* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where entomology lives! And as far as we're concerned, Zack Bornstein is the bee's knees -- as well as certain other more private portions of the bee's anatomy.

A Drone Bee With Sexual Anxiety: My Turn To Mate With The Queen


Look, Your Highness, with all due respect, I think we need to have a little talk before —

Please hear me out. I’ve been thinking a lot about us, and about this family you’re forcing me to start — yes, as a drone, it’s my only purpose in life — but to be frank, you’re just not — and please don’t take this the wrong way and have me executed — you’re just not my type.

Yes, I understand you’re the only type.

I mean no offense, but growing up — and I know my childhood consists of just yesterday — but growing up yesterday, I always imagined myself with someone a little, you know, younger than my mother. Someone who knows my name a little, someone a little…less constantly giving birth.

Ow! Look, I barely know you. I’m a sensitive guy. If this is my only purpose in life, I wouldn’t mind taking you out a couple a times. You like Indian food? Katz pastrami? I know a great Ethiopian place down on 3rd —

No? Maybe some small bits of leaves covered in pollen? Whatever you’re into —

Whoa, that’s gross! Do you just squeeze new bees out whenever you — never mind, Queen, try to understand: I’m a romantic. I like movies and galleries and that new tart frozen yogurt — so good, and good for you, too. There’s one right next to the Ethiopian place on —

Oh Jesus H! Twelve eggs just splattered out of your —

Okay Queen, honest hour: you’ve seen a lot of stingers. I’m talking thousands and thousands of guys literally just like me. And to a little drone like me, who’s clearly never stung anyone — you can tell because I’m still alive — it’s a little, you know, a little intimidating.

Don’t think that’s not because I couldn’t. I just always wanted my first time to be something special. You know — roses, candles, maybe lick honey off each other’s —

Hold on — please close whatever orifice that is. I can see halfway up your —

I’m not dying to make love to you — and I mean that in every way possible. I’m a little suspicious, but every guy you’ve ever been with has died — you’re literally drop-dead gorgeous. I realize it’s a biological thing, but still, is it right for me? One sting and I’m done, kaput?

Maybe I’m not meant for reproduction, maybe it’s not my thing. I see myself as more of an artist, a connoisseur, a sommelier —

Can you tell the guards to quit shoving me towards you?

Trust me, you don’t want this happen. It won’t be good for you. I’m literally the most inexperienced I could be. I’ve got no idea what I’m doing with this thing. It’ll probably hurt you. I know it’ll hurt me, and not just physically — I’m still very new to this whole living thing.

Ah, let go of that! There’re twenty guards watching us. Is there like a cabana or a waterbed in the back there? You’re the Queen, you’ve got to have something better than this mound of entrails for us to —

Seriously, do you think we’re ever ready to have a kid, let alone two hundred? It’s just too many too fast. And I know your thing about only girls — it’s fine, but I’ve always wanted a boy. You can’t play catch with girls — especially girl bees. No hands —

Plus, dear Moses, think of the shower drain, what with all of those girls shaving their legs — four hundred of them, six legs each — that’s what, five thousand hairy legs? Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t mind having a girl or two, but you want three hundred — how are we going to afford that on a drone’s salary?

And think of the car we would have to buy! I’ve never seen a minivan that could seat more than eight, maybe nine squeezed into my pop’s old Odyssey, and you’re thinking how many? Seven hundred? A thousand?

It’s just not feasible now. I’m young, I’ve got a career ahead of me. Sure, one whose only purpose is to fertilize you and die, but still, that’s a trade, a craft, a respectable profession —

You’re going to have me killed? C’mon — what, are you kidding? What’s the threat? Look at me! You think I’m packing a knife? Where, in my mouth? Just give me a chance to live a little, buy a motorcycle, explore the hive, find myself. We could still work this out in the end —

Fine, fine! Wait! Put me down, close your mouth. I won’t taste good. I’ll be chewy, gristly. There’s no meat here. Okay, Queen, I’m ready! I swear, look: my stinger, it’s ready. I love you — just let me go. Don’t let it end this way. I love honey, I know poetry. I want to be with you — just give me another chance to…


* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where every candidate gets a fair shake, even those who don't really deserve it. Our political correspondent Stacey Resnikoff is on hand with all the late-breaking news about the newsworthy and the newsworthless.

I’m Running For Office For Pete’s Sake: Political Candidates Make Some Key Decisions


I assure you I had no idea illegals were doing my landscaping. Or my housecleaning, cooking, dog walking, pool maintenance, tennis court resurfacing, exotic flower arranging, wine cellar bottle-turning or koi pond breeding. I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake.

Wowza, son-o-mine, your new babysitter is a real looker. But neither of us can have relations with her. I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake.

Could you Occupy a street that isn’t on my resume? I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake.

People are suggesting my flat tax plan came from SimCity. So we need to tweak my “Sonic the Hedgehog” energy policy. I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake.

Sweetie, you and your sister can’t tell your little friends how “unfair” or “mean” you think I am. Remember your nondisclosure agreements. I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake.

Paper or plastic? How about a dozen flag-emblazoned PVC coolers. I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake.

