Now that we’ve finished blowing stuff up, I’d like to bring you outside to my deck, and to the peaceful pastimes practiced thereupon.

Thankfully so far this summer, the heat and humidity hasn’t driven us indoors too badly, and so there Sir and I sit in delightful comfort while watching the goings-ons of our ducks, – yes they’re back, dear readers - our chipmunks, rabbits and squirrels; there to contemplate the meaning of life and the complex tastes of a well-chilled Chardonnay.

In our Sylvan paradise, Sir does tend to go out to the deck well-armed. He goes out armed with a broom – for errant spider webs bedecking the deck; his i-Pad, thereupon to play whatever his game-playing mind wanders: and with a can of Raid, so he can drown any unsuspecting bug getting within three feet of his royal self.

I say drown, because his – and indeed my – trust in the poisoning powers of the product has left a lot to be desired in the Demise of the Insect 101/102. Spiders have been known to thumb their eight appendages to their teeny tiny noses and utter “pshaw” as they continue their merry way towards savaging Sir’s jugular.

As you know I have tried various insectoral remedies for the deck, and have found that my much guffawed at catnip plant seems to have made a difference in the mosquito population, and my cunningly placed bowl of dishwashing liquid, vinegar and water has trapped many an unsuspecting fly and wasp in its soapy depths.

Cruising the supermarket, I discovered an electronic bug zapper in the shape of a badminton racket, only needing the addition of two AA batteries. I couldn’t resist it, and at $4.95 I ask you, who would?

The device came with no instructions at all, and one had to divine where to put the batteries, but I finally got it so with the depression of the small yellow button on the side, a corresponding red light lit up. I was on a winner.

I will confess, there was one sentence of instruction: “Don’t hit the metal wires, stupid, as it could cause a shock” – or words to that effect – were imprinted where the racket head met the shaft. They indeed should’ve been printed on Sir, where the head met the brain. Only they didn’t – meet that is.

Ever the sceptic, Sir hit the thing, lit up the little red light, hit the racket to his hand several times – kept hitting the yellow button, and BINGO! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner.

Sir now understands with unswerving personal knowledge and the singed smell of knuckle hair, the power of two AA batteries.

We also both understand that Pete Sampras couldn’t kill a fly with the thing – Sir managed some impressive lobs, forehands and backhands, and still the damned fly lived. Until Sir flattened it with the racket – then pushed the button – and then, glory be, the thing indeed zapped.

$4.95 well spent, I tell you!

Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at