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M. Alice:

While hefting candidate watermelons at the market, my wife said that the way to pick a good watermelon is to look for bee stings on them. "Bees don't sting watermelons." "Yes, they do. That's how they get the nectar. They sting the ripe ones." I was stunned that my wife could believe this. There are so many problems with her idea, I don’t even know where to start. Can this woman, educated in California, be used as a poster child to show how the American school system is a complete waste of money?

-- Speechless in Solana Beach

Yes. Please. We convened an emergency meeting of the Bored of Education of the Matthew Alice Society for the Protection of Members of the Cucumber Family just to handle this. Here's a recap of the minutes: Bees are essential elements in the sex life of watermelons since they transfer the particularly weighty melon pollen better than wind. But once they've served their purpose as a marital aid, bees have no particular interest in the fruits. Melon growers usually rent hives for their fields to make sure the yield is good, so the bee-melon connection isn't too strange. And some members of the cuke family have little prickly spots that might look like a bee's stung it. But that's the best we could do to resuscitate your wife's reputation.

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