Friday, 8 January 2016
It's those wasps again, I'm afraid... I did warn you about this possible bit of recycling, last year (Wasp Waste) and, lo, it has come to pass. If the images in the previous post are vaguely reminiscent of those decorative Japanese papers with metallic fleck inclusions, then perhaps these might put you in mind of Japanese lacquerwork. A little kitschy, a little woo-woo maybe, but attractive, don't you think?
Mind you, back here in the real world, we have just had a virtually wasp-free year, which was convenient, if being buzzed by wasps at a picnic is not among your favourite things, but a bad thing, ecologically, as wasp predation of other insect species is an important part of keeping genuine pests under control. At least, that's what it says here in the Worker Wasp Union's press release.
A few years back, I witnessed what is some people's ultimate wasp horror. A group of us were sitting convivially around a pub garden table on a blazing hot summer day, when my neighbour took a sip from his pint and spat out a wasp, which – yes – had stung him on the tongue. Uh oh! Luckily, this was an Old College Chums reunion and one of our party, Phil, is an experienced and practically-minded medic. Fighting back the rising tide of learned-but-amateur hysteria around the table – Anaphylactic shock! Swollen tongue!! Suffocation!!! – he took a look, and said, It's a wasp sting, it'll hurt, but he'll be fine. Of course, nothing is more relentless than the self-assertiveness of the over-educated Besserwisser in possession of a certified Urban Fact, and it took several rounds of Dr. Phil's patient professional indifference – "No, he's not going to die. No, I'm not going to drive him to the bloody hospital, I'm going to finish my bloody pint" – to settle the matter. Unfortunately, the victim – a very senior academic indeed – did now have a dramatic speech impediment, and an important speaking engagement that very evening.
I'm ashamed to say that the script for a hilarious movie started rolling through my mind. Well, people have said that I sometimes have a waspish sense of humour.