In days gone by, we hear from time to time, people used to make their own entertainment. Indeed they did; and in 1946 a slim tome was published by Wm. A Bagley called ‘Things to make and do’. TheÂ descriptiveÂ powers of Mr Bagley set out to inspire the youth of post-warÂ BritainÂ to engage in such frugal butÂ beneficialÂ pastimesÂ as ‘Whittling a bunch of keys’, ‘More whittling: a curious tripod’ and even ‘To create some bottledÂ mysteries’.
Most striking to me Â though, in the table of contents, was the Wasp Scissors. Bagley explains the purpose of his Wasp Scissors with the following arresting scenario:
During late summer days the following comedy, or something like it, will be frequently performed at picnics, camps and other alfresco meals. A fat wasp will land on the jam pot and everyone (especially the ladies) get excited. Father, attempting to swipe the wasp with a rolled-up newspaper, knocks the milk over into the sugar. The wasp, now thoroughly alarmed, stings someone, and whilst the sting is being attended to, about a dozen other wasps get stuck in the jam. Mother thereupon scoops out the contaminated jam, and so wastes a lot.
Safe and Simple
Now, if you only had the pair of wasp scissors shown in the drawing you would not have all this bother. One little nip, and the wasp is quickly, cleanly, and humanely extinguished. You can make a pair in one evening at very little cost. They sell very well, too, among friends and neighbours, or at sales, etc.
You want to see the wasp scissors? Of course you do!
What awesome weapons! I long to wield the power of the wasp scissors. Although the wasps are making a poorÂ showingÂ of it this summer, if one should venture near me, I’d feel justified in snipping it with Bagley’s inspired creations.
So anyone who will follow these instructions, document the process fully, and send me the resultingÂ implementsÂ and records will gain from me a MostÂ HandsomeÂ Prize.
If you’re up for the challenge, let me know and I can send you the full instruction sheet, too.
(Thanks to Cat for locating and procuring the book!)