Recognising common infestations of apis strepsilius: a “How To” Guide.

I have had, or am having, flu. However, I am now on the mend. During the day today I have transitioned from “technically alive” to “really perky from the neck up, but almost entirely pointless from the neck down.”

Consequently I am quite bored.

When I slice through the foil on the back of a blister pack – which I always do with surgical precision with my thumbnail, following precisely the outer perimiter of the hidden pod beneath, but leaving the foil “lid” still attached – I like to pretend that the resulting empty pod with its perfectly hinged foil lid is the result of some sort of highly evolved insect attack.

“Oh, that’s the famous Strepsil-cutter bee.”

“Those distinctive, identically hinged squares? That’s the Nicorette Ant. They carry the gum off to their young. Later in life, when they want to make a baby ant into a member of the warrior caste, they just stop giving them nicotine.”

Every single one gives me the same level of pleasure as breaking into a new pot of instant coffee, yet the experience is quite different. One can use precision to open a new pot of instant coffee. But it is far more pleasurable to do a fresh jar some dreadful violence with a teaspoon. I always approach it in the same way, drumming the foil with the curved bowl of the spoon, slowly and lightly. It’s so bouncy. And then a bit harder, to see if the foil dents. Some does, usually the foil on expensive stuff. The stuff that dents is unlikely to be a very satisfying experience: it is quite thick metal foil, highly coated with plastic. It is too strong. The edges will pull off the jar before it breaks, leaving your spoon to plunge, foil and all, deep into the jar. The result is a tsunami of granules all over the worktop.

The best stuff is the cheap stuff: very thin paper with a microns-thick layer of some cheap metal and an even thinner plastic coat. That’s the stuff you hope for. It sounds like a drum-skin. When you find it, don’t hold back.

PUK! And the foil breaks. A little bof of coffee dust hangs in the air.

Now you must be precise and remove all that broken paper, right back to the rim.

The Mellow Birds Giant Hornet has been, again.

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About chiller

Rachel Coldbreath spent 20 years working internationally as a technical specialist on large data collections for law firms, before becoming disabled. She blogs on a variety of topics from the news and politics to gardening and how very annoying it is, being disabled. Habits include drilling holes about 1mm away from where they ought to be, and embarking with great enthusiasm on tasks for which she is neither physically nor intellectually equipped.
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