May 14th, 2009

self-portrait, Lego

Man vs. Nature, Round Two: Man the Clear Winner

Dave: 1, Tent Caterpillars: 0

Before last night we had a nest of tent caterpillars in the peach tree in our backyard. What the little guys hadn't counted on was that one of my torch-style cigar lighters is broken. Well, it still works, in that it produces flame more-or-less on demand, it just no longer produces the tiny little blew blow torch-like flame. Instead it spouts a 6 to 12" tongue of blue/yellow flame like some sort of mini-flamethrower.

Which makes it a wonderful cigar lighter if you want to scare the crap out of people around you, but I digress.

So after lighting my cigar to begin yesterday evening's yardwork1, I stood on one of the deck chairs and burned that tent right out of the tree. I managed to do this without setting fire to any of:

  • the tree
  • myself
  • the yard
  • the house
  • the neighbors
  • the neighbors' houses


1 Smoking a cigar is the only thing I have ever found to be effective in repelling mosquitoes. Apparently I taste particularly good or am somehow otherwise excessively attractive to mosquitoes. Deep Woods Off! doesn't work, Deet doesn't work, everything else I try, I still get bitten. Light up a cigar and the blood-sucking pests flee. My theory is that they're very concerned about the effects of second-hand smoke, which makes sense when you consider that they must have really tiny lungs...