A leveraged buyout of the American Girl stores would be sweet. But I’m no longer stripping beloved toy companies of their assets. I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake.

I can’t steal a speech from the valedictorian at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School? Buy the rights. Quietly. I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake.

Thank you, no, I don’t eat baby seal. I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake.

Your documentary about me is so off-message, Mr. Moore. Could we go over my talking points one more time? I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake.

A company called Corzine & Sons wants to donate $100 million to my campaign? I’m SUPER surprised and PACked with misgivings. I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake.

If God didn’t tell Pat Robertson that I’m going to be the next President, He’s just not that into him. Who do you think told me to run for office, for Pete’s sake?

How many Muslims does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Oh, wait. I can’t tell that one. I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake.

Any comments or actions that you found offensive, arrogant, drunken, extremist, clueless, heartless, socially awkward or just painfully sad were taken out of context. The context is: I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake.

* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where animals have rights -- like the right to be devoured. But only after being raised on a diet of pure grass. Our resident expert in animal husbandry, Pete Reynolds, explains it all for you.

FAQ: Grass-Fed Beef


Why should I buy grass-fed beef?

It is delicious, for one. Nutritious. Proteiny. Red. Quiet. Oh, and one other little thing, in case you forgot: the beef is grass-effing-fed.

Is grass-fed beef really that different from regular beef?

Please. You must be a professional jokesperson who tells hilarious jokes for a living, because your question just made me laugh so hard that laughter came out of my face. The difference between grass-fed beef and regular beef is the difference between spinach-fed blueberries and asbestos-fed rat.

What are some of the health advantages of grass-fed beef?

Improved memory. Increased vertical leap. Enhanced dexterity. Resistance to polio. Sauciness. Immunity to shark bites. General allure. Success. Success. Success. Fact: you will gain these advantages whether you actually eat the grass-fed beef or just rub it all over yourself in the shower.

Is grass-fed beef more environmentally friendly than regular beef?

Whoa, whoa, whoa…slow down, Asky Askington. That was clearly not a grass-fed question, or it would have been the best question ever.

But you didn’t even answer.

Grass-effing-fed. That’s your answer. Pull it together, man.

I’m on a tight budget and can’t afford grass-fed beef. What’s the next best thing?

Well, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but there is a tie for second place among every other consumable solid on the planet. If you can’t afford grass-fed beef, then I’d recommend apologizing to yourself for not working harder, then preparing your will.

Who are some notable consumers of grass-fed beef?

Actors. Professional athletes. Scholars. Fashionistas. Illuminati. Presidents. Vice Presidents of Marketing. Logginses. Messinas. Wolves. McMansion garbage disposals. People, before the 1930’s.

How can I prove that my beef is grass-fed?

That’s exactly the kind of question I’d expect from a corn-feeder.

How does the processing of grass-fed beef differ from that of regular beef?

Imagine, if you will, a cow grazing happily in a beautiful pasture. It chomps away on delicious, chlorophyll-rich blades of grass, happy as all get-out. Now imagine this cow is moved to the slaughterhouse, where it is ushered, along with several hundred of its comrades, into a momentary vortex of searing pain, followed by the slow letting of brackish blood and the promise of everlasting nothingness. At this point, it is moved along to a processing plant where, amidst whirring bone saws and funhouse plastic sheeting, its corpse is ripped apart, shrink-wrapped, and loaded onto a truck heading straight for your dinner table. Now. Imagine how disgusted you’d be if your dinner had also been fed corn.


* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where it is our pleasure to sneeze all over you and infect you with our disease. Now make like our webmaster Amy Vansant and write about it!

The Flu Diaries

By: Amy Vansant


Brother-in-law invites us over to watch football. Upon arriving, he admits the kids have been swapping the flu, but kept it a secret for fear my hypochondriac husband wouldn’t visit. What a scamp! My laughter drowns ominous foreshadowing music playing in the background.

I spend hours singing with niece, a.k.a. “Patient Zero.” Forty-thousand viruses swarming video game microphone sing backup in screechy virus voices, but go unheard thanks to my stirring rendition of “Life is a Highway.”


We drive home. Viruses begin digging trenches, preparing for the upcoming battle. My white blood cells play poker with platelets, nary a care in the world.


The viruses share battle plans through their hive-mind. “We are the Borg,” they say. “Existence as you know it is over.” My white blood cells shrug. They never watched Star Trek: The Next Generation. They assume someone is mumbling about 1978 professional men’s tennis and, inspired, trot off for a quick match.


Wake up with sore throat, which I blame on window left open all night. White blood cells think “open window” theory seems reasonable and return to throwing clay in pottery class. One of the white blood cells puts on “Unchained Melody” from the Ghost soundtrack and they all have a good laugh.


Head is threatening to explode with congestion. White blood cells scramble for their uniforms and weapons, only to find viruses have stolen and hidden them while white blood cells were skinny-dipping.

Viruses burst into uncontrollable giggles.


Spend day on sofa. Start watching old Bones episodes on Netflix. Realize after two episodes that every show is exactly the same. Proceed to watch seasons 2005-2009.

