Evidence that I am at war with Nature, news that will surprise no one

I am having big trouble with insects.

1. Insects in my drinks

Sunday.  In the garden with husband and friends. A wasp dive-bombs into my non-alcoholic lager shandy made with diet lemonade.  Now, there's a wasp with an identity problem, or it hadn't worked very hard in its GCSE classes on 'Recognising Sugary Drinks'.  I'm thinking: 'I'll just give it a few seconds, because as soon as it realises, it'll make its way out again, and I can have my drink back.'  But, no.  It stays in there, and we all watch as its little black and yellow butt waggles up and down while it slurps my drink with undignified enjoyment.  It's all most entertaining, especially for everyone else who doesn't have wasps in their drinks.  In the end I scoop it out with a teaspoon and lay it on the patio in a mini-puddle of shandy from which it struggles into position, then flies off damply in a completely straight line, unlike all its less dense compatriots who are weaving around, happily hammered, having sipped white wine and strong ale in other people's gardens.  Fortunately, I still have most of my drink left, although it is now wasp-flavoured.

That's two of us, then, trying out a different kind of drink.

Monday: ditto.  The wasp is back, now a fully paid-up member of the Temperance Movement and determined to experience more of the teetotal life.  I bash it to bits with a copy of the Times Magazine.

Wilfred the Wasp said to his friend, 'Drunk again!  You should go teetotal, like me.
I'm heading back to Fran's today for a bit more.'  If only Wilfred had checked his horoscope.

2. Insects in my living room

There is, as I write, a bluebottle dead on the carpet.  This one just came in and died conveniently on its own with no help from me, so I've left it there to honour its dignified passing.  I honestly wish other insects would be as considerate.  The other day, a wasp came in, and buzzed around Being Annoying for ages while I was trying to check Twitter on my laptop.  I mean, do wasps have ANY concept of what it's like to be engaged in an important and life-affirming activity and the concentration needed?

This one didn't.  It just kept buzzing.  So in the end, I picked up Tolkein's Hobbit which was on the coffee table (the book, not the little man with hairy feet) and slammed it into the side of the wasp when it happened to land on the back of the sofa.  It landed, dead and belly-up, on the sofa seat, so then I had to think about how to get rid of it.  So I picked up the the Travel Section of the newspaper - appropriate as I had just transported a wasp to somewhere it had never visited before - and tried to manoeuvre it off the sofa and onto the newspaper.  But the little beggar, despite being a corpse, wasn't having any of it, and instead I nudged it to the edge of the sofa cushion by accident, where it promptly fell down the side, where toast crumbs usually go.  This meant either digging the wasp out and most likely dismembering it, which seemed a step too far, or leaving it there to naturally decompose over the months along with all the toast.  I opted for the latter because in six months' time I reckon Dead Wasp Bits and Toast Crumbs will have become indistinguishable from each other - like Pete Burns and Donatella Versace - and can be cleared out with a stiff brush or the special tool on the vacuum cleaner.

Fortunately, Wellington the Wasp was beyond the point where, in six months' time,
he would feel the humiliation of being mistaken for toast crumbs.

3. Insects with an inbuilt boomerang

I'm in the kitchen this morning, doing the washing up, and I open the back door to the garden.  In comes a fly.  Sorry, fly, I say to it.  You're as welcome in here as Simon Cowell's bellybutton fluff.  Out you go.  And I wave it away with a teatowel.  It flies into the garden fairly casually as if to say, 'Didn't want to come in your stupid kitchen anyway, loser.'

I turn my back on it to put a bowl away. In it comes again.  'Hi,' it says.  'Trick or treat!'

This time I whack it so many times with the teatowel towards the door that I'd be surprised if it knew it was a fly any more I'd given it such a headache.  Somehow it makes it into the garden.  'And don't come back!' I shout after it, only just realising that the neighbours are in their garden too and may think I am having a domestic conflict.  I consider adding, 'With or withOUT the syphilis!' but think again.

