Now, Tim Olsen tells us about his problems with superfluous entomology...

The Wasp Factory

So, here's how it all started. I was over at Annemarie's house (Annie Massing, rampant hot tottie sex kitten, to you...) looking for something to read and I came across Plokta. Well, knowing as I do that Plokta is an obscure American baseball term meaning "Game delayed because the pitcher has a groin pull," I picked the zine up for a jolly good read all about baseball, my favourite sport [gosh, someone to dump all those copies of Apparatchik on - SD/AS]. Imagine my surprise when I discovered it to be a freeform ramble about stuff! Now, the only thing I like more than baseball is stuff and your stuff is pretty good, let me tell you. (To be honest, there are a few other things I like more than baseball but as this is a family fanzine...)

A few weeks passed and lo and behold, another issue of the Groin Pull newsletter, I mean Plokta, arrives at Annemarie's house and I had no choice but to read it cover to cover. (It has been said that I would be happy if I could find something to read while I am reading something else but that is a downright lie!) After I finished it, I was in a pretty good mood. Then, I made the mistake which has lead me to your door -- I told the inimitable Sue Mason the Wasp Story. She said Tim ('cause that's my name...), Tim, you should write this up for Plokta and I said why would anyone want to hear a screamingly funny story about wasps invading my bedroom and me armed only with a can of underarm deodorant and a clear plastic box?? She said you would so here I am...

It was 5.30 am and I had fallen asleep reading (right, what a surprise...) when I was rudely awaken by the sound of a car alarm going off outside. I leapt from my bed to give the rude driver a piece of my mind when I became aware of a strange sound behind me -- a sound not unlike that of several hundred wasps buzzing around my light fixture on the ceiling. As I sleep au naturel (naked for you non-EEC members...), I didn't really want to turn around in case it really was several hundred wasps. So, I turned slowly and guess what? It was exactly as I had feared, so without further adieu, I ran downstairs to formulate a plan. (Actually, I ran downstairs because I am terrified of wasps and I was naked. The plan formulation idea came later.) I should tell you right here, at this point in my story, that I live in an open plan flat, meaning no doors between the upstairs and downstairs, therefore no safety from their evil stingers! I was in a desperate situation...

"I've got it!" I thought. "I'll smoke them out!" So I crumpled up handfuls of the newspaper, stuck it into a saucepan and set the whole mess alight. (Now remember, I am sleepy and terrified so no hassles, please, about this absolutely crap idea!) Well, the paper doesn't smoke, it just burns and all of a sudden all these burning bits of paper are floating in the air threatening to set my flat on fire and burning tender bits of my flesh as I am still buck naked at this point. That didn't work so I put out the fire in the kitchen sink and Plan #2 came into effect -- I'll douse them with my Right Guard antiperspirant, that'll kill them! (I didn't have any wasp killer spray and really didn't want to spray them with oven cleaner so this was the best thing I could come up with.) I ran upstairs, into the bathroom, and grabbed my weapon of choice -- just as one of the little bastards stung me on the foot! Right, I thought, as I commenced the crop dusting... except it didn't work other than to make them all smell Summer Sport Fresh! I tried to steer them in the direction of the open window and I got stung again, this time on the eyelid, so I ran back downstairs to formulate another plan.

Tim spraying the wasps

First, I put on some shoes. Yes, this probably did look silly, me standing there naked but for a pair of hiking boots and with my left eye swollen shut. And they were starting to migrate downstairs as I found out when one stung me on the ass just to remind me that I had an audience waiting upstairs to see my new ensemble! Now I was really mad! And in pain! An image came into my mind of Mandy Patinkin in The Princess Bride as I stood there just after 5.30 am and paraphrased up the stairs, "My name is Tim Olsen, you stung me on the ass, prepare to die!"

I grabbed a clear plastic box of the sort you keep collectible cards in and stormed up the stairs. Standing there, box in hand, I surveyed the scene. Several hundred wasps invading my bedroom -- that just wasn't on so I began to catch them in my little plastic box, one at a time, until I had twenty and then I was back down the stairs. I tried to force them out the front door but, once again, I got stung 'so kid gloves were off.

To save you the gory details, let's just say that for almost two hours I scooped wasps out of my bedroom and did away with them. I lost count at 200 and I am sure that there were more but, finally, the bedroom was clear, all the cracks and crevasses were well and truly taped up and sealed, and the plastic box was retired, thanked for a job well done.

And me? Well, I got stung quite a few times but I managed to shrug off the pain (what a guy!) and still make the 8.22 am bus to work. Oh, and I bought a newspaper to read on the bus, of course.

-- Tim Olsen

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