Well, it’s been a quiet week at the wasp face, the torrential rain has kept everybody indoors, instead of out gardening and barbecuing and generally finding their wasps, but the few nests I’ve been out to have been getting bigger and busier. So we know they’re there.
The idiots have crawled out of their lairs too, three classic annoyances this week. The general public at large have many and various ways of driving one nuts. I ranted here about the stupidity and thanklessness of the people one visits in the course of a day and much though the jobs change, the annoyances remain remarkably similar. No doubt as the season progresses there will be more wasp-related pillockry but three of the classics annoyed me by all happening the same day.
Annoyance 1…not doing as you’re told. We offer a free call-back if we’ve not completely destroyed the wasp colony, so long as people leave it alone. Once they start messing with it we’ve got nothing left to poison and they are on their own with any strays. So, we tell them to leave it alone. I drove an hour each way to the lady who had seen a couple of wasps in her pampas grass…the day after she dug the nest up.
Annoyance 2…assuming we have nothing else to do. “Call when you’re on your way” was the instruction. So I did.
“I’ll be there in half an hour if that’s convenient.”
“That’s fine, my mother’s there, she’ll let you in and I won’t be long.”
“Can you tell me which road Mandela Court is off?”
“Thanks, see you soon.”
10 minutes of driving in circles because Wimberley Road in in 3 parts and this court is hidden from view and nobody bothered to mention it.
“Can I check the house number please, there’s no reply at 22.”
“No, she’s gone shopping, she won’t be long.”
“But I told you I’d be there in half an hour, couldn’t she have waited in?”
“The shop isn’t far away, she’ll be back in a bit.”
Half an hour later:
“Your Mum says I’ve got to wait for you to come and pay me.”
“Have you finished?”
“Yes, it doesn’t take long.”
“I can’t get away right now, why didn’t you tell me it didn’t take long?”
“Because I told you I’d be here in half an hour and you said you’d be on your way.”
“I can’t just drop everything, I’m at work.”
“Why can’t your Mum pay me?”
“She doesn’t speak English.”
“She’s just been shopping!”
Call 4: Mum and daughter have a slanging match.
20 minutes later, Mum produces cash, which presumably was on the premises all the time.
Annoyance 3…messing with the wasps.
The trick with wasps is to creep up on the unawares and be gone before they’ve noticed. Anything anyone does to piss them off before you get there makes the job a lot harder. Like allowing your 6-year-old to smash part of the nest with a broom handle. Once they’re a bit narked they are on the lookout for trouble and will dive-bomb anything that moves. So, what would otherwise have been a 30 second job now requires proper suiting up and being aggressively buzzed. Can’t wait for the first “I tried pouring petrol on and setting light to it but that just seems to have made them angry” of the year.
And then, just when you hate everybody, something nice happens. A call about a bee swarm that has an old lady in a panic, late on Saturday. “Please can you come right now? She’s scared to go out.” We drove for an hour to get there, convinced the swarm would have moved on by the time we arrived, but there it was, covering the bottom of nice lady’s hanging basket.
She was in tears because her husband hadn’t died long ago and he used to call her ‘Honey’. She was convinced the bees had chosen her on purpose. Not only was it a great swarm, which we have now rehomed with a happy beekeeper, she thanked us profusely for turning out on a Saturday evening and told us we were lovely.
Here’s a video of ‘Operation Hanging Basket’: