first floor.

    135
    00:09:20.224 --> 00:09:24.010
    Angie is a lifer in our
    South Side neighborhood.

    136
    00:09:24.010 --> 00:09:28.300
    Her father had been a cop in
    the machine days of Daley I, and

    137
    00:09:28.300 --> 00:09:31.275
    she hates to think about
    life next door to a beehive.

    138
    00:09:32.990 --> 00:09:38.790
    I try to reassure her as delicately as
    I can, these are Italians bees Angie.

    139
    00:09:39.900 --> 00:09:41.740
    Very gentle.

    140
    00:09:41.740 --> 00:09:44.539
    They'll only sting if you really,
    really hassle them.

    141
    00:09:44.539 --> 00:09:46.990
    Since Angie considers herself Italian,

    142
    00:09:46.990 --> 00:09:49.939
    the ethnicity of the bees
    calms her down a little.

    143
    00:09:49.939 --> 00:09:54.529
    [LAUGH]
    Then there's Vickie the single mom that

    144
    00:09:54.529 --> 00:09:55.584
    lives upstairs.

    145
    00:09:55.584 --> 00:10:00.308
    She's not so
    excited about the hive either.

    146
    00:10:00.308 --> 00:10:02.738
    Vickie has a Lithuanian last name and

    147
    00:10:02.738 --> 00:10:07.150
    she can still name some of
    the starchy Lithuanian foods.

    148
    00:10:07.150 --> 00:10:11.290
    She doesn't like it when her Chinese or
    Mexican neighbors don't speak English.

    149
    00:10:11.290 --> 00:10:13.050
    "This is suppose to be America isn't it?

    150
    00:10:13.050 --> 00:10:13.770
    "Isn't it?

    151
    00:10:13.770 --> 00:10:14.270
    Isn't it?"

    152
    00:10:16.700 --> 00:10:19.840
    And she is looking at the hive,
    very, very suspiciously.

    153
    00:10:20.900 --> 00:10:22.522
    "I just don't want my
    little Johnny to get stung."

    154
    00:10:24.926 --> 00:10:30.530
    The kids of the neighborhood start coming
    up to me, as I sit on my front steps.

    155
    00:10:31.700 --> 00:10:36.580
    "You have a BEEHIVE! if we get
    stung it's going to be YOUR FAULT."

    156
    00:10:38.570 --> 00:10:40.910
    My neighbors stop saying
    hello as they walk by.

    157
    00:10:42.470 --> 00:10:48.160
    This disturbs my wife but I assure
    her that everything is gonna be okay.

    158
    00:10:48.160 --> 00:10:51.130
    I love to watch the bees fly out
    of their hive to look for food.

    159
    00:10:51.130 --> 00:10:55.070
    They usually head southwest in
    the direction of the old stock yards.

    160
    00:10:55.070 --> 00:10:56.485
    That must be where the nectar is.

    161
    00:10:58.261 --> 00:11:02.660
    Anyway, after I've had the hive for
    about a week,

    162
    00:11:02.660 --> 00:11:07.584
    I get a call from our 11th ward alderman,
    Duke Ballser.

    163
    00:11:07.584 --> 00:11:11.611
    >> [LAUGH]
    >> Ballser: Yes, hello Mr.

    164
    00:11:11.611 --> 00:11:15.256
    Kestutis, you got those bees over there.

    165
    00:11:15.256 --> 00:11:17.904
    I wanna talk to you about that.

    166
    00:11:17.904 --> 00:11:20.460
    At your convenience, of course.

    167
    00:11:20.460 --> 00:11:22.290
    Be here tomorrow at 1 o'clock.

    168
    00:11:23.970 --> 00:11:25.000
    I'm there on time.

    169
    00:11:26.110 --> 00:11:29.720
    >> Ballser: Yeah hello, come on,
    sit down, Mr. Kestutis.

    170
    00:11:29.720 --> 00:11:31.915
    >> Nakas: Thank you, it's Nakas.

    171
    00:11:31.915 --> 00:11:34.750
    Kestutis is my first name,
    it's a Lithuanian name.

    172
    00:11:34.750 --> 00:11:36.380
    >>Ballser: Sure, I know that.

    173
    00:11:36.380 --> 00:11:39.134
    I know a Lugan name when I see one,
    I like Lugans.

    174
    00:11:39.134 --> 00:11:40.898
    I even married one.

