Tangled Web

Deceptions of a transgender guy




Last night my room was a battle zone. And I was the target of a kamikaze Musca domestica, commonly known as The House Fly.

I was just innocently lying on my bed, reading and relaxing, when the first surprise attack was launched on me. From there on it was war, but I was at a disadvantage from the start. This fly was beyond cunning and it seemed to have a humongous grudge against me.

Aptly named “fly,” it never settled on any surface, enabling me to deliver the death blow with my book. Uh-uh. It circled and dived, executing every manoeuvre in the Fly Fighter Pilot Handbook. I swiped in vain.

Nope, I lie. It did sit once, grooming its mandibles, watching me with its glittering compound eyes. Its wings flittered, warming up for the next onslaught. I briefly wondered what a mosaic me looks like, while slowly reaching for my weapon. By then it was airborne again.

I tried every defense operation I could think of. The book swiping was totally unsuccessful, the fly was a veteran at evasive jetting. I got up and fetched a large, thin paperback street maps to increase my swiping offence. Huh. It just throttled up the speed and perfected a few more barrel rolls, spirals and wing-overs. I could almost hear it cackle in glee at my futile counter-attack attempts.

Hmm. I remembered a scene from Mr Bean’s Picnic where he lured the fly with a crumb placed in his open book and then slammed the book shut, killing the fly. I fetched a chocolate bar from the kitchen and fortified myself against the stressful execution that was about to take place, before putting a sliver of chocolate in the book. Ha. Either the fly had seen that episode, or was on a diet, but succumb to the temptation of the sweetness, it did not. I gave up that plan, mourning the waste of a sliver of chocolate.

HouseflyNext I fashioned a kind of funnel trap from the chocolate wrapper and placed it on my bedside table, out of reach. Maybe it will be fooled into exploring the exciting cavity inside the wrapper, I thought. Then I can just scrunch up the wrapper with my prey and say hello to a good night’s rest. More fool me. The air assault continued.

I fell asleep eventually. This morning the fly was nowhere to be seen – probably spying on me from its hiding place in the curtain folds or elsewhere, planning tonight’s air raid.

I had thoughts of revenge and could not help but think about the Irish folk song, The Fly, or the Shsh! Song, made popular by Foster and Allen.

“There was a little fly and it flew into a store
And it (shsh!) upon the ceiling and it (shsh!) upon the floor.
It (shsh!) upon the bacon and it (shsh!) upon the ham
And it (shsh!) upon the head of the little grocer man.

Now the little grocer man got a little spray gun
And he swore that he would kill the fly before the day was done,
But before he could count from one to ten,
The little fly went (Shsh!) on his baldy head again.

The little grocer man and his little grocer wife
Swore that they would kill the fly if it meant their life.
They got themselves a hand grenade and laid down on the floor,
Then they blew themselves to blazes while the fly flew out the door.

Saint Peter said, ‘Good people, you shall be repaid.’
The grocer got his angel wings and flew up to the sky
Then he dove down like a bomber
And he (shsh!) upon the fly.”

While writing, I looked for photos of fly eyes and learnt that a fly’s vision is so fast that it is capable of tracking movements up to five times faster than our own eyes.  Seems like my revenge won’t be sweet after all.

If you can’t beat them, join them. Who remembers the horror movie, The Fly? Damn, that was scary. Except for Geena Davis in the 1986 version, of course.

* Here is the gory last scene from the 1986 version, a remake of the 1958 The Fly. Yuck.
* If you are into cartoons, watch the classic Betty Boop: Swat the fly (1935, colorized)


Author: Kris

Hi! I'm Kris. I live in South Africa with my life partner of 27+ years, whom I call B or Madam in my posts. We have a Pug dog child, Remi, also known as Pooch, who has graced and enriched our lives for the past 12 years.

13 thoughts on “Fly

  1. Swatting insects with solid objects is usually unproductive. The forward movement creates a kind of ‘wave’ of air in front of the object the critter can’ surf’ and get out of the way. I’m fond of the old fly swatter myself. We sure appreciated them through the Prairies last Summer. Skeeters! Hate ’em! . 🙂


  2. In one of the apartments I’ve lived in we had different pests different years. The first year we were invaded by frogs (in the garden, thankfully), the second year we were briefly invaded by thousands of birds and later on by mosquitos. The third year was the year of spiders. In our tiny kitchen window I counted over three hundred! It was so bad they had to spray the building! The last year I lived there it was the year of the flies. We were lucky though, they seemed to prefer the neighbors apartment. Once I saw a dog bowl with “dog food” take of when I came close. It turned out that it was flies – not food…


    • Wow, sounds like there was a curse of some sorts on that neighborhood! The birds would have totally freaked me out, I have a bird phobia. The flying dog food must have been a sight to behold! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Curse, or plagues like Egypt in the bible… The birds was just weird. I woke up in the morning, thinking it was windy outside since “leafs” we’re tumbling around. When I went outside there were birds EVERYWHERE and they didn’t move, even for the car. Two days later they were all gone, just as mysterious as they arrived (except for the ones killed by slow moving cars). I don’t mind spiders, but the shear number of them freaked me out.


  3. It will eventually get weakened and settle some place and you’ll be waiting for it when it does. Fly paper is also a just reward for such a pest. I am a big fan of smashing the little buggers, especially the ones who think they’re indestructible. Have fun!