I had a dream, and that’s not supposed to be a statement or a quote from Martin Luther King, I literally had a dream, a strange dream, a really strange dream. You know how sometimes you wake up and remember everything clearly. It was as though you were never actually asleep. Your memories are so clear and so real that it just must be true. I’m not one of those people who remember every dream; in fact I’m lucky if I call recall one a month. But this one I remember as clear as a bright sunny day. I was flying in a helicopter, like those open ones the Americans used in Vietnam. And we were being attacked by other ugly-looking helicopters. They even had a strange sound to their engines, a kind of annoying buzzing sound. They kept coming and coming, relentlessly. They would land near us and then buzz onto the attack again. Although we were maneuvering left and right and up and down we couldn’t escape. Again and again they dive-bombed us. Would we crash…and then boom I woke startled. The reason I’d woken in a flash was that one of these “helicopters” had landed on my ear! It was my scourge, my enemy, my nemesis, my Achilles heal, the fly!
If I am Superman then flies have become over the last few days my Kryptonite. We have been invaded, and I don’t use this word lightly, by masses and masses of flies. I feel like Poland in front of Hitler’s blitzkrieg. And my sudden awaking was just another in a long line of sleepless nights due to Musca domestica, or the common house fly. You could argue that it’s better to be invaded by flies than by mosquitoes or a herd of raging buffaloes. I would disagree. These flying pests are a) unbelievably stubborn and b) unbelievably stubborn, basically they’re really stubborn. There is a saying as stubborn as a donkey. But at least with a donkey you can use the carrot or the stick approach, these guys don’t respond to either. My wife is pulling her hair out. We’ve tried everything, both humane and inhumane, nothing works. My house is “decorated” with various weird and wonderful traps/deterrents/poisons/aromas but in two minutes….buzz…here we are again. I’ve got ugly sticky tapes hanging down all over the place designed to catch the critters. But these guys aren’t dumb. They know. I can see they know. They aren’t going to fly into that, no way. My god they are driving me mad. I’ve got half lemons with cinnamon all over the place. Bowls of vanilla scent. Half open bottles of red wine. And these are just the “eco-friendly” suggestions we found on the internet. On a comical note one internet site suggested to the question from a reader, “How do you keep flies out of the kitchen?” – “Put a pile of manure in the living room!” Yeah, great, thanks for nothing.
On the chemical side, just to balance out the eco-system, almost every electrical socket in my house has those electric repellents. And yet they keep on coming. Maybe they’ve got wise and have started wearing gas masks! If we are to believe the commercials then these guys should be exploding in a cloud of dust on entering the window. Not only are they not exploding but they are actually landing on the damn sockets. Just the other day, and I swear this is true, a bird flew through our large balcony door, caught a fly in my living room and flew back out. Give me a break. You haven’t got enough flies out there in the wilds you’ve got to come into my home and steal mine. Maybe that’s the answer, I’ll get a flock of swallows, let them loose in the house for fifteen minutes to feast on my flies. Two major holes in that theory, where do I get a flock of swallows from and think what mess they’d leave behind them.
The only, and I mean only, effective weapon seems to be a good old-fashioned fly swat.
So our new hobby is swatting flies. We’ve even started weird competitions. How many flies we can kill in a row before missing, I call that game fly row, a play on words with death row. (My wife’s record is fifteen!) How many flies we can kill backhanded before missing, that’s fly tennis. And how many flies we can kill with one hit, that’s multi-fly. Maybe I could copyright the games; I can even see the TV advert, fly swatting – fun for all the family. I must be honest my wife is becoming something of an expert; if they ever add fly swatting to the Olympics she could represent Croatia, she would be a sure-fire gold medal. That reminds me of my fly swatting joke. A woman walked into the kitchen to find her husband stalking around with a fly swatter “What are you doing?” she asked. “Hunting Flies” he responded. “Oh! Killing any?” she asked. “Yes, 3 males, 2 Females,” he replied. Intrigued, she asked. “How can you tell them apart?” He responded, “3 were on a beer can, 2 were on the phone.” Sorry, got to go, I’ve just seen four flies in a group; it’s my chance to break my wife’s multi-fly record.