    175
    00:11:40.898 --> 00:11:44.710
    Yeah, there used to be a lot of
    Lugans down here in Bridgeport.

    176
    00:11:45.764 --> 00:11:50.242
    >>Nakas: I know, and I can't even believe
    you remember that old slur word for

    177
    00:11:50.242 --> 00:11:51.272
    Lithuanians.

    178
    00:11:51.272 --> 00:11:54.001
    [LAUGH]
    They didn't used to like to be

    179
    00:11:54.001 --> 00:11:55.130
    called that.

    180
    00:11:55.130 --> 00:11:59.860
    I don't know if you know that, but
    yes, there used to be a lot of,

    181
    00:11:59.860 --> 00:12:04.780
    Halstead to Morgan was all Lithuanian at
    one time.

    182
    00:12:04.780 --> 00:12:06.860
    >>Ballser: And they're good people too. Hardly no fights or nothing.

    183
    00:12:06.860 --> 00:12:10.770
    Now let's see here, you've been over
    there on Union three years, right?

    184
    00:12:11.930 --> 00:12:14.230
    >>Nakas: Well closer to four actually.

    185
    00:12:14.230 --> 00:12:20.620
    >>Ballser: Don't correct me Mr. Kestutis [LAUGH] and
    I see you've been voting good.

    186
    00:12:20.620 --> 00:12:23.000
    Registered Democrat that's good.

    187
    00:12:23.000 --> 00:12:28.160
    And I'm looking and you don't pay a whole
    lot of property taxes over there on Union.

    188
    00:12:29.660 --> 00:12:31.590
    That's a nice house you got too.

    189
    00:12:31.590 --> 00:12:33.680
    I had one of my guys take a picture.

    190
    00:12:33.680 --> 00:12:34.620
    Is this your house?

    191
    00:12:36.180 --> 00:12:36.680
    >>Nakas: Well, yeah.

    192
    00:12:40.920 --> 00:12:45.680
    >>Ballser: Let me ask you this Mr. Kestutis,
    you like it over here in Bridgeport?

    193
    00:12:45.680 --> 00:12:47.082
    >>Nakas: Yes, I do, very much.

    194
    00:12:47.082 --> 00:12:48.560
    >>Ballser: You need anything done?

    195
    00:12:50.550 --> 00:12:51.050
    >>Nakas: What do you mean?

    196
    00:12:53.120 --> 00:12:58.700
    >>Ballser: Street light fixed, stop signs,
    zoning variance, building permit,

    197
    00:12:58.700 --> 00:13:04.030
    extra parking permits, White Sox tickets,
    anything along those lines.

    198
    00:13:06.200 --> 00:13:08.080
    >>Nakas: Well that's really nice of you,
    but no, thank you.

    199
    00:13:08.080 --> 00:13:09.290
    I think I'm fine.

    200
    00:13:09.290 --> 00:13:11.612
    >>Ballser: If you need anything you let me know,
    all right.

    201
    00:13:11.612 --> 00:13:14.069
    All right, shake brother.

    202
    00:13:14.069 --> 00:13:18.212
    O, there's one more thing,
    this is Bridgeport,

    203
    00:13:18.212 --> 00:13:21.121
    we don't want no bees over here.

    204
    00:13:21.121 --> 00:13:24.950
    [LAUGH] All right? You wanna have bees or
    anything like that there,

    205
    00:13:24.950 --> 00:13:28.130
    you go up over to the North Side and
    live over there.

    206
    00:13:28.130 --> 00:13:29.040
    >>Nakas: I can't afford that.

    207
    00:13:30.300 --> 00:13:33.160
    Besides, Mayor Daley is encouraging---

    208
    00:13:33.160 --> 00:13:34.700
    >>Ballser: Don't Mayor Daley me.

    209
    00:13:34.700 --> 00:13:36.920
    I'll Mayor Daley you, not vice versa.

    210
    00:13:38.170 --> 00:13:41.730
    >>Nakas: But the green initiative,
    City in a Garden, there's beehives

    211
    00:13:41.730 --> 00:13:43.000
    on top of city hall.

    212
    00:13:43.000 --> 00:13:46.698
    >>Ballser: That's got nothing to do with Bridgeport, all right. Now look I'm the alderman here and
    folks is pissed Mr.

    213
    00:13:46.698 --> 00:13:48.140
    Kestutis, if you pardon my language.

