A Month all about Names – #6 – Jasper

Jasper – Hooton Tennis Club (2015, Heavenly Records, Taken from ‘Highest Point In Cliff Town’)

When I was about nine, a wasp caused havoc in my primary school classroom.  It flew in the window one sunny afternoon and proceeded to make boys and girls squeal with fear.  Our teacher, a rather camp man called Mr Watson* also, it appeared did not like wasps.  He tried his best, swatting at it with a flimsy plastic ruler and opening other windows so that the offending little blighter might fly out. 

Of course, the laws of physics clearly show that whilst wasps have this incredible ability to squeeze through tiny gaps in order to annoy people, if you present them with a huge opening window, they will climb up the glass reach the open bit and then slide back down again.  So the wasp stayed in the classroom.  Much preferring to sniff around the class bully Christopher’s pencil case than escape through the open windows. 

After about thirty minutes of wasp related shenanigans, which included girls standing on chairs (it can fly), boys trying to thwack the wasp with books, and lots of general squealing and moaning, Mr Watson successfully managed to trap the wasp under an old paintbrush glass.  Slowly a piece of paper was squeezed under the glass and it was shepherded out of the nearest window.   Mr Watson was, if I recall, visibly sweating, as he tiptoed towards the window holding the glass like it was the most valuable thing in the world.  At one point he shouted “Karl, Get Out of the Way!”.  The shout was the loudest we’d ever heard Mr Watson yell, and literally everyone moved just in case it was us that needed to move and we’d forgotten that we’d changed our names to Karl.

Karl, by the way was an idiot, but was enshrined in school legend about six months later, when in the middle of the sex education video that we were all embarrassingly watching in the TV Room, he fainted right at the good bit.

I digress, when the evil wasp removed from the classroom, some form of normality was restored, and as we sat and prepared to return to our Hesse Maths Books, a girl named Kelly shot her hand in the air. 

“Sir, my dad calls wasps, Jasper, why are they called that?” – I’d never heard this phrase to describe a wasp before but loads of other people referred to them as such.  This was apparently a good question and one that allowed us to not do maths for the rest of the afternoon as we were told to work in groups and to find out the answer.

The answer is very boring as it happens, something to do with the latin word for it.

Hooton Tennis Club have several songs that have names in the titles, here are a couple of others

Kathleen Sat on the Arm of Her Favourite Chair – Hooton Tennis Club (2015, Heavenly Records, Taken from ‘Highest Point in Cliff Town’)

Lazers Linda – Hooton Tennis Club (2016, Heavenly Records, Taken from ‘Big Box of Chocolates’)

There are no other songs in my music library that has ‘Jasper’ in the title, but here is a track from a Norweigan band whose name literally translates as ‘wasps’ and therefore technically their name is Jasper.

UFO – Veps (2022, Kanine Records, Taken from ‘Oslo Park’)

*he wasn’t actually called Mr Watson.

Tomorrow – Eleanor, who should be putting her boots on.

1 Comment

  1. JC says:


    The Nazis of the insect world.


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