It’s been a weird summer in my neck of the woods. The heat was late, cruel, and short-lived. My tomato plants are still very confused and trying to make fruit in October. Half of the trees have been unsure when to turn, so instead of doing it gradually they all of a sudden went “Gah! Crap! Let’s do this” and went from green to DEAD in a matter of days. And the bugs…oh man. They have been in full on horror-movie- apocalypse mode the last few weeks. My kale (which was supposed to last the winter) was devoured by aphids. Grasshoppers have been eating what small green nuggets my tomato plants have been able to produce. And then, well then there’s the flies.
I’ve never seen flies like this before. One day there were none, and the next my whole house was swarming with them, inside and out. I was almost tempted to take up religion just in the hope that a benevolent God might hear my plea and remove the plague. Almost.
But who needs God when you’ve got a boyfriend with a curled-up magazine? The flies are gone now, thanks in large part to the heroic endeavors of my man, who I will now call the “Lord of the House Flies.” This title is in part a respectful homage to my conquering warrior and also partly a comment on his complete and utter descent into pre-societal monkey rage, ala boys trapped on an island together with no adults.
The whole affair started small. There were maybe 3 or 4 flies at the beginning. The cats had proven themselves pretty much useless when it came to catching these pests, as one cat is too lazy to catch things that leave the ground and the other is terrified of anything that makes noise and moves. As my boyfriend was away -, it was up to me, the sole human in the house, to avert this catastrophe. But rather than be proactive, I stupidly I decided on a rather Zen approach: “Ah. It’s just a few flies. They’ll go away in a day or so.” (I might as well have said “I’ll be right back” in the middle of a slasher film).
But a day or so went by and the 3 or 4 flies did not “go away” but had rather “multiplied.” Who would have thought?
It was at this point that boyfriend arrived home from a stint of house-sitting. I’m not really sure how to describe my boyfriend’s reaction to the flies. It was as if something in his brain had snapped, or maybe that old reptilian part had surfaced, both releasing and embracing the adrenaline that was now coursing through his body in response to a perceived threat.
I can only imagine what his brain told him he saw when he opened the door. I believe it told him something along the lines of: “That’s your girlfriend, sitting on the couch, covered in flies…and maybe…is that a tear rolling down her face? Why isn’t she swatting the flies away? Oh god…because her hands have been chewed off…! And look! The cats are cowering under the coffee table, covering their faces with their tiny little useless paws as the flies start eating away their eyeballs. And what’s that in the corner? Is it..no it can’t be. Oh my god. Could it be a portal to…to the chaos dimension? Oh sweet Jesus. What has happened here in your short absence?” (said his brain).
And it was at this point that boyfriend went ape-shit. (Let me note that the above paragraph is just my interpretation of what I think he saw, and is my only explanation for what happened next. Because in reality I was just sitting on the couch hanging out, and the cats were napping and there were maybe 10 flies in the whole house. But that’s not really important. What is important is that boyfriend was a hero.)
How boyfriend felt:
How boyfriend looked
This went on for a while and then it was about time for bed. It was at this point when he started talking to the flies, and I got a little concerned. Here’s a snippet of the conversation I overheard while lying in bed reading:
”OK you fuckers. Here’s the deal. If you move…I’ll kill you. If you even think about moving…I’ll kill you. If you stay still I might still kill you. But it will be harder because I won’t be able to see you as well.”
”AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH! I keeeeeeel uuuuuuuuuu noooooooooow!”
This was really heroic and all, but what boyfriend failed to realize is that, for all intents and purposes, flies cease to exist once you fall asleep. Half-crazed 6ft tall 200 lb humans, on the other hand, are impossible to ignore, no matter how tired you may find yourself.
At some point I really really needed to get to sleep, what with the having to be at work by 7am the next day. Eventually, the only way I could lure him into bed was…not the usual way women lure men away from war and into bed…but rather with the promise of a fly swatter. Yes. I had to promise to buy him a fly swatter the very next day so that he would shut up and go to bed.
I wish I could think of a clever ending to this story. But I’m out of practice, and in the interest of getting something, ANYTHING posted for your reading pleasure, I’m posting this as is. Sorry. I promise the next story will have a beginning, middle, AND end.