Lady of the Flies

Photo by Thierry Fillieul on

It happens every year. And I complain about it every year and every year, it does me no good to whine. This is the time of the year when the flies make their presence known in all of the most unpleasant ways.

During the height of the summer, they are less noisome. They fly fast–so fast that I could not hit them if I wanted to. However, they also don’t annoy when they are flying fast and ignoring my presence. It’s the fall, when they suddenly slow down and begin to make a murderer out of me.

I can hit flies at the speed they are flying now. They fly along at old lady pace and land in places where I can finish them off with one good crack of the flyswatter. The real problem is that they are suddenly so many in numbers that I wonder if they have organized a family reunion in which they have invited every one of their many thousands of relatives, all of whom are gathering in the Fauth household.

While I can hit them at this stage, there are so many that after a few rounds with the flyswatter, my kitchen floor looks like a fly killing field. Not to mention the mess to be cleaned off every surface in the house. It is a sad little fly blood bath and never makes me feel good. At least one of them got his revenge, however. I was drinking a nice cup of coffee with a plastic cover which contained only a small hole to drink from. I drank from it all morning, enjoying my daily coffee fix until I poured out the dregs and discovered a drowned fly carcass was in that liquid. I don’t know when or how it crawled in there, but I’m pretty sure I had enjoyed a lot of fly-flavored coffee that morning; a just revenge for all the flies I killed, I suppose, but definitely not the way I want to get my protein!

If it was just the common housefly that had invaded, that would be bad enough, but because of my inattention to a banana slow death on my counter, I have now had an invasion of fruit flies. These little devils make the common housefly a pleasure to deal with. They multiply faster than rabbits in season and they are MUCH faster and more elusive than a housefly.

I was up to the challenge, however. After an afternoon of killing houseflies, my blood was up and when I went to the kitchen sink to wash my hands, a cloud of fruit flies rose from the accommodating pipes of my sink. It was the last straw.

Without devising much of a plan, I snatched the Clorox spray from the counter and, screaming a war cry worthy of Braveheart, I began spraying bleach everywhere, on the sink, in the pipes, over the stove, along the counters, on the floor and even into the kitchen curtains. Fruit fly corpses littered the counters and the floor and the colors in my curtains turned white from fear (or bleach, whatever). It had been an ugly battle, but I emerged victorious.

Feeling mighty and terrible, I put away the bleach spray and the flyswatters and settled down in my favorite comfortable chair to relax. Just as I had begun to read my book, something went buzzing past my nose. Impossible! I had killed every fly for ten miles and besides, none of them was flying that fast. I jumped from the chair, and followed the trajectory of the unidentified flying insect. Crawling triumphantly across my living room windows was a boxelder bug! So excuse me, ladies in gentlemen, while I get my spray and my swatter for round three of the Insect Wars!

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