With just two days to go until the Annual Harold Wasp Festival, organizers are dusting off their tennis racquets and polishing their jam traps.
And thanks to a winter breeding programme in the loft of the local pub, their are hopes that this year could break the 1976 record.
“Back then, we took our seasonal wasp genocide for granted”, explained legendary ‘wasp whisperer’ John Horse. “We downed more than 1,200 of the little buggers before Saturday lunchtime. Barely a bee was bruised but the jaspers were littering the streets. I’ve still got my commemorative rolled-up programme.”
The buzz around this year’s festivities has been annoyingly loud, and Eddie has had frequent visits from a man from the council. “I filled the roof of the Squirrel Lickers with literally wasps nests”, lisped the barman through his swollen and sore-looking face.
“You could hear the stripy bastards half-way to Dunstable. But wasp numbers have been down for a few years now, and I couldn’t bear the thought of our ceremonial picnic not being ruined.”
You might think the wasp festival is all about the swatting, but arcane crafts surround the tradition like annoying yellow twats round a honey-glazed bait-child.
“Wasps have evolved to be attracted to children”, suggested Mr Horse a little misleadingly. “It’s because their small hands are too weak to be fatal. But if you sugar them up a bit or smear them with chocolate? Well, that’s like wasp-nip to wasps, I should imagine.”
With St. John’s Ambulance on hand to tackle allergic show-offs and their ‘anaphylactics’, Ron Ronsson is confident that this could be the third year in a row without a full public enquiry.
And as for the stars? “It’s too early to say,” said a defensive Ronsson, “we’re still doing tests to find one who can stomach toast smeared in wasp paste. But we’ll get there, we’ll find a top-rate celeb to open the occasion by flipping a queen onto its side. This is Wasp Fest, we’re not settling for some Bee-lister.”