“I think the bathroom light is broken, love. I can hear it buzzing.”
That’s how most of my DIY epics begin.
Now, I don’t know what you’re like, but I don’t pick up the phone and call A Man when this happens.
Because I AM A MAN. I don’t need another one to do shit for me.
My dad is the sort of bloke who can turn his hand to anything. Carpenter, car mechanic, lumberjack, electrician, plumber. And I don’t mean he’ll ‘have a go’. No. He’ll do it, nail it, finish the job like a pro. He’s legendary for shit like that.
But I’m the ‘have a go’ type. A pale shadow of his skills base, I grant you, but I don’t wuss out. I crack on.
There’s one way of doing things, the Right Way, and then there’s My Way.
I’m an artistic type. I can’t help that. Creative. That means I create a solution, my own way. It might mean I create the solution from drift wood and bits of string, but you can’t tell me that’s not how solutions weren’t reached originally.
I reckon creative types invented stuff like the wheel, fire, beer and the sixty nine, but practical types took these marvellous things and perfected them, made them their own, and damn it, took the fucking credit too.
So when I hear voices on the landing declaring a light to be fucked, I could easily phone my dad and have a perfectly illuminated bathroom before you can say B&Q Gold Card, but I don’t. I go into the garage, find my tool box, spend twenty minuted finding all the tools I’ve left lying around after I fixed the washing machine a month ago, strap on that tool belt my wife finds strangely sexy, then I go fix that fucking light.
“Yes. It’s buzzing.”
That’s my first assessment of the job in hand. I look at the light. My wife looks at the tool belt.
“I’m going into the loft. Do me a favour and make us a brew.”
I know that if I fix it, there might be reward sex in it for me.
Wearing nowt but that tool belt.
So I lowered the loft ladders and went up.
My loft is probably like your loft, unless you’re an organized person who’s put up strip lighting and boarded it all out with great precision, and if you are that kind of person you’re probably not my kind of person but we’ll let that pass.
My loft is random planks, pallet tops, old doors and assorted lumber supporting a vast array of boxes containing the accumulated clutter of a long and happy marriage. Remember the closing scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark, where they wheel the crate containing the Ark into a warehouse filled with an impossible quantity of crates and shit?
They filmed that bit in my loft.
It’s like a Tardis of clutter.
My loft is artfully illuminated by a single lightbulb of pre-war vintage, it’s harsh light softened by decades of cobwebs and fly shit.
I reached into my trusty, sexy toolbelt and found my trusty, sexy mini Mag Light.
Nothing lends an air of professionalism to a job like a small torch.
My loft has low eaves, and try as it might that shit dappled bulb couldn’t cast it’s rays that far. I worked out where the bathroom light might be, got down on my belly, and started to crawl across the boards.
You have to be careful. Putting a foot through the ceiling would be disastrous. No-one wants to have sex with a workman who’s just shoved his foot through a ceiling. I’d have to ask my dad to come and patch it up and get him to cut my bollocks off with a pair of tin snips while he was at it because I’d probably fuck that job up too.
No. Slow and steady.
I slithered across a couple of wardrobe doors and some planks, gripping the torch between my teeth. The eaves were really low there, and it was fucking hot. Really stuffy. Sweat was already getting in my eyes.
“Have you found it, love? Can you see the light?”
It’s hard to be witty with a torch in your gob.
I found the light.
I checked the wiring and it looked fine. We’ve got really old insulation in our loft, the stuff made from minced newspaper that gets sprayed in-between the joists. It’s been treated to stop it bursting into flames, they reckon, but I’m still wary of the stuff. It looks deadly. So I sweep away all this dusty fluff and check everything again but it looks fine.
“Fuff muff FFum.”
(It looks fine)
She said, “I can still hear buzzing!”
I laid really still. I could hear buzzing too. I pressed my ear close to the light fitting. That wasn’t where the buzzing was coming from.
I turned my head slowly…
The torch beam revealed the wasps nest. It was big, about the size of a rugby ball. It was six inches from my face. I could see big fat wasps scuttling over it’s surface, busily regurgitating minced paper to add to it’s brilliantly sculpted walls. I was close enough to notice scraps of newsprint still legible within it.
“Fffuuuuu…” I whispered.
Back on the landing, my wife was understandably concerned.
“Are you alright, love? did you get a shock.”
“Too fucking right I did. There’s a wasps nest up there as big as my head.”
“Oh God! What are you going to do? Ring your dad?”
She was only trying to help. She didn’t know what she’d said, but her words were a gauntlet clattering onto the floor.
“No, I’m not going to ring my fucking dad. I’m going to sort it.”
She looked worried.
“How are you going to do that?”
My eyes narrowed. I tightened my trusty, sexy toolbelt.
“Leave it to me.”
Yes, that’s right.
I was going to wing it.
I came back from B&Q with the following:
1 White Paper Suit.
1 roll masking tape.
2 cans Extra Strong Fly Spray.
1 can Foam Wasps Nest Destroyer
1 dust mask
1 pair of goggles
1 pair Marigolds (blue, not pink – what the fuck do you take me for?)
It was time to suit up.
I had my wife tape the cuffs of the rubber gloves to the paper suit, the same with my boots. The paper suit had a hood, which I pulled tight to the goggles and dust mask. I taped my mag light to a baseball cap which went over the top.
Last thing, the trusty, sexy toolbelt.
I slotted the cans of fly spray and foam into the toolbelt. I felt like cross between Dirty Harry and a gimp.
One last thing.
“Bring us a rolled up newspaper, love.”
