Monday, January 29, 2007

Gorgon is a moron

I was reading recently about the famous Cottingley Fairies, which entranced the nation when photographs of them were published in 1917. Well, they may have entranced the nation back then, but nowadays they'd rightly be regarded as vermin, even if they were from Yorkshire, which would be God's own county, if there were a God.

Above: The Cottingley Fairies

Being magic and all that, I bet they're a bugger to get rid of too. Fairies can in fact be a highly detrimental pest to gardeners, and if you don't deal with them early on, they can start swarming, cultivating toadstools and suchlike, which is a real nuisance.

Fairies can be pretty and indeed in most cases they somwhat resemble miniature nubile teenage girls (see pic above), but if you really look at them closely, they have insect wings! So they're essentially a sort of vile half human-half insect monstrosity!

A glance round the pesticide shelves in Wilkinsons shows all manner of chemicals to rid your garden of moles, voles, slugs, snails, eelworms, cutworms, flatworms, quarryworms, wireworms, saw-worms, screwdriverworms, leatherjackets, greatcoats, greenfly, whitefly, blackfly, redfly, rainbowfly, rugmunchers, colorado beetle, california earwig, cabbage root fly, scale insects, mealy bugs, blue meany bugs, red spider mites, japs-eye, leaf-miners, welkins, knops, thrips, club root, rust, blot, stain, honey fungus, jam bracket, ergalot, damping off, cracking up, drip rot, knob-rot, spraing, arc, boing, desk scab and hollow-fall. But nothing for fairies.

Seems it's tough if you have fairies at the bottom of the garden in 2007. Perhaps they have protected status. Like bats or The Two Ronnies. It's something that you don't hear much about, almost as if there's a conspiracy of silence, emanating from government departments and agencies. A very similar situation to that surrounding wild boar in the UK (see my previous blog entry below) I guess the fairies have friends in high places. Probably some sort of connection with the Illuminati that David Icke tells us are running the world.
I don't want to dis the great man, what with him possibly being the new messiah, but I actually knew about the Illuminati long before Icke did. My mum and dad took me to see them when I was a kid.

The Illuminati

Funnily enough we don't have a fairy problem. Sigh...I almost wish we did. You see, we have Gorgons at the bottom of our garden, which is way worse than fairies. They're a right pain, turning you into bloody stone every time you go down the compost heap with the potato peelings. Can't even do a bit of weeding down there without my polished shield. If any Gorgons are reading this, can I just say that if I want to be hard as rock, I have Jude, OK?

Me on my way to the compost heap, menaced by a Gorgon
I don't suppose these are your original Gorgons, the ones that Perseus slew in Greek Mythology, when they presumably infested his garden. As far as I know, those Gorgons weren't from Sheffield, or even from Yorkshire, and anyway, Percy slew them, which was probably a bit harsh. As I remember, they were called Stheno, Euryale, and Medusa. What lovely names; why don't people call their kiddies those names nowadays? The ones in our garden are probably called Leanne, Kylie and S'manfa.

The Gorgons at the bottom of our garden yesterday. Kylie at centre.

Of the original Gorgons, Medusa was sort of like the Queen Gorgon, the one the others looked up to. Sort of the Gorgon's Gorgon, if you like. All Gorgons have a Queen, it's a well known fact. Like bees. Stands to reason. However, unlike bees, Gorgons are not insects, believe it or not. They don't fly as a rule, and they don't visit flowers to sip nectar. Nor do they make honey, and they tend to hiss rather than buzz.

Gorgons are in fact a species of Monster, distantly related to Harpies, Furies and Sirens.
Just in case you've never had mythical female monsters in your vegetable plot, here's a brief Field Guide to some of the main types...

1. Harpies
"Harpies are fierce, filthy, winged monsters who have characteristics of a bird and a woman, similar to that of the Sirens. Their hideous faces of women with sharp claws mounted on the bodies of vultures inspire both horror and disgust. They can fly as fast as a bolt of lightning."

Left: Harpies. You know when you have these buggers on your bird table! Look, they've wrecked the shed!

2. Furies

"The Furies were considered hideous in appearance. They take the appearance of clawed women dressed in black and red with hair bristling of serpants. They are sometimes represented by flies which harass their victims as remorse. "

Left: Furies. "considered hideous in appearance", presumably by gay men and ugly women

3. Sirens

"The Sirens or Mermaids were odd looking creatures who had features of a bird from the waist down and a body of a woman from the waist up. Often found in garden ponds ."

