“Telling the bees” is a folkloric tradition which embraces the intimacy between a beekeeper and his bees. The beekeeper gently raps on the hive with his house-keys to get the bees’ attention and then tells them about hatches, matches and dispatches in his family.
Now, Serge Pantalon – philosopher and self-proclaimed “movement” – has turned this concept on its head with the first work of Twitterature which interprets what the bees want to communicate to the human race. After all, Pantalon points out, they’ve had the best part of 20 million years to consider the matter.
While researching his nano-novel “Verity”, Pantalon employed method acting techniques to “become the bee”. Curating his own performances, Serge was able to unleash his inner bee, repeatedly banging his head against the window-panes of Starbucks on sunlit afternoons, waggle-dancing around carriages on the Circle Line and nose-pollinating Hyde Park’s wildflower meadows, while limiting himself to a cast-list of no more than 140 characters.
“Serge has run up large overdue fees at the lending library of life,” explained Avril Fule, Animatrice Générale of the Institut Pantalon, breathlessly reading from a pink Post-It note at the launch party, congregated in a cardboard eco-yurt on the pavement between Hatchards and Fortnum’s. “And what with all the rumpus over complaints from Starbucks customers, commuters and sunbathers, Serge and a small group of followers have flown the nest, a sort of sergian swarm. Pluckily, Serge has consented to join us today by video-link from his top-secret island retreat.“
“Now, before I orate”, Avril trilled: “Serge asked me to mention that he doesn’t care whether you are sitting comfortably, or not. And please leave your telephones on, so our agent, Eyesore, Ewecumin can buzz you to crowd-fund the film rights. Bitcoin only, please.”
Avril took a shallow breath, donned her purple nitrile gloves and picked up the Rizla paper on which “Verity” was inscribed. Squinting through her bee-veil, she intoned:
“Where there are human beings, there exists the possibility of turmoil.”
Then she ignited the paper and lit a patchouli-scented smoker. “The End”, she exhaled and ice-bucket-challenged herself. Symbolically.
Texting her wild applause, Jess Maidytup, Creative Arts correspondent of the Catering Times ad-libbed: “It’s a literary Tardis: it has just 11 words, but contains 68 characters and the bee-world’s testimony on mankind. This is the spoiler for every story ever told, from the Bible to The Sun: people just screw stuff up. For me, it’s Serge’s signature dish, a purée de Pantalon which liberates us from the tedium of having to read books from cover to cover.”
Avril purred: “And remember, people, “Verity” is only available in three form-factors: Spotify Premium, fridge-magnet or luminous rubber wristband. Reckless!”
« Et voilà » shrugged the great man. And the screen went dark.