Tag Archives: kill

“When I went down, it was about six inches long!” she said, still horrified

The horror… The horror… and they are getting bigger…

After the Edinburgh Fringe finished, I drove back to London from Edinburgh on Monday night – Well, actually the early hours of Tuesday morning. My eternally-un-named friend was looking after my house while I was away.

When I phoned her at 2.00am on Tuesday morning, there was initially no reply. This was because she was out in my back garden with a torch and a two twigs. She had looked out into the garden from my back bedroom and there, illuminated in the light from my kitchen below was what she described as a scene of horror.

“When I went down, it was about six inches long!” she said, still horrified by the memory.

She told me the full details yesterday.

“Hold on, hold on,” I said, scrabbling to turn on my iPhone’s audio recorder, “The slugs are getting bigger and now they’ve developed an ability to re-grow their heads?”

“They always had this ability,” she replied. “I just read about it on Google.”

“And they’re getting bigger?” I said. “Why are they getting bigger?”

“Because they’re eating a lot,” she said “and it’s been raining a lot.”

“They’re drinking a lot of water and they’re bloated with rain?” I asked.

“No,” she said, “they’re eating all the little plants.”

“And you said something about squidginess,” I prompted.

“No, no,” she said. “No more! Another subject. Let’s find something jollier.”

“You could be part of my increasingly prestigious blog,” I said. “Just the sqidgy reference. Give me the squidgy.”

“Well,” she relented, “I was a bit tired with putting boiling water on them, you know, to kill them. And then you have to drain off the boiled water and then I was adding salt and washing powder, because they seem to be able to come alive again even after all these terrible things. You find one that’s crawled out of the pan before dying.”

“Crawled out of the pan?” I said, surprised. “The pan?”

“Or a bird’s come along,” she continued, ignoring me, “and tried to lift it out and decided they didn’t like the flavour of washing up liquid or salt.”

“Pan?” I repeated.

“It turns out that copper,” my eternally-un-named friend said, “is really good for killing black mould. So we’ve now got to look for a lot of copper things on eBay.”

“Is black mould relevant to the slugs?” I asked.

“No,” said my eternally-un-named friend. “Well, it is slightly. There was a point where the grossness of everything and the looking round… I did try to spread coffee over one area at one point, because they don’t like coffee.”

“Slugs don’t?” I asked.

“The egg shells have worked a treat,” she continued, cheering up. “They can’t climb over egg shells. It’s too jagged. Egg shells are very sharp. You can cut things with egg shells.”

“I’m surprised chickens can get out of them,” I said.

“Anyway…” my eternally-un-named friend said, “there came a point where I couldn’t be bothered putting them in the water. I thought I’ll just squidge them to death… because I’m not actually touching them… So the end of a plank or something… bashing them and trying to rub them… And they ended up in little pieces, which I left there… Only to return a day or so later and it was like seeing half a thumb lying there, which had suddenly grown a head.”

She paused.

“It was gross!” she said, and started laughing uncontrollably.

“The pan,” I eventually interrupted. “There was a reference to a pan.”

“Well,” she said, “the pan is what I’ve been putting them in, with the boiling water.”

“Out the back door?” I asked, with visions of slugs being cooked in the frying pan on my cooker.

“Well,” she explained, “I gave up with the salt and washing up liquid. It was costing a fortune.”

“Do you pick them up with tweezers?” I asked.

“Sometimes I pick them up with sticks,” she explained. “You know how I’ve been eating with chopsticks a lot? I’ve been getting a bit more dextrous.”

“You’ve been using my chopsticks from Beijing?” I asked, slightly worried.

“No,” she reassured me, “I’ve been using twigs like chopsticks, only it’s a bit tricky.”

“Surely slugs are slimy and slide off?” I asked.

“No,” she said, “you pincer them between the two sticks and lift them up. Do you remember nothing of chopstick technique?”

“And you have a pan of boiling hot water out the back door?” I asked.

