On Friday, a package arrived with a florist's label and instructions to open it immediately. I waited for Mr Grumpy to come home, which wasn't till the evening as he was looking after his friend's shop for the day while said friend was on a course.
We knew what it would be. Every year, the lady next door (the other side to the owners of Chimimi and the other Bengal cats), who is now 94, buys Mr G a plant. I hacked open the box and inside, packed in moss, was a pot of narcissus bulbs, amid loads of those horrid polystyrene packaging bits that go everywhere.
I upended the box over the bin, holding carefully onto the plant, and they all fell out, as did a rather peculiar beetle in a fetching shade of shiny bronze, which promptly made a rush for the doormat and disappeared beneath it.
Ten minutes later, Mr G was enjoying a cup of tea when he suddenly yelped and grabbed his leg. "Something's crawling up my leg!" he shouted and promptly ripped his trousers off. Nothing. So he put them back on.
"You must have imagined it," I said. Then he clapped his hand to his leg again. Off came the trousers, out fell the bronze beetle. Out came my camera.
"It's a nadger beetle!" cried Mr G. "It made a rush for my nuts!"
(For any non-UK readers, 'nadgers' is a slang word for testicles: you can find Kenneth Williams' hilarious song, 'Green Grow my Nadgers-O' at http://www.last.fm/music/Kenneth+Williams/_/Green+Grow+My+Nadgers+Oh!)
The beetle was now scuttling towards the living room. I did a rugby tackle with a piece of kitchen towel and it clung to it and ran determinedly towards my sleeve.
So why is the nadger beetle extremely rare? Because I slung it out into the frozen garden and if it was the last of its kind, it will be the extremely extinct nadger beetle by now!
Sorry about the poor quality of the photo. I was too busy laughing to find the macro setting. You can just make out the beast waving its claws aggressively, though!
4 days ago