The Secret Life of Flies

I killed a fly this morning. I don’t know about you, but there’s something refreshing about confessing one’s insecticidal tendencies. I feel cleansed.

So yeah, I killed him. (FYI: All insects are male.) Big ol’, blue bottle, buzzin’ bugger. He was sitting on my windowsill – which was fine – until he began to make this gawd-awful, unholy whizzing sound AT DAWN, before I had a chance to gather all of senses. There is an order to the noises that punctuate the beginning of my mornings, beginning with the wood pigeons, whose soft coos herald the frantic screaming of the hadedas, who then give way for the rumbling of our local taxis and finally the conspiratorial chattering of anguished high-school children who populate the institution opposite my house. It is then, and only then, that I (reluctantly) rub the sleep from my eyes and prepare myself to face the challenges of my day.

As you can see, there is no room in that sequence to accommodate the malarkey of an overzealous horsefly, and though it pained me to dispatch of one of God’s creatures, dispatch of him I did…and with vigor too. I carefully peeled back the curtain separating me from my quarry and unleashed 40oz (possibly more) of Doom upon him. Then I got back into bed and waited for the cooing of the wood pigeons to begin.

But as I laid there, choking on the plume of toxic fumes and listening to the enormous fly do the same, I wondered if this was how he imagined he’d begin his day: with venom courses through his nervous system, eventually sending him into paralysis and then a total system shutdown that would culminate in an agonizing death. Have you ever taken the time to peruse the remains a fly’s body after you’ve sprayed it? The twisted legs, the shriveled wings, the lolling fly tongue… It’s pretty gruesome. As I said, I began to consider what plans this particular fly had harbored for itself before it met its unexpected death. Considering that this fly and I had shared space just 24 hours before, and I had had ample opportunity to observe the peculiarities of his ignoble race, I surmise that he might have imagined his new day going a little something like this. (From now on, the next voice you hear will be that of Felix McFly.)


Oooooweeee! And a zippeedoodah day to one and all! Ahhhh…buzz… The big orange thing is in that bigger blue thing. That means…buzz… it’s time to get off this bed of wood and commen…buzz…ce my plans for the day.

And what lovely plans they are!

There are two brown creatures with which I’ve bunked for the night. I dezzzzired to carry on conversation with them late into the evening, when the big white thing shows up, but they continually swatted at my prezzzence. I can take a hint. I know when I’m not wanted; so eleven hours later, I perched myself on this windowsill and began to hatch a formula for a new dawn. Ah yes! That’s what the big orange thing is called: The Sun! And it rises at dawn.

I digrezzzz.

And now that it is dawn, I shall greet it with a song. It is the same song that has been passed down from one McFly to the next, for millennia. And after I have sung, I shall follow the larger of the brown beasts to the smorgasbord that has been left for me in the other part of this enchanted realm. (Felix McFly rubs his hands together in delight, anticipating his next meal.)

Perhaps, if I can breach the invisible barrier that separates me from the wider world (the brown creatures slide it with such ease, and I confess that I am envious), I shall find some doodoo, land upon it and introduce fecal matter to all the surfaces of this magical realm, which I have been born into. Perhaps I shall find a mate and lay 150 eggs or so. I’ll have a new generation of McFlies to carry out the special duties of out family. 

But first, I must penetrate this gossamer veil. Try as I might, I have not been able to liberate myself from this billowy barrier for what feels like an eternity. Buzz…sigh…buuuzzzz…

Ah! That’s it! I shall sing a liberation song! Nothing gets the attention of your captors like the cry of one’s heart. Ahem! Mimimimi




Yes. Yes! It’s working! The gossamer veil is lifting! Now, simply to spread my wings and…


Gah! What’s this? Cough…buzz…cough…  

Am I…am I dying? Ain’t this some $*&! – and not the good kind either. Who is my attacker?!

It’s the smaller of the brown beasts. But how could she? I spoke with her for hours, pouring out the secrets of my heart, directly in her ear. I even sat in her hair for a time. You can’t get more intimate than that! I hate her. I ‘ll hate her forever…that raggedy big, brown….buzzzzz….


A twinge of guilt overtook me as I considered these things; as its little fly body contorted and eventually ceased moving. And then I got up and made myself a cup of coffee.

I frikkin’ hate flies.