A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Hooptedoodle #181 - Another Gizmo

"Father - oh, Father - please come and see - there is something strange in the garden - what can it be?"

"Calm yourselves, children, it is simply a wonderful new Gizmo that your mother has purchased for us."

"But it looks very odd - how does it work?"

"Well, you see, it is a WASPINATOR, a truly ingenious device. You stuff it with old plastic bags, pull tight the drawstring and you hang it in a tree, or some similar place. Then all the passing wasps which frequent our garden (and there are a great many, as we know) see the Waspinator hanging there, and they say to themselves, 'uh-oh, there is a wasps nest of some size here already, I must hasten away, and not think of building any rival nest close by, lest I offend the residents' - and then they buzz off and do not trouble us further...    but I detect that you are giggling - why do you behave thus?"

"Oh Father, it is hard to believe that such a device would work, or that the wasps would buy into the deception so completely. We suspect that the Waspinator may in fact have been supplied to us by the World of Bollocks Gizmo Company, who have disappointed us so often in the past."

"No, no, my children, I assure you that I, too, was very doubtful of the chances of success of such an unlikely-sounding idea, but - and you may blow me away with the proverbial feather - I am forced to admit that since this fine thing has been hanging in our tree we have seen very few wasps, and those which we have seen have scarpered pretty fast. Despite my prejudices, I may be forced to accept that it works. In any case, you should not be so small-minded in your view of the world - yes, I admit we have had some unsuccessful gizmos in the past, but did your mother not also purchase the very fine Fiskars dandelion removing tool?"

"Yes she did, but then she followed up by buying the Fiskars lawn-edging tool with rotating head, which failed dismally and quickly, since the main load-bearing cam was made of rather flimsy plastic. Also, we feel that two successful gizmo acquisitions in a single lifetime seems too high a proportion to believe."

"Well, you may scoff, but I am so impressed by the absence of wasps in our garden that I have saved up some more old plastic bags and stuffed the second one - yes, you get two Waspinators in a pack - and I propose to hang it in the front hedge as soon as Dod the Gardener has given it its annual short back and sides. I have no view on the long term effect on the local ecological systems, but in the short term it is looking good, so bring me another glass of the Australian Shiraz. Thank you."


  1. Well I just feel sorry for all your poor neighbours, who are as I type smothered in wasp shit!

    1. Despite myself, I feel some extra satisfaction from the neighbours' reported plight.

  2. Replies
    1. One of my early doubts was that the wasps might take it at face value, and just move in, but for some bizarre reason it seems to work. It is, admittedly, no ornament, though it is less horrifying than an actual wasps' nest.