Andrew's Blog


A City Boy Making His Way in the Country

I hate flies.

If you know me, you know I hate flies. If you also know me, you know I can find a redeeming quality for almost anything living; even spiders do something. They eat flies! But what do flies do? They live in rotting things, land on delicious foods and defecate all over them. As a good friend told me, they land on animal eyes and suck up the eye juice. There’s nothing cool or hip about that. Today, a llama was covered in flies. I almost threw up.

Once, I had a farm in Africa at the foot of the Ngong Hills. Well, that’s actually a lie, but Karen Blixen had one. And I’ve been to her house at the foot of the Ngong Hills. And I’ve lived in Africa. It is the one place on earth where I have encountered flies as bold as the pigeons in Trafalgar Square. I almost had a mental breakdown in Africa at the foot of the Ngong Hills. Picture this, Kenya, Spring 2000. I was visiting a Maasai village. The real deal too. No people dressed up for the odd tourist, draining cow blood every half-hour for the amusement of numerous Nikon cameras.

So in this village, after walking into a small hut and viewing life as it really is, we went outside. And it was their they attacked. Eyes, nose, and all uncovered orifices were under siege. Probably, only a few seconds before, these same flies were sucking up the eye juices of our kindly host and her family. I flipped. It was momentary. I gained my composure. But I saw my dark side my friends, the kind of place you go when sabotaging a co-worker or ignoring the restaurant bill when the waitress forgets to charge you for something major. It’s a relief I survived. And apparently, so have the flies.

If you’re outside one day, working in the garden, and hear a high pitched scream from out in the distance, it’s probably me. You may think it’s a coyote, or little girl. But no, it’s me. Running from the flies. Shooing them off the llamas, and spraying them with everything imaginable to end their, what I can only imagine are, miserable lives.

Help, however, is on the way. My fly predators are arriving soon. I started using them last year, my own little hoard of flying monkeys, and they are magical. So small, yet so powerful. The Mary Lou Retton of the barnyard. But we must wait until they arrive. I should have ordered an extra month of them. This no rain business hasn’t helped. Tomorrow, I’ll continue to fight the good fight. I will spray them, swat them, and if large enough, punch them in the face. And I don’t even care if I see Jeff Goldblum asking for help. You shouldn’t have been working with flies in the first place. Serves you ┬áright!

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