Viruses and white blood cells now engaged in full-scale war. White blood cells scream for antibiotic backup, only to be answered by theme from Bones.


Spend day on sofa. Barely have enough energy to cross nieces’ names off Christmas list.

Somewhere near lungs a white blood cell shows a picture of his family to a fellow soldier and is immediately mowed down by viruses.


Spend day on sofa. Dog has not been walked for a week and helpfully presses body against door in case I’ve forgotten how to find my way out of the house.

In classic evil despot style, viruses have engaged on too many fronts. White blood cells begin to turn the tables. Tiny bits of Italian and French DNA stop rooting for viruses and begin cheering on white blood cells.


Cough all night. Awake to find tired husband hovering over me with hands wrapped around my throat. Insists he was trying to apply Vick’s VapoRub.

White blood cells start looting virus strongholds for collectibles to impress their girlfriends.


Husband and dog have gone missing. Find rambling note that implies they’re fulfilling life-long dream of completing Australian “walkabout.” Find them sleeping in garage.

White blood cells return from battle to find unappreciative red blood cells have been high whole time they were gone and have stolen their girlfriends.


Coughing subsides. Nieces call about upcoming birthday party. Pretend they’ve accidentally called Chinese takeout and hang up.

* Welcome to The Big Jewel, your source for all Becky Cardwell-related information. Fortunately, Becky herself is with us this week to tell us more than we ever wanted to know about her.

About Me

By: Becky Cardwell

If I had to describe myself in one word, it would be unpredictable.

I like to keep people guessing. One minute I might be describing myself in a word, and the next I’m jumping into a tank full of hungry tiger sharks. It’s like nobody really knows what I’m going to do next.

If I had to describe myself in two words, they would be unpredictable (see above) and fearless. Because obviously I would have to be fearless to jump into a tank full of hungry tiger sharks.

If I had describe myself in three words, they would be unpredictable (above), fearless (again, above) and labyrinthine. Labyrinthine is a synonym for complex. Sure, I could have just said complex, but like I said, I’m unpredictable.

Also, I like the way labyrinthine rolls off my tongue.

Now, here’s where things get interesting. If I had to describe myself as an animal, I would be a pygmy marmoset. Not many people know this, but the pygmy marmoset is “Nature’s Cutest Animal.” I like to think of myself as “Humankind’s Cutest Human.”

Or, maybe I’d be a cat. Tough to say.

If I had to be two animals, I would be a pygmy marmoset/cat and a whawk. What’s a whawk? I’m glad you asked. A whawk is a whale. With hawk eyes.

Technically they don’t exist yet –- I’m working on the patent now. If all goes as planned, the whawk should be in existence by the fall of 2014. (Fingers crossed!)

If I had to be two animals before 2014, I would be anything but a cat.

Now, if I had to describe myself as an insect, without question I would be a cockchafer. A cockchafer is a large European beetle.

Actually, now that I think about it I would also use cockchafer as one of my describing words. I would take out unpredictable and replace it with cockchafer. Because by doing that, people would already know that I’m unpredictable. It’s like it goes without saying.

Let’s say I had to describe myself as a font. Easy! I would be Party LET. Only I would switch it around and add an ‘s’. That way I’d be LET’s Party!

If I wasn’t allowed to do that, I’d say “Too bad. I’m an unpredictable cockchafer, remember?”

If I had to be a dance move (because you can’t be LET’s Party! without dancing), I would be the swinging pendulum. Trust me when I say that it’s my thang.

That being said, if I had to be a thang, I would be a G thang. Only because I don’t know any other thangs.

If I had to describe myself as a rock band playing music for my swinging pendulum/G Thang, I’d be any band except Meat Loaf’s. I hate Meat Loaf.

Don’t get me wrong, if I had to be a main course I would definitely be meatloaf. In this case I love meatloaf.

Moving on, if I had to describe myself as a professional wrestling move, I would be the bionic elbow. I mean, really, how cool would it be to have a bionic elbow? It’s like being part superhero or something.

Which reminds me, if I had to be part superhero, I would be Describer Woman.

“Faster than a really cute pygmy marmoset, more powerful than a bionic elbow and able to describe herself in thismanyways!” Or something like that. I haven’t really decided yet.

If I had to describe myself as a Starbucks coffee, I would have to pass. Only because I don’t drink coffee.

You might think it’s strange that I don’t drink coffee. You’re probably like, “What do you mean? Everybody drinks coffee.” And I’m like, “Well, I don’t.” And you’re all, “Well, that’s just weird,” and I’m all, “Oh, yeah? Well, if I had to describe myself as a pet peeve, I would be you.”

Finally, if I had to describe myself as a fruit, I would be a kumquat.

No reason.

So, yeah. I guess you could say that in a nutshell, I’m a fearless non-coffee drinking labyrinthine pygmy marmoset Describer Woman, with a bionic elbow and hawk eyes who hates Meatloaf but loves meatloaf and has cockchafing tendencies and likes to show off her G thang at parties where she also does the pendulum and doesn’t drink coffee. Kumquat.

Though if I had to describe myself in a nutshell, it would probably be walnut.

…Or maybe macadamia?

To be honest, I haven’t thought that far ahead.