Archive for May, 2008

Import ants

May 22, 2008

Did you see the news about the invasion of tiny ants in Texas which eat electronic equipment?

No, seriously. Apparently these little beasties have appeared from nowhere (perhaps imported on a boat from the Caribbean) and feast on all sorts of electronic goods. From sewage plant pumps to i-pods. Nothing is safe.

I wish I’d thought of it. What a great screenplay!

Endearingly they also eat fire ants, which are rather unpleasant and can give humans a nasty bite.

I’m planning to head to Texas shortly to start selling gadgets for laminating household devices in foul tasting plastic. Meanwhile I wonder what the insurance position is. Would a normal household contents policy cover the loss of a flat screen TV due to being partially eaten by insects? Perhaps one of our well-informed readers could leave a commant?



May 2, 2008

On a continuing international theme I am grateful to blog readers Mr.T and Miss.L for emailing me with an explanation of Icelandic “bun day”. I would like to think that they are both experts in Icelandic traditions and culture, but I sensed a quick trip to Wikipedia was a more likely basis for their apparent erudition.

Mr.T explained “bun day” as follows: “Iceland celebrates two holidays in February that seem to revolve simply around the consumption of delicious foods with guiltless abandon. Two days before Lent is known as Bolludagur or “Buns Day.” Homes, restaurants and particular bakeries, overflow with delicately made cream puffs or “buns.” These “buns” come in all different shapes and sizes, filled with cream, jam, and sometimes drizzled in chocolate. Children especially love Bun Day because they get to wake up early and try to catch their parents still in bed. If they do, they “beat” them out of bed with their individually made Bolluvondur or “Bun Wands,” which are colourfully decorated with strips of paper and gleaming ribbon. The parents are then obliged to give their children one cream puff for every “blow” received.”

I struggle to imagine me getting up early to catch my parents in bed… But I’m a glutton for buns so I’ll pencil in a trip to Iceland in the February gloom for one day when I have more time.( just kidding…)

I thought that Miss.L’s email summed it up more enticingly: “it seems to revolve around being paid (in buns) for spanking other people with a stick before they get out of bed!”… Which has got to beat working, any day.

Of course, in my quest for global diversity, I’m now wondering whether any other countries have a traditional festival which involves spanking…