“No,” she said, “I stick them in an empty, dry, copper pan and then I just pour the… I’m usually making myself a cup of tea, wander out into the back garden… See one… Oh blimey! There’s a slug!… Next thing you know, I’m having to go into full operational mode and pour my boiled water which was going to make my cup of tea over a slug instead. By the time I’ve finished the whole awful procedure, I have had no tea and wander round the garden to see if there’s any other things out there. The biggest drag of it all is when you have to pour off the boiled water so you can tip the little bodies into the green bin. It’s all geechy and slimy and they all look quite gross.”

“How many have you killed in the four weeks I’ve been away?” I asked.

“Maybe thirty,” she told me.

“That’s around one a day,” I said. “Can’t we eat them?”

You eat them,” she replied. “in a frying pan of your choice. I’m not going to have anything to do with them.”

“You can probably make a fortune selling them to some foreign restaurant,” I suggested. “They’re probably a delicacy in Norway or Burundi or Sarawak or somewhere.”

“I’m sure you’ll love them,” my eternally-un-named friend said.

“I’m still not clear about the washing powder,” I prompted.

But then she changed the subject. Intentionally. Successfully.

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How not to repel pigeons with a can of illegal CS gas and some chilli powder

Ultimate anti-pigeon spray: Lady CS gas

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about a friend in South East London with pigeon problems on her balcony. There must be a lot of it about. I have another friend in North London with a similar problem. She told me yesterday she intends to take direct action.

In my previous blog, I also mentioned someone who had caught a rat with sticky paper and had ended the rodent’s life with a sharp knife attached to the end of a broom handle. Life can be violent in South East London.

“I think I saw an article in the Evening Standard,” my North London friend told me yesterday afternoon. “it mentioned a paste that would get on pigeons’ feet. It sounded like a new thing they’d just discovered that was going to be pretty well 100% effective. I imagined it to be something like a glue and it was in chillies.”

“Well,” I said, “for a long time, they’ve put stuff on the stone window sills in London buildings that burns pigeons’ toes off.”

“I know! I know!” my friend said. “I used to think they were just pigeons which had gone too near to a car.”

“After a certain age, pigeons in Central London have no toes,” I said. “They just have little stumpy legs like Long John Silver.”

“I know. I know,” my friend said. “Don’t remind me.”

“… but without parrots on their shoulders,” I added.

She did not laugh. In my experience, people seldom do when I say things.

“When looking for the wood lice thing,” my friend continued, “I did notice and thought of getting a thing that would keep cats and foxes and…”

“Catnip?” I asked.

“… and pigeons away,” she continued. “But I think it might also have repelled all birds, so that’s why I didn’t get it.”

“Tabasco?” I suggested.

“It was a peppery thing,” she said, “that was actually in chilli. So I was thinking I could use chilli powder. Surely. Maybe. I’ve sprinkled it on the floor of my balcony. I dunno where to get the paste stuff from. I wish I could find the article. Whether I should mix it into a paste or some sticky substance…”

“You’ve sprinkled chilli powder on the floor of your balcony?” I asked.

“I’ve sprinkled it on sticky paper,” she replied, “because I haven’t actually made a paste. I haven’t figured how I’m supposed to… I was going to think of something… Not honey, because that would be crazy. That would attract ants or something would go very wrong. But something sticky.”

“It would attract ants?”

“Honey. Wouldn’t it? But I’m going to try CS gas, too.”

“CS gas?” I asked.

“I have a can of mace which I usually carry in my handbag.”

“Isn’t that illegal?” I asked.

“Yes,” she agreed. “But this is London in 2012. You were telling me yesterday that story about your tour guide in North Korea who got hit on the back of the head with a baseball bat in Bristol…. I don’t know… Do you think spraying CS gas would deter pigeons?”

“It would probably surprise them,” I agreed.

“The mace spray, if it’s working, would repel them immediately,” my friend said. “But the can may not be working any more. It’s quite old. Does CS gas deteriorate over time?”

“Not my area of expertise,” I replied. “I can tell you about comedians and Charlie Chuck’s ducks.”

“They wouldn’t be able to hang out in the area,” my friend continued. “It stings your eyes and it stings your feet.”