    214
    00:13:48.140 --> 00:13:51.211
    Now all it takes is for
    one kid to get stung and

    215
    00:13:51.211 --> 00:13:55.610
    have an allergic reaction and then
    I get big trouble over here.

    216
    00:13:55.610 --> 00:13:57.570
    What's the green initiative
    gonna do about that?

    217
    00:14:00.180 --> 00:14:03.000
    >>Nakas: But the city is zoned for bees.

    218
    00:14:03.200 --> 00:14:04.000
    I got a right...


    219
    00:14:04.000 --> 00:14:07.497
    >>Ballser: Don't threaten me, Mr. Kestutis. I've handled Lugans fatter than you.

    220
    00:14:07.497 --> 00:14:11.247
    >> [LAUGH]
    >>Ballser: Now, Bridgeport is a nice neighborhood.

    221
    00:14:11.247 --> 00:14:14.031
    But, you know, sometimes bad things
    happen over here, and

    222
    00:14:14.031 --> 00:14:16.159
    even to good citizens like yourself.

    223
    00:14:16.159 --> 00:14:19.309
    >> [LAUGH]
    So, I'd advise you---

    224
    00:14:19.309 --> 00:14:23.700
    >>Nakas: Alderman, you asked me if I needed anything,
    that I should just ask, right?

    225
    00:14:23.700 --> 00:14:26.780
    Could we just have a neighborhood
    meeting with whoever is complaining so

    226
    00:14:26.780 --> 00:14:28.980
    I can explain how wonderful bees are?

    227
    00:14:28.980 --> 00:14:29.990
    >>Ballser: Neighborhood meeting?

    228
    00:14:31.840 --> 00:14:33.620
    We ain't never had
    nothing like dat dere.

    229
    00:14:35.680 --> 00:14:41.090
    But after a lot of haggling,
    he agrees to a meeting the following week.

    230
    00:14:42.220 --> 00:14:46.000
    I get a lot of my Chicago beekeeper
    friends from other neighborhoods to agree,

    231
    00:14:46.000 --> 00:14:48.810
    to come and talk about the joy of bees.

    232
    00:14:49.810 --> 00:14:52.720
    I just wish I knew something,

    233
    00:14:52.720 --> 00:14:57.340
    somebody with clout or
    influence in South Side politics.

    234
    00:14:59.700 --> 00:15:00.910
    And then one day,

    235
    00:15:02.390 --> 00:15:06.489
    I bump into Arunas Rastkauskas
    walking his dog down Morgan Avenue.

    236
    00:15:07.750 --> 00:15:12.520
    Arunas is from Vilnius, but
    he lives in Bridgeport now working for

    237
    00:15:12.520 --> 00:15:14.640
    the Lithuanian consulate downtown.

    238
    00:15:14.640 --> 00:15:20.185
    I tell him all my bee troubles, how I
    could use someone with clout and so on.

    239
    00:15:20.185 --> 00:15:26.060
    >>Rastkauskas: Hm, I will be at the reception
    tomorrow with Senatoras Durbinus.

    240
    00:15:26.060 --> 00:15:28.520
    Senator Durbin is who he means.

    241
    00:15:28.520 --> 00:15:33.120
    Senator Dick Durbin is half Lithuanian,
    his mom was Lithuanian.

    242
    00:15:33.120 --> 00:15:36.032
    So he likes us,
    he even has a big round Lithuanian head.

    243
    00:15:36.032 --> 00:15:39.876
    >> [LAUGH]
    >>Rastkauskas: If I could chance to talk with him

    244
    00:15:39.876 --> 00:15:41.499
    maybe I will tell him about this.

    245
    00:15:41.499 --> 00:15:42.962
    But I don't know, I cannot promise it.

    246
    00:15:42.962 --> 00:15:48.187
    [LAUGH] >>Nakas: I understand, pardon me,
    it's okay, don't worry about it.

    247
    00:15:48.187 --> 00:15:52.626
    I can already hear the buzzing of
    the angry community residents as I

    248
    00:15:52.626 --> 00:15:55.170
    approach 11th ward headquarters.

    249
    00:15:56.220 --> 00:15:58.150
    I open the door to the meeting room and

    250
    00:15:58.150 --> 00:16:03.030
    somebody shouts,
    "HEY there's that bee man! BOO!"

