Hump Day: So many flies, too little time

Hump Day 2 croppedHump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016
Moncton Times & Transcript

I’ve never been a fan of horror movies. I don’t like being startled and end up covering my eyes the entire time to avoid jumping out of my seat. For me, paying for a horror movie ticket is a waste of time, unless I want to pay to watch the inside of my hands. I can do that for free at home just by watching news coverage of the U.S. election. With that said, I was able to watch horror movies when I was a kid and quite enjoyed them. (Remember “Shock Theatre” on CHSJ-TV?) I also liked horror books and, as my father called them, “spooky comics.”

As with many avid readers, Stephen King was a particular childhood favourite, although fiction has fallen out of favour with my reading habits in adulthood. These days, my tastes trend toward celebrity biographies and business books. I also read the Flowers in the Attic series by V.C. Andrews (in retrospect, definitely not for children!) and real-life horror tales – one of them being The Amityville Horror. One of the features of the movie version of The Amityville Horror was a priest getting attacked by flies. As reasonably harmless as that sounds, the tension of the movie, the music and the acting made it scary.

This reminded me of when I visited my grandparents on P.E.I. They lived in the country, so there were always flies around. Big ones. They’d carry off chickens and attack cattle. OK, maybe not that big, but it seemed like it. At night, I’d be sleeping upstairs in their house and hear the flies constantly buzzing around my head or banging against the window. It was unnerving because the bedroom was isolated upstairs from the rest of the adults who were still awake and usually playing cards downstairs. It wasn’t like our bungalow in Moncton where I could peer out my bedroom door, turn my head and see my parents sitting on the sofa.

fly-swatterNope, at my grandparents I would have to walk down the stairs and then through the parlour (it was parlour, folks, not a living room) and then, finally, through the dining room to get to the kitchen. When I saw the house again as an adult, it seemed impossibly tiny. When I was a kid, the house seemed huge, though. Going downstairs was like going on a trip to Asia – or at least it seemed that way. It was far!

Maybe I should have tamed one of the flies and hopped on its back to fly me downstairs on the express line. I tell ya, they seemed big enough.

Fast-forward to 2016. Now, I have a house of my own here in Moncton. Sure, there’s the odd mosquito, fly or two (or three) that have managed to sneak their way in over the years, but not in any major fashion. Last year, I had a bit of a problem with drain flies – not to be confused with fruit flies – but a lot of bleach, traps and cold weather eventually got rid of most of them.

This year, though, there must have been an international fly convention organized at my house that I failed to notice. Flies are everywhere. They fly around my office. They land on me while I’m watching television. I find them drowned in water in the sink. I find them dead on the floor. Apparently, they’re called cluster flies and are common in the fall.

In the past two weeks, I’ve turned into a madman running around the house with my new electric fly swatter – the kind that zaps them on contact. The minute I hear the buzz, I reach over my fly-killing Taser and go on the attack! I’ve become a mass murderer. Guilty as charged, Mother Nature!

I don’t know why they’ve decided to set up camp inside my house. There’s a perfectly good outdoors out there. Sure, it may get chilly at night, but at least they don’t risk getting killed by my electrified swatter, a rolled up piece of newspaper or zapped with a lightning-fast snap of a wet dish towel (yes, I put it in the laundry afterwards).

I’m an animal lover. I can’t bear to watch those commercials of sad animals with Sarah McLachlan’s ‘In the Arms of the Angels’ playing in the background. But when it comes to flies, I show no mercy. I don’t care if they have little families waiting for them at home around the supper table. If I find them, they’re dead.

I seek revenge for all those sleepless nights visiting my grandparents. I shall be victorious. Now, it’s time to take care of ‘buzz’-ness.

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.