Confessions of a Fly Swatter
I've got more than one part to this one, so bear with me.
First. These flies. Now, I believe in reincarnation, and the Wheel of Life, and, really, I'm not going out of my way to find innocents to squash, but flies? What did that being have to do in his/her past life to warrant coming back as a fly? What horrors did one commit? Was Hitler thence a fly, for example, or did he do time as some other lowly creature? A lobster? A louse, perhaps? With this thought in mind, and the understanding that Tibetans believe that a physical life is supposed to be hard work, why not give flies their due? We know they're disease carriers and annoying, and sometimes even embarrassing. So it's my thinking that if you came back as a fly, your life should be hard, really hard, and if you're crossing my path, you're going to be reincarnating in that form a few more times before you've either worked hard enough to earn a higher incarnation, or gotten smart enough to stay away from me.
Next. This fly swatter. I have a complication to my efforts to 'help' my lesser-evolved brethren on their way to enlightenment. I can't usually see them. When I do, I'm further limited by bad reflexes, and an innate aversion to breaking things to get at them, so I'm just not the go-to if Mr. Fly has landed on the tv screen. This frustrates my husband no end because I sit closer to it, and could 'get there' and 'get IT' before he could get mobile. If Sir Fly is happening to be around the lamp, he's still lucky, because the light is a problem for me, and, again, I won't break furniture to 'get him.'
(This is where I should say that I'm a reformed pestilence decimator. In college, I was willing to cut a path of broken dishes across my fridge to get that one cockroach, or launch combat boots at the more common flying albatrosses (also cockroaches, but definitely enlarged for the visually impaired) that likely paid for their spaces alongside us in the dorm. I used traps, sprays, roach chalk (where's that stuff now, I ask??) whatever. I got it done.)
Now? Not so much.
So, in my house, the miscreants have a 'safe zone.'
This said, one must naturally consider that a place with a 'safe zone' must also have a NOT 'safe zone' yes? You would be correct.
The kitchen. More specifically the kitchen window.
These least of their flying lot land on the sill, the glass, or window frame and buzz at me, as though they WANT my attention. I can SEE them here in my killing zone. Sometimes they do 'fly bys' over the stove to let me know they're on approach, but sure enough, they'll drop in or parade or bounce across my limited field of destruction. I've come to think of these ones as those who really need to come back a few more times before going up the ladder. Stupid enough to get stuck in a clean house, but to flaunt yourself past the self-proclaimed Bringer of Death is well? Stupid.
Last? There's a process to my Fly Swatting activities. It's not merely a plastic waffle at the end of a wire handle. For one, that's impersonal, and another, it's too far away for any delusion of accuracy. No, I keep a paper towel handy. Usually, it's folded on top of the coffee maker, which btw is BLACK, and a perfect hiding place for my targets, who (again) don't seem to be smart enough to figure that out. I keep a census, too. This lets me know if I've gotten everybody, and whether the trespassers have stepped up their infiltration activities. Usually, we have one a day. If the screen is open on the porch, and the cat has been out there, we can get up to five, but this is rare, and I guess word gets out, because the day after a high number, nobody comes by for a 2D makeover. (See, psych stat has a use!!) Now, what would all this be without an entertainment component?
I've got one.
I needed a cover for my lack of reflexes, see, so I talk to my targets, while I get my paper towel in hand and plot my route of squash. Flies, on what has to be an instinctual level because they've got NOT MUCH ELSE, have strategies for avoiding impending DOOM. Scientists have studied this phenomenon long and hard, so I'll skip it here, but suffice to say, they're devious at the last moment. I talk to my little squishlings. Something like you'd do with the rabid dog eyeing your leg as you try to get your groceries into the house. I move slowly, deliberately, and cajole them with a description of what I'm doing, why, and where they fit into the scheme of my compressings for the day. I did this just because it was a 'me' thing to do -my friends will attest to this personality trait- but then my husband overheard me. After some assurances from him that I'm most definitely 'not quite right' and my agreement that we're well matched, I decided to continue with this sideshow to keep up the ratings. I will use this in my stand-up act, someday, I think. For now, though, it's simply the prelude to another lowly life ended, and the expectation that said miscreant will come back with enough sense to stay out of my kitchen window. I'm doing my part for the betterment of Life.
This is my story and I'm stickin' to it.
==Twenty three flies were deceased-isized to facilitate the inspiration of the making of this blog.