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I should add that the piece relates to Dubai Municipality's latest - and highly laudable - scheme, an eco-friendly insect trap. We've seen a spate of recent stories in the UAE after illegal pest control companies' activities have led to a number of poisonings and Dubai Municipality's got a point - a Masafi bottle with the top cut off and inverted then filled with some sugary water would, indeed, create an effective, simple and inexpensive insect trap.
But my chucklesome thought was back to the days of yore, when colleague Matt and I first arrived with our respective partners to set up a publishing business in the wilds of Ajman. We spent the first six months living in temporary accommodation, then found ourselves nice spanking new apartments just on the Ajman, Sharjah border in the Al Hamrani Building - at the time, the tallest building in Ajman (at five storeys!).
If there was one fly in the ointment of our contentment, it was that there was no plumbing for a washing machine in our apartments. I elected to pay the plumber who had worked on the building to install such plumbing in our apartment. Matt refused to pay the man's usurious price.
Quite apart from unerringly drilling a hole into one of his own pipes (a truly comic jet of water in eye moment) and running a plastic pipe across the wall at 45 degrees then across the kitchen floor to the overflow, the result of the plumbers labour was at least functional. We hadn't yet learned to shrug and move on when it came to aesthetics, being freshly out of the UK.
Matt's solution was infinitely more ingenious. He merely ran the outflow pipe from the washing machine to the overflow. Perfect. Except that pipe actually has to go above the level of the drum in order for the pump to work. Never daunted, inspired by Heath Robinson, Matt tied the outflow pipe to his iron, perched on top of the machine. Now the pipe was raised above the drum and the pump worked. Except now the pipe was too short to reach the drainage hole in the floor.
Channeling Mr Robinson, his teeth grinding and a wild look in his eye, Matt cut the base off a Masafi bottle, then cut little splines around it, pushing the bottle into the drainage hold in the floor. This allowed the outflow pipe to be jammed in the neck of the Masafi bottle (they were vinyl in those days, none of yer posh PET).
The perfect solution. We went out for a drink to celebrate Matt's undoubted genius. On returning, he discovered that hot water melts vinyl bottles and his apartment was consequently full of warm, soapy water, the only drainage hole being blocked by a melted vinyl bottle.
Which is why that insect trap had me chuckling...