The third time it comes back, I've had enough.  It's either got an inbuilt boomerang or I swear it's been talking to some wasps.  I select the hand towel this time, made of heavier, sturdier stuff than the teatowel, and when the fly lands on the wall, I attack it with force and venom.  It's a somewhat wild and disproportionate response, like it would be if the whole of the British Army was called to deal with a minor argument in Grimsby High Street.  Consequently, I also sweep a pile of saucepans from the draining board which crash to the floor.  The fly is dead, but I'm not sure whether it was killed by the towel attack or because of burst eardrums and heart failure.  Anyhow, now the neighbours think that not only is divorce on the cards, but I am throwing things around in the house like Rochester's first wife.

'Cause of death?' demanded the doctor, addressing the medical students crowded round him.
There were anxious glances.

All I know is, if any more come in, I'm can enter the Guinness Book of Records for 'Woman with Most Respectable Books and Periodicals Dotted with Bits of Fly/Wasp'.


  1. Let's hope you don't have any unwelcome visitors that would require something the size of "War and Peace".

  2. You need one of these http://www.amazon.co.uk/Executioner-Swat-Mosquito-Swatter-Zapper/dp/B000MU2MJA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1314123691&sr=8-1
    Best present my husband and sons ever received

  3. When an insect comes anywhere near me I automatically assume it is suicidal and has a death wish. I am usually quick to oblige.

  4. fishducky - Well,there's always my husband ...

    invisiblewoman - your final comment is somewhat ambiguous. Do you mean you swat them with it. They swat you with it? You all swat insects with it? Intriguing.

    Steve - a true nature-lover, just like me. And neither of us Buddhists, I presume.

  5. Hi Fran,
    Glad you liked "Frank The Wittol..." and of course you can use it.
    And as always - love your blog.

  6. Well, I just posted quite a lengthy comment and Blogger had the audacity to tell me I was not authorised to make a comment here when I have before, and wiped it out. So I thumb my nose at blogger (not you Fran) and fart in their general direction (not yours Fran).
    I'll bet this one get through :)
    I'll try again later.

  7. Ha!! See, I knew they'd let that one in.

  8. Alan - thank you, and thank you!

    sue J - typical, isn't it? Sorry - don't know why you're not authorised. Honest, it's nothing I've done ... I think.

  9. Now that I think of it, "War and Peace" IS probably the right size for husband-swatting. It should work well on large insects, also.

  10. Hello:
    What a wonderful, and very amusing, account of the battle with the wasp. We love the corpse falling down the side of the sofa where normally toast crumbs go!! Alas, wasps are one of the downsides of summer and whilst we do recognise them as simply one of God's little creatures, we cannot quite fathom their purpose. Do they have one, other than to annoy, and sting?!!

  11. fishducky - it would be really funny, though, wouldn't it, if one accidentally murdered one's husband with a copy of War and Peace. That would brighten up a jury's day no end.

    the Hattatts - I love your beautifully crafted comments, almost like a little post of their own. As for wasps being God's little creatures, I have my doubts on that. I think Someone Else squeezed one in there.

  12. No need to scoop or shovel dead wasps/flies - just pick them up by one wing. Not nearly as amusing to read about (loved your account), but it works(provided they really are dead; othewise they can get Very Annoyed Indeed).

  13. I loved reading this. :)

    Wasps seem to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to sting window panes. In fact they try to sting everything - they go through their life in a permanent state of thrust.

    *considers that sentence. Am I posting that? I think I am. Hits 'post comment. Grins.*

  14. Frances - pick them up by one wing? When you're not sure they're dead? You must be joking! You are a braver woman than I, FG.

    Jayne - Glad you're not in charge of the nuclear button ...

  15. Re Executioner; No ambiguity intended - I swat them with it of course. They enjoy nothing more than a short sharp shock to set them on the right path (well out of my reach)


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