Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Stripping Wasps

Hey baby, you want some of my ovipositor?
  [vote for,

It was late May and I joined my family on a trip to the depths of a Devon valley for a short break from the daily toils. We had managed to catch a week of glorious sunshine, punctuated on either side by torrential rain and misery, and we arrived at our rented cottage delighted to be away from the bustle, smog and stress of city living.

After the first day of exploration I sat myself beside a bench in the courtyard and started to devour one of the few books I had brought with me. The light was still quite good that evening and I expected to make quite some progress when my attention was diverted, by its buzzing, to a wasp that had rested upon the surface of the bench at which I was sitting. Now, as feeble as a single wasp’s sting may be to a man of my stature, its presence still brought out certain trepidation for I have, in the past, had altercation with such beasts before. Only three years ago, for example, on walking past an old wall on my way to my workplace, one of this wasp’s sisters had taken flight from a gap in the wall and delivered a most painful shot of poison to the very tip of my phallus. The shock had put me in quite a flutter and, upon ejaculating a small quantity of urine down the leg of my trouser, had me cowering behind the nearest tree in embarrassment. An uncomfortable journey back home with my shame masked by a broadsheet followed and I have not forgiven the wasp in question to this very day (though she is quite obviously dead by now).

So I sat at the bench, my book spread, face open, upon the bench and watched this particular wasp in case I needed to prepare my flight. I watched closely as it located a suitable point upon the surface of the wooden table and slowly crawled backwards from this point across its surface. After some two or three inches, the wasp flew off and, panic over, I returned to my book. But, seconds later the wasp was back and, returning to the very spot, began its queer ritual again.

I must have spent some thirty minutes watching this wasp crawling across the bench and over that period my fear turned to curiosity and then fascination. In doing its manoeuvres, the wasp was clearly stripping the surface of the wood, presumably to use as a building material for its nest, leaving thin but clearly visible strips of grey on the brown bench top. I noticed that there were many such strips across the table and it was at this point the utility of these wasps first came to me, for I had, just recently, spent a quite unpleasant day with noxious chemicals stripping layers of paint from an old door: if a wasp nest could be placed in such a box that its only source of material would be the paint from a door, then its stripping powers could be harnessed to great effect, and the noxious fumes kept well away from my lungs.

oniony, May 29 2009


       I doubt very much that the wasp wanted the paint. It wanted the cellulose fibres in the wood. But hey, if you filmed it, you could sell it as "pay-per" view.   

       I was once rushed to a trauma unit with a glans-ing wasp sting. The medic on duty misunderstood me and left the pain, but reduced the swelling. Baddum-tisch.
4whom, May 29 2009

       (+) //(though she is quite obviously dead by now)//   

       hmmm, have you analyzed this need to assume that the wasp was female?   

       Oh 2 fries, aren't most "strippers" female? Ooops, wrong species.   

       As for the idea, it's so well written I can't help but toss a dripping, honey laden, croissant the author's way.
blissmiss, May 30 2009

       [2 fries] - only females can sting so I am pretty sure she was a dame. Besides, she had nice legs.
oniony, May 30 2009

       Well I'll be danged. I thought that was only true of skeeters.   

       Maybe you could find some scent that attracts wasps. Then, spray it on the surfaces that you'd like stripped. Then use a repellent scent to prevent the wasps from eating up all your furniture as well.
imho, May 31 2009


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