Richard Ord: Drunken wasps are proving a shoo thing

You shouldn't try and shoo a wasp away with your flailing hands because you will only get it angry and it will fly off and sting someone else.

Wasps drunk on cider are going on stinging rampages across the UK.
Wasps drunk on cider are going on stinging rampages across the UK.

This was the interesting point made to me last week and, on reflection, it’s not without merit.

But, I thought, what if the wasp hassling you has already been angered before flying in your direction … making you the ‘someone else’ who gets stung?

And do wasps really get angry? If they feel anger, do they also feel love? Or regret?

A lot can go through your mind when your spending 80% of your day queuing up for a ride at Alton Towers. Particularly when you only have two teenage boys and some irritated wasps for company. We, that is sons Bradley, 17, and Isaac, 14; and I, 52, went on a lads tour of the popular theme park last week. It wasn’t so much white knuckle excitement, more gritted teeth damage control.

The pair of them are at the peak years of their sibling rivalry. There was more shouting between them in the queues than on the rides!

Funfair operators tell you to scream if you want to go faster. That doesn’t apply in the queues, apparently. I know, because I tried it. A 60 minute wait for Nemesis is enough to make anyone scream. Actually, if everyone in the queues did scream to go faster, I reckon Alton Towers management might do something to make the queuing experience more entertaining (anything to shut thousands of screaming punters up).

Alton Towers has, for one ride, added virtual reality (VR) headsets. They’d be better off equipping the queuing public with VR headsets to help wile away the wasted hours. Instead of staring at the back of someone’s head for 55 minutes, the VR headsets could have you shuffling across a tightrope stretched over an active volcano while being dive bombed by dragons. Or letting you watch repeats of Homes Under the Hammer, whatever floats your boat.

As it was, the only ‘entertainment’ was from the bickering brothers. The bickering interrupted on occasions by some humour. For one, our Isaac can conjure up a very plausible ‘loose mechanical part’ noise with his throat. Very useful for unnerving rollercoaster customers in the queue.

They also revealed a good queue jumping technique. “Just push through the crowd shouting ‘dad’ as if you’re lost.” Good one, but I’m not sure it works quite so well for 52-year-old men.

I stuck with the wasp dilemma to pass the time.

After giving the ‘should you or shouldn’t you shoo a wasp away debate’ some considerable thought (70 minutes while queuing up for The Wicker Man to be precise) I decided to shoo. Selfish, I know, but this is the world we live in. And anyway, I read this week that wasps have been getting intoxicated on rotten fruit during this particularly hot summer.

I’m no Sir David Attenborough, but I wager you can’t argue with a drunken wasp.

Case closed.