When I was a kid growing up in rural Virginia there were a lot of annoying things a city slicker like me had to deal with. Several of these were sharp rocks and gravel. I was obliged to go barefoot, as that was the way country boys navigated the summer months. My feet did not have years of built up callouses, and as my friends and I would venture down to the creek to fish with bamboo poles in hand we ran into a lot of gravel, sharp rocks, and thistle plants—that was pretty annoying. One other displeasure I was particularly agitated by were sweat bees, or so we called them (apparently there are dozens of insects referred to colloquially as “sweat bees”). These looked like tiny black bees and were attracted to the salt that sweat contains. They would land on a sweaty arm, and as they lapped up the salt they would often bite. I researched sweat bees for this article (I didn’t want to get facts jumbled up with childhood apocrypha). None of the insects pictured looked much like the bee I remember. At some point in my childhood I was told they were not bees at all, but rather small flies. Whatever they were, they were annoying. Apparently, they CAN sting, but also bite as they suck up a person’s secretions. And again, who cares, whatever it was they did it was painful, and annoying.