The trial of David Lavallee v. the Stinging Insects of the United States occurred on the afternoon of September 14, 2008 inside of a large hollowed out tree in the town of Amherst, Massachusetts. The transcript from that trial had been locked away for three years, as is bee custom, but is now available to the public. Representing Mr. Lavallee was world renowned bumblebee lawyer, Buzz E. Salamone*. Representing the Stinging Insects of the United States was a young wasp named Mitch “the Hurricane” McAllister.
Mr. Lavallee was the first human to ask for a legally binding contract which would guarantee him safety from any and all insect related stings. He believed that his past peaceful actions toward even the most sting-happy insects deserved recognition within the insect community at large. Here is the transcript from that trial.
(Judge Thorax enters.)
Officer: All rise for the honorable Judge Winston Thorax IV.
Judge: Mr. Lavallee, you are excused from rising as your large human frame will not allow it.
Lavallee: Thank you…
Judge: Silence, meat bag!
(Defendant Buzz consoles Mr. Lavallee)
Judge: We are here to determine if a one Mr. Lavallee should be allowed his desired contract which would prevent all stinging insects from harming him. Jury, you will now listen to the opening statements. (The jury is comprised entirely of female honeybees) Mr. Salamone, please begin.
Buzz: Bees of the jury, I stand before you, a simple bumblebee lawyer. Long have bees and wasps and hornets and all stinging insects faced the wrath of mankind. Long have we been sprayed out of our homes and crushed into the pavement. Long has our great enemy been humanity. Yes, who can argue this? I cannot. But that is the truth in general. In general, I say! Yes, but not the truth in every single case. No! I submit that my client, Mr. David Lavallee has proven himself to be a friend of our kind. He has not only refrained from mass murder like so many of his kind, but he has also gone out of his way to save us. Shouldn’t we honor such an individual? Shouldn’t we protect one who protects us, even if he is one of the humans? I hope you will see past any natural prejudices that you may carry against men, and look at the truth of my client’s innocence. Thank you.
Judge: Mr. McAllister, you may begin.
Mitch: Fellow insects. Brothers and sisters. I am amazed that it has come to this. Our great enemy is attempting to gain our good graces simply after a few kind deeds. But let me ask you this, what will he do when he finds a stinging insect building a hive in his house? What will he do when his children are playing near a swarm of wasps? Will he keep his promise to not kill us then? I submit that this human is just like the rest and does not deserve any special treatment. Humans are freaks of the natural order! A mistake of evolution! We are not friends. Today, listen to reason and the warning of your hearts! Thank you.
(The courtroom buzzes)
Judge: Order! Order! Now, Mr. Salamone, you may call your first witness.
Buzz: Your honor, I call Sting to the stand!
Judge: I’m afraid Sting could not join us. He is at an opening ceremony for an Arby’s in Nebraska.
Buzz: Darnit! Ok, well then I call Captain Alan Q. Wing to the stand.
(An old yellow jacket, Captain Wing hobbles forward with a cane made out of a toothpick.)
Officer: (Holding a copy of Bee Movie) Do you swear to honor the Great Queen Bee by telling the truth?
Captain: Yes. Yes I do.
Buzz: Captain, can you please tell the jury who you are?
Captain: I am Captain Alan Quint Wing of the First Class Stingers.
Buzz: And who are the First Class Stingers?
Captain: We are the most effective and deadly stinging task force on the entire planet. We carry out critical missions for the Great Queen Bee.
Buzz: Thank you. Now, can you tell me how you met Mr. Lavallee?
Captain: Yes, I remember it clearly. The Stingers were on our way to attack a group of teenagers who had recently wiped out a large wasp nest near a basketball court. As I was flying past Mr. Lavallee, I noticed that he was bent over a dying bumblebee. Assuming the worst, I veered off course to attack him. I touched down on his nose and stung him there.
Buzz: Then what happened?
Captain: Well, it’s embarrassing. I don’t like to talk about it. Well, you see, I got stuck.
Buzz: It’s ok Captain. Please, tell us what then happened?
Captain: I saw Mr. Lavallee raise his hand as if to strike me. And then something miraculous occurred. You see, we saw eye to eye. I don’t know how it happened, and I don’t think it’s ever happened before.
Mitch: Objection! We are not here to decide the existence of miraculous events.
Judge: Sustained! I will allow this. Proceed.
Buzz: You saw eye to eye? And Mr. Lavallee didn’t swat you?
Captain: No, he didn’t. It’s like he saw that I was scared, and so he tried to help me. He gently pulled my stinger out and then let go. I fell to the ground in shock and landed next to the fallen bumblebee.
Buzz: And what did the bee say?
Captain: He said, “Not all peoples is bads peoples.” Then he died.
Buzz: No further questions.
Mitch: Captain, why are you a liar?
Judge: Overruled! Watch yourself Mitch.
Mitch: Captain, you said this human raised his hand to swat you and then stopped to help you out. Ok, well what if he did that for his own benefit? What if he was more concerned with getting the stinger out than with your wellbeing?
Captain: I never thought of that.
Mitch: Of course not. And did you know that the bumblebee was a communist?
Captain: What? No!
Mitch: What else don’t you know, Captain?
Captain: I don’t know!
Mitch: No further questions.
(After a short recess, the trial concluded with closing remarks.)
Judge: We will now hear closing remarks.
Mitch: Honeybees, you’ve seen all that you need to see. We have an old delusional man who doesn’t know his stinger from his armpit. We have a dying communist bumblebee spouting off some commie rhetoric. And we have a human trying desperately to protect himself from us. Why? Why does he need protection? Because he is afraid of us. He is afraid of you! And he should be. He should be. Listen to reason today, and don’t give him anything.
Buzz: The truth of this man’s character has been shouting out to you, hasn’t it? He means you no harm, and he wishes for peace between us. Decide to believe in peace today. Too many lives have been lost due to fear and division. Make peace with your own conscience, and with this worthy human, today.
(The honeybee jury deliberates for three minutes. Then they return.)
Judge: What have you decided.
Head Juror: We have decided that Mr. Lavallee, though he is a human, is deserving of the contract that he so desires. We have chosen the side of peace.
(The court erupts with applause)
Mitch: Fools! All of you!
Judge: Officer, get him out of here! (Mitch, in a moment of desperation moves in to attack Mr. Lavallee. Just as he is about to sting him in the eye, Buzz moves into the path of the stinger and is impaled. Gasps are heard. Officer Honeydew tackles Mitch to the floor and cuffs him.)
Lavallee: Buzz, No!
Buzz: It’s ok. This is the start of a new age. I’m honored (cough) to be called your…lawyer… and friend.
Judge: Call an ambeelance! Get that man some nectar!
(Mr. Lavallee leans in)
Buzz: Beeeeeee well, my…friend. Beeeeeee…well.
(He gasps his last breath and dies.)
Judge: This is a terrible thing. Yet I must issue my final decree. I hereby declare that Mr. David Lavallee will be legally protected from all stinging insects. If he harms any insect maliciously, or unprovoked, the contract is void. If any stinging insect breaks the contract, that insect shall be put to death. To assure him that the contract is still valid, a dragonfly will land on him once a year during the month of August. So let it be written. So let it be done.
Bees and I have an understanding.
*Buzz E. Salamone is not affiliated with Mark. E. Salamone, nor is he affiliated with Salamone & Salamone, and is especially not affiliated with Bee Von Stung Salamone of Lancaster County.