Chasing flies

It’s been a bad summer for flies here in Kommetjie. Not your ordinary little house fly. The large brommer or buzzer that you can hear coming from a distance the instant any form of meat is set down on the kitchen counter. I have seen them sitting on flowers during the day which seems a bit odd as their main interest is something less sweet smelling.They seem particularly fond of rose bushes.

These big flies are impervious to all the sprays that promise instant death, watch them drop as the spray touches them, nothing can survive this… All nonsense of course. The only thing that suffers is your lungs and the thought of breathing that in gives me the heebies, so it is only in moments of desperation that I use spray.

I was given an electric tennis racquet-type device that shocks the flies on contact and makes them drop to the floor. That is true, it works. However, they miraculously recover and fly off if you don’t pick them up immediately and run them down the kitchen sink. You also have to be quicker than Rafael Nadal to actually connect the racquet with the fly. They have the evasive skills of an average UFO, changing direction as you close in on them. leaving you flailing wildly while they buzz around your head, sometimes getting tangled in your hair as you whip your head around to keep your eye on the ball, so to speak. That is the ultimate degradation, to have a fly in your hair, buzzing triumphantly.

So I sit eating my dinner with the fork in one hand and the racquet in the other, as the brommer homes in on my chop, knowing no shame. I wave the racquet ineffectually just in case I actually score a direct hit and the stunned pest falls into my food. As I shovel the last morsels into my mouth, all is quiet. The flies have departed. They know there’s nothing left. Uncanny.

No wait, there’s one. I creep up on it. It alights on my arm. ZAP!! A searing shock flashes on my skin – but the fly is knocked down. Down the sink he goes! How they survive that electric current is unbelievable.

I have tried freezing flies and microwaving flies. Did you know that they are unaffected by either extreme? I wonder what science has to say about that?

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