Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Revenge Of The Fly

This California girl is well-versed in the agony and frustration of ants. Those obnoxious little buggers that seem to find whatever food you leave out and descend upon it. Those little devils that have no issue breaking into your garage, your pantry, even your bedroom-just ask my brother Kurt about the time he went to put on his pajamas as a kid only to discover them COVERED with ants (we were puzzled as to why the pajamas appeared to be moving). They are everywhere. They are unstoppable. They are….nothing, NOTHING, compared to flies.

A simple line of ants, so simple to spray with some ant spray and kill. What I wouldn’t give for that pest problem! Here, not only do we have horrible fire ants outside, but the inside of our houses are constantly being overrun by flies. I’m starting to suspect there is a tiny little fly door in one of my windows (I imagine it like a tiny doggie door, only made out of netting that can easily been flown through). It is ridiculous how many flies I have to deal with on a daily basis! Days that involve outside playtime are the worst. I might as well stand at the door and just usher them in and get it over with:

"Please, come in! I can offer you some leftover crackers that Laura left in a bowl by the couch, and I’m sure there are plenty of crumbs on the carpet. Don’t forget to stop by Moxie’s bowl for a quick drink and browse the kitchen counter for tasty morsels that I may have overlooked! It’s also a delightful day for buzzing around my head as I cook, so be sure not to miss that opportunity."

Sometimes they appear out of nowhere, when the door hasn’t been opened for hours. They always seem to locate the nearest human and incessantly buzz them. When they’re invading, eating inside my house is like eating at outside at a picnic. You can’t leave anything edible out, because you know the fly is landing on it and doing a little dance just to spite you, just to show you the power it holds over you. Ants thinking of attacking your food? No big deal, just move the food to another spot. Flies bent on sampling your pot roast? Well, you better shovel it down because the flies will land on it, even as you eat it. The rest of the dinner, still hot in the pan on the stove? Transfer it straight to the fridge, food safety be damned! That’s the only way to keep it safe, unless one gets into the fridge (yes, that has happened to me).

It’s amazing how much your life can start to revolve around flies. It’s not uncommon for the Army Man and I to stand in the kitchen chatting while one of us holds the fly swatter. We've started complimenting each other on particularly gory or spectacular kills. The best is the mid-air swat. Yep, we've both managed to snatch a fly’s life during flight. It’s awesome. Laura’s method is to trap the fly between the window and the blinds, and smush. There is usually sound involved, followed by the victory shouts of my bloodthirsty daughter. I always discourage this, but I won’t deny having resorted to it myself. Moxie tries to help, chasing them and snapping at them. That form of entertainment is the one redeeming fly trait.

I’ve had flies rise from the dead and fly out of the trash can once I open it to deposit another of their deceased brethren. I’ve had a few fly relationships last days or more…a few days after a madly buzzing fly zips around the kitchen, I’ve found it limping along in my bedroom or laying pathetically on the stairs. I feel no sympathy as I kill it-only disgust wondering where it was all those days and if it was walking on me as I slept.

Today’s tally stands at nine killed, an undetermined number still at large. I can't wait for the winter.


Patty said...

Nine flies in one day, that is a plague! The ants have been trying to escape the heat this week, and I have been spending the first fifteen minutes after I wake up killing them before I can make coffee. I guess I would prefer that to swatting flies all day, but not much more. Hopefully we are all in for some true fall weather!

Older and Wiser said...

Claire, you are so funny even if the situation isn't funny. What a great writer you are.

Three Dog Days said...

I have a fly problem too, but at least I have a reason. We have horses next door. It is true- the flys hang around outside the door like a line up at a popular club. Then as soon as the door opens a crack they rush the place! Maybe we need some good bouncers.

Last night there was one in my room and I reminded myself of Laura as I became frustrated and said, "Land, nasty fly, so I can kill you!"