“It stings your feet?” I asked. “I haven’t seen street demonstrators leaping in the air when the police use CS gas.”

“Pigeons have bare feet,” my friend explained. “It’s quite a widely-known fact. Pigeons don’t wear shoes. Not even flip-flops. No animals like CS gas. It’s not just humans.”

“Giraffes are above such things,” I suggested.

“It depends on the wind,” my friend said.

“I had an email from Mr Methane today,” I said. “He said he’s recorded a…”

“Look,” my friend said. “There is a pigeon problem on my balcony and, if I can make them not like where they’re landing or think Fucking hell! My toes sting!, then I… Of course, a lot of the chilli blows away. I poured the powder on the floor of my balcony and some of it blew away. That’s why I stuck it on sticky tape, but the sticky tape isn’t exactly sticking for some reason.”

“Will the pigeons not stand on the sticky tape and fly away with the sticky tape on their afore-mentioned bare feet?” I asked.

“Well,” my friend said, “that might make them think twice about staying as well. That’s a terrible vision: coming back and finding a load of pigeons stuck to the floor and to each other, half-dead.”

“This is like the rat story, isn’t it?” I suggested. “Where the rat has to be killed by a broom handle with a sharp knife on the end.”

“Yes. I wish I could get the same sticky stuff that the rats had. That would do it, wouldn’t it? And it would stick.”

“You think the anti-rat fly-paper would work?” I asked.

“I had a newly cleaned and painted balcony,” my friend said. “Nice and bright and spotless. The pigeons shit on it. I don’t want to have to clean the balcony if people pop by.”

“But you would have to clear the sticky tape and chilli powder anyway,” I pointed out. “And the people might go barefoot and go Ooh Oooh Ooh with the CS gas.”

“You mustn’t touch things like bird shit, pigeon shit,” my friend said, “because they have all those illnesses that are very bad for you and kill you.”

“Illnesses?” I asked.

“Oh I don’t know,” she said. “E-coli or something. Something really bad, anyway. People could be dropping dead. You could be blinded or something. There are things that can blind you, like dog shit can blind you.”

“Well it can,” I agreed, “thrown with the right momentum.”

“No, no,” she said, “the bugs that are in things like shit. The bacteria can get into your body and cause all sorts of ailments.”

“Dog shit can send you barking mad?”

My friend gave a big sigh.

“Look, I am trying to sort out this pigeon thing,” she said, “and I would like to get this sticky paper for the rats. I don’t know where to get it from. But I swear something came to my mind. Gela… something. Gelatinous?”

“Gelegnite?” I suggested.

“Gelatinous.”

“Gelegnite would do it, too.”

“Only if you had the bloody pigeon to hand at the time. I mean gelatinous stuff you could mix in with the chilli stuff and it would stay there as a blob. Then I have to take into consideration things like the wind which is going to blow some of the chilli powder away – or rain, which is going to wash it away. But I could mix it into a little watery paste. I just need to have it so it will stick there in a little mound of something that irritates them and they think Oh! this isn’t very nice. I’m off!

“What about putting a little pile of dog shit on the floor of the balcony?” I suggested. “That might blind them.”

“Yes, but it would also blind me, wouldn’t it,” my friend replied. “Chilli is not going to blind me.”

“Dog shit won’t blind you either,” I said, “unless you roll in the dog shit. Just put it down so it…”

“Birds would be highly sensitive to chilli,” my friend interrupted. “As would you, if it was rubbed on the sensitive parts of your body.”

“People pay good money for that in Soho,” I said.

“The sticky tape isn’t sticking,” my friend continued. “The chill isn’t sticking either.”

“The next time you come home,” I said, “you’re going to find six pigeons stuck together on sticky paper, unable to fly.”

“It would be awful, wouldn’t it?” my friend said, “But the sticky tape isn’t sticking.”

“Mmmm…” I mused.

“Of course,” my friend said, “when they get stuck or trapped or in one place, they just shit and…”

“It would be counter-productive,” I said.

“Exactly,” my friend said.

“It is a problem,” I agreed.

“Yes it is,” my friend agreed.

We sat down and ate spaghetti.

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