    251
    00:16:03.030 --> 00:16:06.510
    Alderman Ballser raps his gavel,
    >>Ballser: All right, that's enough of that.

    252
    00:16:06.510 --> 00:16:10.358
    Now look,
    I know we should get rid of that beehive.

    253
    00:16:10.358 --> 00:16:14.680
    But Mr. Kestutis lives over here too and
    I told him he could talk to you.

    254
    00:16:14.680 --> 00:16:18.740
    So please just for these few minutes,
    hear the man out and

    255
    00:16:18.740 --> 00:16:21.410
    then we get rid of those beehives, okay.

    256
    00:16:21.410 --> 00:16:22.640
    Go ahead, Mr. Kestutis.

    257
    00:16:24.480 --> 00:16:25.440
    >>Nakas: It's Nakas.

    258
    00:16:27.050 --> 00:16:28.240
    >>Ballser: A Lugan is a Lugan.

    259
    00:16:28.240 --> 00:16:30.559
    I told you the floor is yours or
    don't you want it no more?

    260
    00:16:30.559 --> 00:16:35.354
    [LAUGH]
    I get up in front of the hostile crowd

    261
    00:16:35.354 --> 00:16:41.516
    of all my bee buddies, only young
    Chip has shown up to support me.

    262
    00:16:41.516 --> 00:16:45.380
    >>Nakas: Good evening neighbors,
    thank you for coming here and

    263
    00:16:45.380 --> 00:16:49.780
    letting me tell you about
    the wonderful hobby of beekeeping.

    264
    00:16:49.780 --> 00:16:52.200
    >>Crowd: IF THOSE BEES STING MY KIDS, YOU'RE A DEAD MAN!

    265
    00:16:52.200 --> 00:16:54.650
    I'LL COME OVER THERE AND KILL YOU MYSELF.

    266
    00:16:54.650 --> 00:16:57.570
    >>Nakas: Well, I don't think these
    bees will be stinging anybody.

    267
    00:16:57.570 --> 00:16:59.650
    These are Italian bees.

    268
    00:16:59.650 --> 00:17:01.524
    Are there any Italians out there?

    269
    00:17:01.524 --> 00:17:06.507
    A few hands go up.
    >>Nakas: then I don't have to
    tell you about your own gentle disposition

    270
    00:17:06.507 --> 00:17:10.180
    or the easy,
    relaxed ways of your relatives, do I?

    271
    00:17:10.180 --> 00:17:12.280
    These bees are just the same.

    272
    00:17:12.280 --> 00:17:15.080
    They'll only sting if you really,
    really hassle them.

    273
    00:17:16.330 --> 00:17:19.570
    And wait till you see how they
    pollinate your flowers and vegetables.

    274
    00:17:19.570 --> 00:17:22.988
    And when you get a taste of my
    delicious Bridgeport honey,

    275
    00:17:22.988 --> 00:17:25.236
    you're gonna wanna hive of your own.

    276
    00:17:25.236 --> 00:17:28.325
    [LAUGH]
    >>Crowd: NO BEES IN BRIDGEPORT!

    277
    00:17:28.325 --> 00:17:29.927
    NO BEES IN BRIDGEPORT!

    278
    00:17:29.927 --> 00:17:33.619
    The crowd is chanting, rising to its feet,
    and beginning to walk toward me.

    279
    00:17:33.619 --> 00:17:35.838
    Ballser raps his gavel.

    280
    00:17:35.838 --> 00:17:40.005
    >>Ballser: Sit down. Sit down, sit down. All right.

    281
    00:17:40.005 --> 00:17:42.024
    Now is that it for the pro-bee faction?

    282
    00:17:42.024 --> 00:17:46.042
    [LAUGH]
    My last friend, Chip,

    283
    00:17:46.042 --> 00:17:50.546
    bounds to the front of the room in
    his California hemp-rope sandals.

    284
    00:17:50.546 --> 00:17:53.437
    [LAUGH]
    He smiles at the crowd with his

    285
    00:17:53.437 --> 00:17:54.818
    friendly stoner eyes.

    286
    00:17:54.818 --> 00:18:00.287
    Puts his hand on his heart and
    says, "Bees are really, really cool."

    287
    00:18:00.287 --> 00:18:02.725
    He walks back to his seat in triumph.

    288
    00:18:02.725 --> 00:18:06.092
    [LAUGH]
    Certain that he's persuaded the crowd.

