Erik Lenhart Caperone Staff
Allison Park, PA (Associated Press)
Violence erupted Monday afternoon August 10th in the usually placid Pittsburgh suburb of Allison Park. Br. Parker Kenneth Tiffany, OFM Cap. was making a routine pass through the heavily apian-occupied back lawn of St. Conrad’s Friary, when he reported being attacked by a swarm of bees.
They were hiding in the ground as I was mowing.” Said Tiffany. “Next thing I knew I was encompassed about by bees.
Tiffany threw off his bee-covered shirt and ran to the friary seeking refuge and medical treatment. He was denied both by Fr. Gerard O’Dempsey. Instead of administering the antidote to the gasping novice, the priest merely dangled the medication above the pocket-sized novice’s head, while making buzzing sounds.
“That was probably the worst part.” Reports Tiffany. “I was panicking and in a great deal of pain at that point, and Fr. O’Dempsey just kept dancing around refusing to give me the anti-venom. But looking back, I guess it was pretty funny.” (Note: Due to the swelling in his face, Tiffany is only able to communicate through Morse code and semaphore.)
Only one witness was willing to break his silence. Br. Vito Martinez, OFM Cap. Heard a girlish scream and ran to his window. Instead of a beautiful damsel in distress, Br. Martinez saw a scene that he could only describe as, “A black and yellow swarm like the Pittsburgh Steelers defence converging on a lone Detroit Lions running back... It wasn’t pretty.”
Tiffany is convalescing comfortably in the friary, where he can see the site of the attack from his room.
Some have speculated that the WASPS, known to harbor anti-Catholic sentiments, may have attackted the Tiffany in retaliation for the Capuchin’s exclusive use of 100% beeswax sanctuary candles.
“I’m trying to move on, but [the attack] has changed my life in many ways.” Tiffany said. “For one, my face is so swollen my caperone no longer fits over my head. But that’s not the worst part. I can never again enjoy the simple pleasure of Honey Comb cereal without getting sick to my stomach.”
A spokesbee for the hive queen in a press conference expressed disgust for the friars’ preference for beeswax sanctuary candles, but added that the attackers were acting as individuals and represent neither the queen nor the hive.
Although the bees have no legal claim to the property owned by St. Conrad’s Friary, they invoke a long unspoken territorial precedent with the Friars.
While Canadian Ex-pat, Br. Kenneth Cole’s offer to mediate has been met with fierce resistance by both Tiffany and Bee camps, a cease fire has been reached, temporarily cooling the turf-war. The terms of the cease fire stipulate that no friar be allowed to mow the Western Quarter of the lawn, but the friar have held firm to their embargo on all exported honey.
While no friar has ventured into the Western Quarter, several pilgrims have created an impromptu vigil to commemorate Tiffany’s struggle and his pock-marked T-shirt, which has become revered as a holy relic.
Br. Erik Lenhart is a Novice with the Capuchin Franciscans, residing in Allison Park, PA.