By Rebecca Northfield
As you bask – I’ve been dying, mind you – in this English sun, everyone gets friendlier, meals get more al fresco and you try to find any spot of toasty warm light like a cold-blooded reptile.
However, if you’re like me and hate this time of year when there’s kamikaze flies, face-melting heat and blazing skin-crisping sunlight, have a look at this edition of BTPT to see if anything makes you feel a little better about this brief season.
It’s time to get buzzical.
It’s the late afternoon and you’ve organised a last-minute barbeque. The sun is still shining and you’ve cleared out the seasonal meat aisle at your supermarket in anticipation for this event.
Everything is going okay. You’ve lit the trusty rusty BBQ, cooking all sorts of meats for the family, who seem to be having a good time.
Then the swarms of grossness come.
The disgusting bluebottle flies have arrived – also known as Calliphora vomitoria, the clue is in the name – and they’re buzzing around, trying to get their dirty, poopy mitts on your food.
One even makes a perfect landing on your nose where you smeared some marinade earlier.
They start bellyflopping in the drinks and drowning in the booze, the drunk floozies.
Your guests tut as the critters make a mockery of your slow reflexes when you swat at them.
You must rid the world of these beasts.
It’s time to bring out the big guns.
The Bug-A-Salt gun.
You start running around, shooting the vermin out of the sky. They dive like kamikaze pilots, ready to set their bacteria-ridden feet on the food and puke all over it and eat it again because they are awful. But you’re hitting them with great accuracy. You feel like a highly trained soldier in the heat of battle.
PEW PEW PEW goes the sodium chloride bullets (salt, if you didn’t know) and the flies fall down dead. Onto your food. And your Nan’s wispy perm.
At least your chicken is seasoned now.
Anyway, this gun will lethally projectile the salt, with an accuracy range of three feet. Also, the flies won’t splat, like when you smash them with a rolled up newspaper. Or a hand if you’re really primal. The insects stay whole, so they won’t completely ruin your barbeque ribs. You’ll just have to pick them off. Or get some extra crunchy protein in your diet.
Mass fly homicide. Yes please!
Just don’t shoot it at people. That’s rude.
Get that bikini body!
Food is a focal point for summer holidays. You eat that double chocolate brownie ice cream sundae “because you’re on holiday.” Or dive into that cheese pile of goodness that they call nachos as you say: “Oh go on, I’m on me hollibobs.”
Completely sated from the relaxing break away and with an enlightened look on life, you get ready to get out and about to show off the results of hours spent in the tropical sun.
You get your jeans out of the cupboard because it’s a lot chillier here than it was in the Caribbean. You try to put them on, but they get stuck around the waist and won’t do up. You try the jumping-up-and-down-as-you-yank-on-the-waistband trick, but they won’t budge.
Does this sound familiar, holiday goers?
So when you come back from your hollibobs and discover that your dress is a little too snug and you look bumpier, or your suit is popping its seams and you can’t sit comfortably without feeling pinched, you need to use a HAPIfork. Because you’re now fat.
Well, not fat at all. But you’re a little cuddlier, like a marshmallow, perhaps.
Try the HAPIfork, a vibrating piece of cutlery that reproaches you when you gobble too fast.
Imagine if you’re out at a restaurant, attending an obligatory dinner for a relative that doesn’t remember your name and you use your own snazzy-looking, space-age fork. On top of that, it vibrates sometimes like an electric toothbrush or something else not suitable for dinner time conversation…ahem.
The HAPIfork is smart, monitoring and tracking the user’s eating habits, alerting you with lights, whizz bangs and explosions when you’re eating too fast. You can even share your terrible lifestyle online with other smart fork purchasers.
Not humiliating at all, when a fork makes a show and dance about the way you eat.
I’d keep eating if HAPIfork was vibrating my teeth like a drill in my skull because nothing gets in the way of food.
Toast strips stamper
Because it’s so hard to cut your toast into slices.
You’ve just come home from an afternoon of laying in the sunshine and are so burnt. From the top of your head to the end of your toes, you’re red raw because you didn’t put enough sunblock on.
Applying any sort of pressure with your hands to anything is a sure-fire way to extreme pain and anguish.
You’ve slapped on After Sun on every inch of your scalded, poor body. It’s taking half of the evening to cover your body in cream and all that hard work has made you hungry. Yet you can’t handle too much because the burnies are making you feel a little nauseous. Plus your charred, tight-feeling skin on your face means you can’t open your mouth that wide, you walking lobster, you.
A piece of toast, perhaps? Little soldiers like your mum used to make, so you can pop them in your gob with minimum pain.
Alas, you can’t cut with a knife to make the toast into smaller pieces, as any pressure on your hands feels like the fiery pits of hell.
So what do you do?
Gently rock your Toast Strips Stamper as much as you can stand onto the bread, pop it in the toaster then pull it apart for soldiers!
YAY! Because cutting into slices is that much of a damnable task.
Where do I sign up?
Oh, and it’s hand wash only. Not even dishwasher friendly. Typical.
It’s not that difficult to cut toast, people.
It’s hot and you need to feed your plants, but you don’t want to overdo it too much, or they’ll drown and your prized spider plant will die.
Wouldn’t it be peachy if your plant could actually speak to you? “Too much water!” It cries, “I’m hungry, feed me Seymour!
Anyway, with Phytl Signs, you can apparently decipher what on earth is going on with your plant pets. With a wearable. Huzzah!
Another wearable to toss on the fire when you get bored of it.
If you’re a plant enthusiast, then this is the thing for you. If not, watch Little Shop of Horrors.
Don’t waste money on some wearable that you will eventually stop using because you aren’t that interested in what your plant has to say.
Rollie egg server
Fulfill your egg’s destiny.
So, a couple of days after the successful – albeit a little salty – barbecue with family, you have absolutely no leftovers in the house. You’ve searched high and low, scrabbling to find some sort of tin foil-covered plate that may have some scraps of chicken left. Yet there is nothing and it’s too darn hot to actually do something that involves cooking.
You open your bread bin in a last-ditch attempt to make soldiers with your Toast Strips Stamper. Success! There’s some hot dog rolls. Half stale. Ah well, that will do.
To the fridge again. There must be something. You’re foraging like a squirrel, your bum wiggling as you scrabble around the shelves, torso chilly from the cold.
You find an egg all alone. Eggy roll perhaps?
Then it hits you.
Your spontaneous purchases from QVC TV were meant for moments like these.
You remember the Rollie Egg Server that you bought last week at 2am because you were inebriated and hungry and thought: “Well that would be a super interesting way to eat eggs!”
You pour that sole egg into the Rollie maker, and as if by magic, out comes a Popsicle-like egg thing on a stick. It looks really weird and you wish you hadn’t disfigured your egg like that.
Into the hot dog it goes anyway. Squirt on some ketchup so the phallic, inedible-looking egg roll is disguised.
Munchies sorted. Kind of.