Archive for May, 2010

Cockchafer

Wil and I were getting ready for bed the other night and while he locked up downstairs I stood in the bathroom brushing my teeth in the sink, just under the mirror which is on the same wall as the open bathroom window.

Normally I close windows as soon as I put a light on because in past experience we’ve had Hornets attracted to the light and nothing wakes you up late in the evening like a massive Hornet bombing it’s way around your head apparently impervious to zaps from the electronic bug racquet.

Anyway there I was having finished brushing my teeth, now washing my hands. Working a lather up from the double squirt of Orange & Apricot gel soap on my hands I stood pondering the bubbles emerging from each lathery twist of my fingers when suddenly something large, black and buzzy flew in through the window, hit the ceiling and divebombed past my face.

Without hesitation I spun around to grab the slightly ajar door by the handle to eject myself from the bathroom at warp speed. Only as I turned I stepped on a magazine which was laying on the floor, grabbed the door handle which slipped through my soapy hand and slammed the door shut trapping myself inside with the B52 that had just entered the room as clumsily as I’d tried to escape it.

All the commotion and crashing about sent Wil flying up the stairs in terror that someone was bludgeoning me to death  in the bathroom with an elephant. I met him out of breath and shuddering on the landing puffing something about something that had just flown in through the window. With the caution of a man cutting a wire to a bomb Wil opened the bathroom door and peered inside, his eyes immediately fixing on something in the vicinity of the bath.

“What is it?” I whispered (like if Cameron wasn’t already awake my normal talking voice wasn’t exactly going to shatter the sound barrier)

“Fuck knows” said Wil.

I slowly poked my face around the door frame to look in the direction Wil had been frowning.

“Where is it?”

“Over there on the side of the shampoo bottle” he nodded.

A largish, brown, ugly and complex looking beetle thing was just sat at the base of a bottle of shampoo on the edge of the bath, seemingly staring right back at us. As Wil edged forward without taking his eyes off the menacing bug he grabbed the magazine I’d skidded on earlier and rolled it up ready to strike.

“WAIT!” I shrieked.. “Where’s the spider cup?” (referring to one of the numerous small plastic cups with a post card rolled up inside it ready to capture rogue spiders that invade the house for swift exit out of the nearest window)

“If you think I’m catching that big bastard in the spider cup you’ve got another thing coming… I’m not getting near it”

“You can’t just kill it”

“WHY?”

“Because…….. well there’s no reason to kill it.. just chuck it outside”

Rather begrudgingly Wil took the spider cup I’d fetched and clapped it down over the bug which was now crawling in the bottom of the bath. As he did he caught it’s leg under the edge of the cup which caused me to squeal in protest again “it’s leg!, it’s leg! you’ve trapped it’s leg, OH GOD YOU’VE TRAPPED TWO LEGS CAREFUL!”

“Ren! Christ,  do you want me to let it out and give it a little stroke?”

He slid the card underneath the cup and lifted it up to inspect the contents which we quickly agreed was a Billywitch. A harmless beetle with crap flying skills. It was hastily flung out of the front door, no doubt with two sore feet which is a darned sight better than being smashed to blend  into a 1980’s pale grey bathroom suite with the rolled up backside of Cycling Weekly.

Curiosity about the Billywitch peaked today when a friend on Facebook mentioned being bombed by a ‘June Bug’. Having lived with June Bugs and their crap flying skills in South Carolina for many years I knew it was very similar to a Billywitch so I had a look on Wikipedia where rather amusingly I discovered the Billywitch’s proper name…….

‘Cockchafer’.

Well, I thought that was really amusing until I read the next fact

“There have been five Royal Navy ships named HMS Cockchafer

I bet there have been and I bet none of them were relating to Billywitches either.

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