I have a phrase that I yell over and over in my house, “Stay in your own bubble!”

I say this to all of my kids, often times before school, when they’re all bickering and moping and stomping around, honing in on everyone’s issues but their own. I clench my fists and admonish one child after the next – “Stay in your own bubble!” This seems an apt visual reminder of what I want them to do –  “Mind your own business!” “Those do not belong to you!” “No, the question is did you flush the toilet?”

Often I wish for an air-tight, sound-proof bubble of my own. “Why do I need to listen to your cell phone conversation when I’m picking out cantaloupe at the grocery store?” I think. “Leave your car windows up if you want your music that loud,” I beg inwardly. “Go around me if you need to speed down the freeway – I am in a minivan and putzing is how I roll,” I scream from inside my car.

Imagine my alarm, then, when I read that cars don’t function as nicely sealed-off bubbles, ever. Environmental toxins, just like blaring music, seep in, even with the windows up.  http://theweek.com/article/index/214080/does-pollution-cause-brain-damage Even loitering near a freeway, or busy road, can inflict permanent damage. We’re quickly becoming a society in which it is impossible to have a bubble, imaginary or not.

Apparently bees sense this, too. Not only are they keen to the idea that the air is clogging up with toxins, but the bees are trying to seal themselves off from pesky, permeable poisons, too.   http://theweek.com/article/index/214080/does-pollution-cause-brain-damage   According to the article, this appears to be a doomed coping mechanism:

The implication is that the bees are sensing [pesticides] and actually sealing it off. They are recognising that something is wrong with the pollen and encapsulating it,” said Jeff Pettis, an entomologist with the US Department of Agriculture. “Bees would not normally seal off pollen.”

But the bees’ last-ditch efforts to save themselves appear to be unsuccessful – the entombing behaviour is found in many hives that subsequently die off, according to Pettis. “The presence of entombing is the biggest single predictor of colony loss. It’s a defence mechanism that has failed.”

Yikes! Is that what this car campaign is? A defense mechanism against all the craziness around me? A last-ditch attempt to stay in my own bubble, and seal myself off from the world? Is it a sign that I’ve lost my mind due to all the freeway toxins I’ve inhaled as a life-long resident of Southern California?

I guess the real question is: Is my entombing behavior really all that abnormal? I mean, the bees are doing it….