Bee Sting Makes Youth Human Film (May, 1935)

Bee Sting Makes Youth Human Film

WITH a skin as sensitive as a photographic film, Robert J. West sunburns severely after a few minutes exposure to sunlight. In an effort to diagnose his own ailment he has switched his studies in the University of California to a course of physiology.

No part of his body is immune in its reaction to sunlight; exposed for a period of three minutes, his skin crisps and forms painful blisters. Consequently, when in the open, he either muffles himself in a heavy overcoat and pulls his hat low over his eyes, or he insulates himself with a covering of red, sun-resistant Cellophane.

He drives to and from school in a darkened car, and carries on his class-room work with red Cellophane curtains over all windows, as even glass will not protect his super-sensitive skin.

Insofar as physicians have been able to determine, this strange condition was brought about through a bee sting which West suffered while working in his garden. It is believed that some infection has set into the blood stream that is ultra sensitive to the blue ray in sunlight. As yet, blood tests have revealed no conclusive irregularities in the youth’s makeup.

10 comments
  1. Neil Russell says: October 18, 20084:28 pm

    I like the “salty moon” story.

    After all those craters couldn’t be caused by anything other than an underground collapse right?
    It isn’t like there’s anything flying around in space that could smack into the moon or anything.

    Maybe if he had suggested it was covered with platinum dust the space program could have gotten an earlier start!!

  2. Mike says: October 18, 20085:45 pm

    Neil, even today scientists have no idea what they are talking about.

  3. John M. Hanna says: October 18, 20089:26 pm

    Salt? Thats silly. Everyone knows the moon is made of cheese. Wallace and Gromit proved it.

  4. Charlene says: October 18, 200811:21 pm

    Okay, why is this guy “human film”? He’s developed an allergy to sun, but he hasn’t turned into film exactly.

    And as I write this I realize they’re saying that he’s sensitive to sun like photographic film is! What a convoluted way of saying it.

  5. Charlene says: October 18, 200811:21 pm

    And now I read the first sentence.

    (Creeps away again)

  6. Scott says: October 19, 200812:54 am

    Isn’t this condition called porphyria? Oh, and don’t feel badly, Charlene. It was a nutty comparison.

  7. stefan says: October 19, 20088:37 am

    Sounds like porphyria alright. Never heard about porhyria being contracted through bees, though.

    Vampire bees, perhaps?

  8. LightningRose says: October 19, 20083:44 pm

    Neil, even today Mike has no idea what he is talking about.

  9. Neil Russell says: October 20, 20081:50 am

    Lightning, I have days like that too, I call them weekdays! :)

  10. Baron Waste says: October 20, 20082:38 pm

    Y’ know, the good Herr Doktor Leitich must be congratulated: No better example of literally “theorizing in a vacuum” could be imagined!

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