Peter is a self-described “Experienced Apiarist (Beekeeper)” and he’s one of the stars of Deadpool 2, a movie that is in theatres even as I write this. This is as fresh as a Beekeeper Review can get.
In the movie, the wisecracking mercenary Deadpool puts out an ad to assemble a team of super-powered individuals for a dangerous mission, a group that would become known as X-Force. Though he doesn’t have any powers, Peter saw the ad and decided he’d try out for the team, just to help out and have an adventure.
So how about the review. How much of an action hero is our Peter? Well, without getting into spoilers, I’ll say that he holds his own alongside the rest of the team, and even outperforms most of them. He may have a weakness against swans, but he’s got bees on his side and treats them, and animals in general, with respect. Apart from that, he seems like a good guy who has not given in to Beekeeper Rage, and genuinely wants to help out his team. Overall, pretty good.
Today’s Heritage Monument is about the creation of the poem In Flander’s Field. A WWI doctor, John McCrae, is bummed about that whole war thing and people dying and such, so he writes a poem. He then hands it to some guy and claims he doesn’t know what it is. It’s weird. The poem’s Wikipedia page does say that “[a]ccording to legend, fellow soldiers retrieved the poem after McCrae, initially dissatisfied with his work, discarded it” but in this commercial McCrae doesn’t discard it, he hands it to this one guy. If he was discarding it, he’d surely rip it out of the book or something. Is this guy McCrae’s personal whole book discarder? Did they have those yet, or were they invented in WWII?
There is something to be said for the idea that McCrae was overcome by some muse, created his poem, and barely realized what he’d done. I dunno. That’s the best I can manage in explaining this. I have nothing else to add.
This one gets only Two and a Half Pieces of PDR’s Reviewing System Cake. The only quotable thing about it is the thing it is quoting.
Today’s Beekeeper comes from an old-school episode of Doctor Who called Delta and the Bannermen. Goronwy Jones (using the surname that only appeared in the script because I like to be thorough) is a Welsh Beekeeper who gets caught up in one of the Doctor’s wacky adventures and doesn’t bat an eye. That’s the main thing about Goronwy: he is not surprised by much. In this story a time-travelling alien asks Goronwy to help protect some other aliens from an army of still more aliens. During none of this does Goronwy question anything, he just happily lends his home and beekeeping supplies to the cause. During the tense confrontation, Goronwy takes the time to explain beekeeping stuff to anyone who will listen and can be seen casually reading a book. The only explanation is that Goronwy has seen weirder stuff before.
Am I suggesting that Goronwy may even know the Doctor before this in some time-travel sense? Am I suggesting that he may even have been, in his youth, a companion to some version of the Doctor that we have not yet seen? Am I suggesting that he may be the most important character to ever appear in Doctor Who and even the Doctor doesn’t know it yet? Of course I am suggesting all of that. That’s what these Beekeeper Reviews are about, aren’t they? But actually, the episodes do make the case that Goronwy has a history, if not with the Doctor, with weirdness at least. When some Americans looking for a fallen satellite ask if he’s seen anything strange fall from the sky, Goronwy says “I’ve seen many things fall out of the sky, but nothing that could be described as weird” and he talks of strange lights (presumably UFOs) that he’s seen around the area. And does his own history with the bees seem supernatural? Well, it’s certainly mysterious that he can’t even say how long he’s been doing the job (because of time travel or old-person memory? Who can say?) and he suggests that he can talk to his bees, saying “They know everything that happens.” Even without my bias, we’ve got hints that this guy is far from an “ordinary” beekeeper.
At the end of the story, Goronwy gives the Doctor some honey and, as the Doctor furtively slips away from the Americans in the Tardis, Goronwy gives the camera a knowing wink. There’s definitely something up with this guy, everyone.
This particular Heritage Piece is not from my childhood. It was not drilled into my brain and I can’t quote from it. Those, I admit, are the things that I like about these things. Still, I obviously knew who Terry Fox was. Looking back, I’m somewhat surprised their wasn’t an ad about him back in those days. Why did it take so long, I wonder? Ah well, he has one now. It’s a straightforward piece, narrated by Terry at first, then closing with a narrator filling in the blanks. I don’t even really have much to say about it. (Note: This is not a sign that I am against cancer research. Those rumours are unfounded as I have said at my many press conferences on the subject.)
True PDR Fact: Walking across Canada is something I’d actually enjoy doing. Not even for a cause, necessarily. I just think that, if the weather was nice and I wasn’t broke and I had the time, I’d be okay with doing that. It’s a dream that will never come to fruition. Terry Fox, on the other hand, did his thing under much worse circumstances and for much better reasons. I don’t think this Heritage Commercial, had it been around in my youth, would have been easily memorized, but I do think it’s a perfectly good way of memorializing Fox and that’s what it is actually supposed to do, so I’m going to give it Three out of Six Pieces of PDR’s Reviewing System Cake. It does its job.
I fully admit that my claim that Terry Fox is a “cyborg” will likely be argued by some. Fair enough, but it’s a claim I first made when Canada put him on money and I wanted to say Canada was the first country to have a cyborg on its money. You can take that away from us, sure, but it would make us feel bad. Meanwhile, if you want to argue that Terry Fox was famously not “unstoppable” okay, but in that case it should make you feel bad.
“On a verdant slope of Mount Maenalus, in Arcadia, there stands an olive grove about the ruins of a villa. Close by is a tomb, once beautiful with the sublimest sculptures, but now fallen into as great decay as the house. At one end of that tomb, its curious roots displacing the time-stained blocks of Pentelic marble, grows an unnaturally large olive tree of oddly repellent shape; so like to some grotesque man, or death-distorted body of a man, that the country folk fear to pass it at night when the moon shines faintly through the crooked boughs. Mount Maenalus is a chosen haunt of dreaded Pan, whose queer companions are many, and simple swains believe that the tree must have some hideous kinship to these weird Panisci; but an old bee-keeper who lives in the neighbouring cottage told me a different story.”
Today I am reviewing a beekeeper from the works of H. P. Lovecraft. I expect that even the most devoted fans of Lovecraft would barely remember this character, though, given that he is alluded to but twice in a minor Lovecraft story, “The Tree“. He doesn’t even do anything in the story. Basically, this story is narrated by some chump. That chump tells a story that was related to him by a beekeeper. Thus, the beekeeper is neither the narrator, nor is he actually a part of the story of the tree.
What do we know about this guy? Not much. He’s Greek. He’s old. And he knows this story. He automatically gets Two Honeycombs for being a good beekeeper (one doesn’t get to be an old beekeeper if one is not good at it, after all), but I could infer more. Maybe this beekeeper actually knows a lot more than this one story. Perhaps he knows all manner of secrets of the Lovecraftian universe and all its monsters and such. It seems entirely likely that this beekeeper is a major force in protecting humanity. Nobody out there can prove me wrong! But, unfortunately, this story also can not prove me right.