Archive for May, 2009

Les Pompiers arrivent!

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

Went out to try to rescue my dying collection of plants today and spent quite a while staring up at our roof. For the last two summers, that roof has buzzed with activity. You can’t give it a glance without seeing at least one wasp coming or going apparently home.

For whatever reason, I finally got fed up enough with the invasion this week that I asked a French friend to help me out… and call les pompiers. The firemen. That is who you call if you have a wasp problem. She called… they called her back and said they’d be here Thursday sometime after 5:45. I like how the ambiguity of the arrival time makes it virtually impossible for them to be late.

They arrived and when I opened the door I was holding my French picture dictionary… looking up how to say “roof” when the doorbell rang. I managed to tell them to follow me… pretty much by pointing then walking… to show them the area in question.

I glanced at the book for the word for roof and pointed saying there are “beaucoup” wasps up there. We tried to explain we think they’ve built many nests under the roof tiles. They nodded skeptically and I took refuge back in the house.

One pompier put on a suit complete with a head covering and net over his face and big gloves. The other guy didn’t. Monsieur Protective Suit climbed a ladder up to the roof for a closer look… then scurried down to have his sidekick zip up the protective suit. He had confirmed what we’d told him. It’s a real problem.

The second guy started carting out 5 gallon tubs of poison with a sprayer and Monsieur Protective Suit hauled them up the ladder then walked around the roof spraying. The sidekick would stand far back, pointing and hollering out advice on where else to spray. I was safely inside the house, so I don’t know how many wasps came out of our roof to defend their homes. I really don’t want to know.

A couple of tubs of poison later, the pompiers put their ladder away and left. They said the wasps they didn’t kill would take the poison home and kill off any stragglers. They also said if we see the problem return, just call and they’ll be back.

They did all this and it didn’t cost us a thing. Well, outside of our regular taxes it didn’t. Unless a bill is on the way to us now. But I think it’s part of your taxes. Taxes here are obscenely high, and people expect a lot in return. Understandably.

Which brings me back to today. Looking at the roof. Smiling. Because I didn’t see anything up there at all.

Then I noticed a wasp flying up the metal tube on the frame of our outdoor table…..