Monday, 24 September 2007

Poor man's piñata

No sooner had we turned off the light last night then we heard the sound of an insect noisily bashing against a surface in our room. Unable to sleep for fear of this unknown beastie and its noise, I made Simon get up to investigate. Once the light was back on we realised the racket was coming from inside our round paper light shade (you know, one of those really cheap ones that collapses down flat). The noise was from a fly, bashing itself against the inside of the shade. The fly was trapped, but alive.

In order to make it stop we either had to a) kill it inside the light fitting, b) get it out, or c) or take down the light fitting.

We started with a mix of approaches a and b. First up, we searched for a ruler. The idea being to tap the paper shade and either stun the fly or get it out. All we could lay our hands on was my '2000 years of history by the metre' ruler. (It's great. It folds out to 2 metres and each centimetre is marked with a different event from the last 2000 years. Get one. You won't regret it.) I laid in bed watching Simon repeatedly hitting the outside of the shade with the ruler, like some bizarre late night game of Piñata.

Fly was having none of it.

'Ah-ha', I thought. We don't have any fly spray, but we do have some Lynx. If the ads are to be believed, it's so deadly to those who smell it that they will be stunned into doing whatever you like. Perfect.

I ran to fetch the can of Lynx. Simon sprayed it inside the shade. Yet still the fly refused to die or come out with its six legs up. Weary and tired we needed a new plan.

The plan was simple. It was option c. Simon waited until the fly was in the centre of the shade. He then carefully unhooked the shade from the light bulb, with the fly in it. He collapsed the shade, put it on the floor and covered it with a book. The fly got to live but it couldn't make too much noise in its confined space. We got to go to bed.

It's now 12 hours later. The shade is still collapsed on our bedroom floor and I can hear the fly gently buzzing inside it. I might release it into the wild. So a bird can eat it...


Anna said...

I had one of those classy paper lampshades in my old room when I was staying with my mum and dad recently. What they have yet to discover is the whole I accidentally made in it after my hair straighteners went straight through the side of it. I still don't know how I managed it - must have been some extravagent hair straightening manoeuvre! (Is that the correct spelling?)

Simon said...

I should add that I deployed the Lynx under protest on the basis that it would have no effect other than making the fly smell nicer. And, I was actually secretly trying to squash the fly with the magazine.

In response to Anna's comment, I had a friend at school who managed to cut his parents' paper lightshade in half with a sword.

Ali & Dave said...

I blame the rise of energy saving lightbulbs - at least in the old days you had a good chance of frazzling some flies...