    289
    00:18:06.092 --> 00:18:10.574
    [LAUGH]
    >>Crowd: NO BEES, NO BEES, NO BEES.

    290
    00:18:10.574 --> 00:18:13.291
    Ballser raps his gavel.
    >>Ballser: All right,
    all right, that's enough of that.

    291
    00:18:13.291 --> 00:18:16.996
    I think we've heard just about enough and
    we're ready to make up my mind.

    292
    00:18:16.996 --> 00:18:21.176
    [LAUGH]
    Just then, the door to the meeting room

    293
    00:18:21.176 --> 00:18:26.539
    flies open, and in walks Arunas
    followed by Senator Dick Durbin,

    294
    00:18:26.539 --> 00:18:32.891
    who declares, "All rise for his honor,
    the mayor of the great city of Chicago."

    295
    00:18:32.891 --> 00:18:37.031
    Mayor Richard Daley walks to the front of
    the meeting room, stands above Ballser,

    296
    00:18:37.031 --> 00:18:40.391
    looks at the crowd and says

    297
    00:18:40.391 --> 00:18:42.133
    >>Mayor: We're gonna have bees in Bridgeport,
    that's all there is to it, okay.

    298
    00:18:42.133 --> 00:18:43.411
    There's too much at stake.

    299
    00:18:43.411 --> 00:18:47.254
    I can't afford no subterfuge from
    the peanut gallery over these green

    300
    00:18:47.254 --> 00:18:49.477
    initiatives I got working, all right.

    301
    00:18:49.477 --> 00:18:51.557
    [LAUGH]
    Alderman,

    302
    00:18:51.557 --> 00:18:56.756
    you're a good man don't change that.
    So the bees stay.

    303
    00:18:56.756 --> 00:18:59.055
    He points his fingers at the crowd.

    304
    00:18:59.055 --> 00:19:02.933
    >>Mayor: And I don't wanna hear a peep out of you.

    305
    00:19:02.933 --> 00:19:07.693
    [LAUGH]
    You owe me.

    306
    00:19:07.693 --> 00:19:08.773
    You all owe me.

    307
    00:19:08.773 --> 00:19:13.750
    [LAUGH]
    >>Mayor: Let me know,

    308
    00:19:13.750 --> 00:19:17.230
    Alderman, if there's anything I can
    do. I'll see you at the ball game.

    309
    00:19:17.230 --> 00:19:19.545
    Daley winks at Durbin and walks out.

    310
    00:19:19.545 --> 00:19:21.520
    Durbin winks at Arunas and walks out.

    311
    00:19:21.520 --> 00:19:23.470
    Arunas winks at me and walks out.

    312
    00:19:24.860 --> 00:19:25.970
    The crowd is silent.

    313
    00:19:27.140 --> 00:19:34.550
    Heads bowed but with the big shots safely
    gone, they begin to lowly boo and hiss.

    314
    00:19:34.550 --> 00:19:36.070
    Ballser: All right, that's enough of that.

    315
    00:19:36.070 --> 00:19:37.180
    You heard the mayor.

    316
    00:19:37.180 --> 00:19:38.430
    We're voting for the bees.

    317
    00:19:38.430 --> 00:19:40.639
    [LAUGH]
    Ballser raps his gavel

    318
    00:19:40.639 --> 00:19:42.493
    one last time ending the meeting.

    319
    00:19:42.493 --> 00:19:45.628
    Chicago democracy has triumphed again.

    320
    00:19:45.628 --> 00:19:52.221
    [LAUGH] [APPLAUSE]
    Thank you

No Bees For Bridgeport [excerpt]

From Animal Acts: Performing Species Today edited by Una Chaudhuri and Holly Hughes


Copyright Holder
Copyright Status
Rights Granted
  • © Kestutis Nakas
Credit Line
  • Written, directed, and performed by Kestutis Nakas [excerpt from the full performance]. No Bees For Bridgeport, March 21-23, 2013. © Kestutis Nakas. Used with permission.
Holding Contact
  • Kestutis Nakas
Pageviews
  • 77
File Format
  • mp4 (ISO Media, MPEG v4 system, version 2, ISO Media, MP4 Base Media v1 [IS0 14496-12:2003])
File Size
  • 232 MB
Mime Type
  • video/mp4
Last Modified
  • 2017-03-21T13:12:09Z
Original Checksum
  • 8388624dd2bf3e122b41f1988351533f