Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Noah Should Have Called 'Last Boarders' Earlier Than He Did; Columnist

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Noah Should Have Called 'Last Boarders' Earlier Than He Did; Columnist

Article excerpt

Byline: David Banks

OUCH! What the hell are - ouch! - wasps for, anyway? Ouch! Okay. So when God in His Infinite Wisdom put His plagueon-all-picnics on this Earth (sorry, Richard Dawkins, I'm still a Sunday school simpleton in my sixties) He must have felt it was the right thing to do at the time.

But come the Flood couldn't He have whispered in Noah's shell-like that we wouldn't miss the little buzzers if he happened to call 'Last Boarders' early, then battened down the hatches before the last mating pair of plum-suckers was aboard? He'd have done us all a favour if he had, starting with Mr and Mrs Noah and the kids when they beached their Ark atop Mount Ararat and laid out the picnic plates only for the jam and scones to be invaded by the stinking wee stingers.

More to the point, I'd have been spared a 6am wake-up nightmare when a single wasp floated in through our necessarily open bedroom window on a hot summer morning this week and inflicted not one, not two but THREE stings in the crook of my arm as I threshed about in a panic!

"Wasps' nests are an example of nature's majesty," I was once told by a neighbour as 'Er Outdoors went to work with a deadly spray on an angry swarm while I, cloaked in colander, net curtains and motor cyclists' gauntlets, hid at the other end of the garden.

Nature's majesty wasn't exactly the first descriptor that came to mind as I charged around the bedroom waving an elbow as big as a beach ball and pleading for antihistamine ointment and the last rites.

Extreme unction being denied, I had to make do with Mrs Banks's laying-on of handfuls of ice and soothing lotion as I recalled from my childhood a more poetic condemnation of the striped stinger penned by Dylan Thomas in A Child's Christmas in Wales.

His sardonic list of 'useful' presents included "a little crocheted nosebag from an aunt, alas, no longer with us and . …

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