Tag Archives: flies

Elvis, Me, And A Fly On The Wall

I’ve read that Elvis used to get all shook up and fire his gun inside his penthouse Vegas suite.  Nobody seems to know exactly why, but I have a theory:  He was shooting at a fly.

I understand completely.

I hate flies.  They’re disgusting disease-bearing vermin, and I know where their filthy little feet have been.  Add that to the fact that they puke on their food before sucking it up and they shit everywhere, and they’re pretty much the most revolting insect ever.

Every time a fly gets in the house I say it again, loudly:  I HATE FLIES!

By now, Hubby must be so sick of hearing those words that he’d like to swat me almost as much as he’d like to swat the fly.  Fortunately he’s managed to restrain himself (so far).

We were sitting at the table the other night when one of the little bastards buzzed by my head.  I growled and said the ubiquitous words, but I was in the middle of dinner and didn’t feel like getting up to wage war.

Instead of uttering the long-suffering “I know you hate flies” that I deserved to hear, Hubby grinned and said, “We need some anti-fly attack drones.”

In the past we’ve discussed the possibility of laser tracking and targeting systems that would zap flies out of the air, but this time Hubby stepped up with, “…and when the drone catches up to the fly, it can just suck it through the propellers:  BZZZP!”

My jaw dropped with sheer awe.  A brilliant and elegantly simple solution.  Much easier than lasers and electronics.  Except…

“But not over my dinner plate,” I objected.  “I don’t want fly bits raining down on my food.”

“Right,” he agreed.  “The kitchen and dining room would be a no-kill zone.  The drone could chase the fly out and then disintegrate it.”

We batted the idea back and forth, making refinements to the design.  (Yes, this is how dinner conversations usually go at our house.)  Meanwhile, the fly buzzed around my head, taunting me.

In the end, Hubby and I decided it was unlikely that we’d be able to build a prototype drone in time to obliterate the current fly, so I got out the Dishtowel of Doom and dealt with the problem.

For those unfamiliar with the Dishtowel of Doom:  When a dishtowel is snapped like a whip, it doesn’t even have to hit the fly – the concussion of a near miss knocks them right out of the sky.  Which is fine with me, because the only thing more disgusting than a live fly is a freshly squished fly embedded in formerly-clean cotton.

So if you ever catch me stalking through my house with a crazed gleam in my eye, fondling a dishtowel while Elvis tunes blare in the background:  Don’t worry.  I haven’t lost my mind (much); I’m only fly-hunting.

At least I’m not brandishing a handgun.  Or wearing a sequined jumpsuit.

Book 14 update:  I’m halfway through Chapter 7 and the ideas are flowing!  And I took a left turn down a rabbit hole and wrote the first pages for what might turn out to be an entirely new series… or maybe a scene from another book for Aydan & Co.  Time will tell…

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Fly Diapers. God, I’m Old.

Monday afternoon I was contemplating diapers for house flies, and that’s when I realized I’m getting old.

It’s complicated.  Let me explain:

We have a little acreage outside the city, with a tiny decrepit forty-year-old travel trailer on it.  The trailer’s only features are a primitive propane furnace and a queen-size bed we shoehorned in after sacrificing all the original interior partitions and fittings.  A toilet is not one of its luxuries, so I built an outhouse.

I don’t like dark, icky outhouses, so ours has a clear roof for natural light, a battery-powered overhead light for nighttime use, and a rainwater collection system that gravity-feeds a small sink so we can wash our hands.  Thanks to strategies I won’t describe here, it doesn’t even stink (most of the time).

The deluxe outhouse

The deluxe outhouse

There are only two of us, so it’s not a big deal to keep it clean.  I regularly evict spiders and sweep out the inevitable pine needles and dead leaves we track in, but that’s about the extent of my chores (other than occasionally scrubbing it just because it’s an outhouse and I’m a weirdo clean freak).

That is, until this week.

This week the flies from hell arrived.  I don’t know what they’ve been eating, but these are sick, sick flies.  Usually fly shit looks like little black specks.  These flies dumped brown and yellow splotches the size of a pencil eraser.  Or larger.  Sometimes much larger.  Large enough to dribble when they hit a vertical surface…

It looked as though someone had taken a baby with explosive diarrhea and twirled the poor suffering child around and around inside our outhouse before fleeing the scene of the crime.

It was disgusting, and I spent a good half-hour scrubbing it all clean again before griping to Hubby about the pressing need for fly diapers.

And that’s when I realized it.

I’m old.

In mid-August thirty years ago (okay, maybe a little more), I was portaging and paddling through the beautiful network of lakes in the rocky Canadian Shield country around Kenora, Ontario.  I carried all my food, clothing, and cooking tools in my backpack.  I slept on the ground, cooked over a tiny fire when necessary, and carried a small trowel whose function I shall leave to your imagination.  There was no human habitation whatsoever, and definitely no outhouse.

(In fact, I only met one other group of people the entire week.  In complete fulfillment of Murphy’s Law, they caught me squatting behind a bush, trowel in hand.  Did I mention I was wearing a one-piece bathing suit? Well, actually, not wearing it at the moment of discovery.)

Aaaaanyway…

Fast-forward.

When I wrote the first draft of this post, I was sitting in my zero-gravity lounge chair in front of our firepit.  I still cook all our meals over the campfire, but I’m not exactly roughing it:

No hunkering down next to the flames for me.  I even use a non-stick frying pan.

No hunkering down next to the flames for me. I even use a nonstick frying pan.

So there I was, lounging in my deluxe folding chair, typing on my laptop beside a heated trailer containing a queen-sized bed.

And kvetching about fly shit in my deluxe outhouse.

God, I’m old.

When the hell did that happen?

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