I climbed the loft ladders.
The loft was no longer a cosy place where I stored my old clobber and cheeky porn magazines. It had become a haven for unspeakable evil.
I found myself walking in slow motion, then stopped when I remembered it wasn’t zero gravity in the loft. I was not a space man, I was a tit in a paper suit getting ready to kill several thousand angry, flying, stinging insects.
I could see the nest.
It looked like one of those pods in Alien.
I thought, ‘what would Ripley do?’
She’d kill the cunts, that’s what she’d do.
I pulled out a can of Wasp Destroyer, fitted the nozzle, got within a couple of yards from my target, and fired.
Goo fired out, like an insecticide cum shot.
It was amazing. This stuff is pretty accurate, and it splattered against the nest and swelled up like shaving cream.
An angry buzzing started up.
I kept firing, covering the nest so the stripy bastards couldn’t get out.
The foam ran out.
A couple of yellowjackets got airborne and headed for me. I changed ammo, grabbed a can of fly spray.
The wasps fell out of the sky. More came, only to be quickly dispatched by a few deft swipes of The Wharfe Valley Times.
I realised I was screaming “COME ON YOU FUCKERS! HAVE SOME! GET SOME! DAKKADAKKADAKKA!” while thrashing around like an epileptic at a rave.
It was time to get out.
I stumbled down the loft ladders, folded them up and quickly slammed the loft door.
The first round went to me.
Lucifer 1 – Nature 0
Later, I sat in a chair in the garden, drinking a cold beer. I felt like I was on R&R after a Tour of Duty.
“Love, I can see wasps flying in and out of a gap in the tiles up there.”
She was right.
I said, “Don’t worry. When that wasp destroyer kicks in those stripy fuckers will disappear.”
They didn’t disappear.
The light still buzzed. The winged devils kept flying their sorties in and out of my house.
My house, not theirs.
I knew I would have to go back with heavier artillery.
I told my dad I needed to borrow his Henry vacuum cleaner for a little job. I could tell he wanted in, but I said no. If I’d told him I was fighting wasps he would have knocked up a flamethrower and done the job for me while I made him cups of tea and carried his toolbox.
No. Those wasps were mine.
I came back from B&Q with:
1 meter long plastic pipe.
2 cheap trowels.
1 broom handle.
2 more cans of Foam Wasps Nest Destroyer.
I taped the pipe to the nozzle of the Henry then I taped the trowel to the nozzle.
I taped the other trowel to the broom handle.
I suited up again, same drill.
I was ready.
“You’ll be careful, won’t you love?”
Thinking about it, my wife seems to say that to me quite often.
“Aye, I’ll be careful. Now pass me that Wharfe Valley Times.”
I went back up into the loft.
A wasp was pinging off the lightbulb, then it flew towards me.
Its guts smeared across the results of the local rugby team and an an advert for double glazing.
Wharfe Valley Times 1 – Wasps 0
The buzzing was much louder this time. I think the wasps sensed the presence of their Nemesis.
I set up the Henry near the nest, then shone my torch over to see what damage my last assault had done.
Part of the nest was fucked, but a good half of it was very much alive – think the Death Star in Return of the Jedi.
I got closer, and my heart started hammering.
I had grossly misjudged the power of my foe.
I didn’t realise the rugby ball shaped part of the nest was only the tip. The main part of it ran right into the eaves, resembling poured cement. it was huge, easily four feet across.
“Are you alright, love? Do you want a cuppa?”
“Not now, love. I’m a bit busy.”
Now I’m no expert, but I realised there were enough wasps in this yellowjacket Mega-City to kill me. There had to be tens of thousands in there. The buzzing… It filled the air, a horrible vibration.
I stopped thinking.
Pulled out a can of Destroyer.
It was bedlam.
I quickly coated half the nest with foam, threw the empty can aside, cracked out the other can, fired again.
“DIE DIE DIE!!!”
The buzzing was horrible – a fizzing, angry roar. Wasp after wasp took to the air, encumbered by foam. I smacked them with the newspaper, sprayed them with the fly killer.
It was time for the final assault.
I fired up the Henry.
I stabbed the nest with my broom handle spear. Stabbed again and again. The wasps went berserk. Wafting the nozzle of the Henry around I sucked the enemy fighters out of the air, then using the trowel on the nozzle I broke up chunks of the nest that were then sucked up into the body of the vacuum cleaner.
“DIE, YOU FUCKING CUNTING FUCKS!!”
Smash smash smash!! Swat swat, suck suck!
Sweat poured into my eyes but I kept going, hacking at the nest and hoovering up the bits, hoovering up the insects as they fought to save their home.
And then it was over.
The nest was gone. Dead and dying wasps littered the boards, and I wearily sucked them up with my trusty Henry.
I staggered out of the loft, pulling the dead weight of the vacuum with me.
“KEEP AWAY! WASPS COMING THROUGH!”
My wife and kids scarpered screaming as I stumbled through the house and out into the garden.
I unscrewed the hose of the vacuum cleaner and rammed my last can of fly spray into the hole pressing the nozzle until it was empty, then I taped the hole shut.
I left it an hour.
I drank a beer, drank another. I reckon I’d lost about a stone in weight. I wondered how much weight Ripley lost when she knocked fuck out of that big bitch Alien and her eggs?
Probably a stone and a half, something like that.
When I opened the Henry everything was dead. It was rammed full of the dead, a dynasty of stripy bastards, wiped out in one afternoon.
I put them in the bin.
Later on I got some fantastic reward sex.
And yes, I left the toolbelt on.
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