Left: Sirens. Phwoar. Welcome in my pond any day.

There. That should help you identify any Monsters with tits that you find amongst your brassicas.

Another species of Monster sometimes found in gardens in the UK is The Minotaur, though this is becoming increasingly rare as a result of persecution by farmers, who blame it for spreading bipedalism amongst their cattle.

Minotaurs can become quite tame if you put food out for them on your patio

I'm told by a Greek bloke down Meersbrook allotments that the best way to get rid of Gorgons is to use biological control. He recommends Gay Austrians to drive the Gorgons out, rather than kill them. The Gay Austrians are immune to the Gorgons tendency to turn blokes into stone, and their bitchy secretions are intolerable to the Gorgons, who will move on and settle elsewhere.

Note: Gay Austrians are ineffective against Minotaurs.

I supose it could be worse. A mate of mine in Doncaster has an infestation of Hollywood Screen Sirens in his shrubbery. He's tried all sorts of things but they just keep coming back. I told him, he needs to catch them early on, when their careers are just developing, otherwise he'll never get rid of the buggers, and they'll take over his garden, pouting dramatically amidst the summer bedding, and dramatically bursting into anguished tears over his courgettes. He won't be able to move for seductive glances from big brown eyes.

To illustrate this, here are the stages in the life cycle of one of the better known species, Sophia Loren...

Above: Larval stage of Sophia Loren - just about to start eating a bush

Sophia Loren: newly emerged nymph - still vulnerable if dealt with early, but soon becomes more than a match for the weekend gardener

Sophia Loren:
First stage nymph - becoming difficult to control

Sophia Loren:Late first stage nymph - a real handful

Sophia Loren: Second stage nymph - impossible to eradicate.

Sophia Loren: Young adult - your garden's fucked

Sophia Loren: Mature adult - eating everything in her path

Sophia Loren: Mature adult, late stage. Move house now!

Above: more images of the agricultural pest Sophia Loren, taken from "Common Pests and Diseases of Soft Fruits Vol. 1" (Royal Horticultural Society).

So you see, the life cycle of the Hollywood Screen Siren is a comlex one, and they are hard to tackle once past the first nymph stage.

Other species of Hollywood Screen Siren which may be encountered in the garden are...

Rita Hayworth - Feeds on strawberries. Use warm soapy water with a touch of baby oil (worth trying for Sophia Loren too).

Above: Julie Christie - Lives in a silk coccoon beneath the bark of ornamental japanese maples

Cyd Charisse - Forms hollow cysts on potatoes. Elaborate courtship dance.

Lauren Bacall: man-eater

As well as Mythological Vermin and Hollywood Screen Sirens, the gardener of today also has to contend with several other nuisance species. I shall be taking a look at these in future editions of my blog, in particular the growing menace of Dr Who Monsters, which are becoming more widespread due to the increasing tendency for mild winters and hot, dry summers.

Happy gardening, and watch those garden monsters!


  1. very fucking funny brian :) i bask in the unholy glow of your surreal aura my darling :)

  2. Jude: You're really funny.

    Brian: What do you mean I'm funny?

    Jude: It's funny, you know. It's a good story, it's funny, you're a funny guy. [laughs uneasily]

    Brian: what do you mean, you mean the way I talk? What?

    Jude: It's just, you know. You're just funny, it's... funny, the way you tell the story and everything.

    Brian: Funny how? What's funny about it?

    Paul Morley: Brian no, you got it all wrong.

    Brian: Oh, oh, Paulie. She's a big girl, she knows what she said. What did ya say? Funny how?

    Jude: Jus...

    Brian: What?

    Jude: Just... ya know... you're funny.

    Brian: You mean...let me understand this 'cause, ya know...maybe it's me. I'm a little fucked up maybe But...I'm funny how? I mean, funny like I'm a clown? I amuse you? I make you laugh? I'm here to fuckin' amuse you?! What do you mean funny? Funny how? How am I funny?

    Jude: know, how you tell the story...what?

    Brian: No, no, I don't know, you said it. How do I know? You said I'm funny. How the fuck am I funny? What the fuck is so funny about me? Tell me. Tell me what's funny!

    Jude: [long pause] Get the fuck out of here, Brian!

    Brian: [as everyone laughs] Ya motherfucker! I almost had her, I almost had her! Ya stuttering bitch ya! Paulie, was she shaking? I wonder about you sometimes, Jude. You may fold under questioning.

  3. paul morley....LOL :) paul's in my bad books for not answering his myspace messages ;P


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