Friday 30 September 2016

More than one fly in this summer's soup

LAY OF THE LAND

Fiona O'Connell

Published 19/07/2015 | 02:30

The tepid temperatures means everyone in this country town is enjoying a break from their stove - and at least there is no need to keep on top of loading up with logs when relaxing at home
The tepid temperatures means everyone in this country town is enjoying a break from their stove - and at least there is no need to keep on top of loading up with logs when relaxing at home

There hasn't been much sunshine so far this month, but at least the tepid temperatures means everyone in this country town is enjoying a break from their stove. No need to keep on top of kindling, load up with logs, or to end up fuming when the shops are closed by the time you discover that you're out of firelighters.

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So there's humidity, if no heatwave. Which may lie behind the sudden infestation of black flies that yours truly has been floored by over the past weeks.

Forget that joke, where a diner in a restaurant complains about a fly in his soup. Because we're not talking one fiendish Hans Solo here, but swarms of these irritating insects.

I can't figure out how they're getting in. Living on a river means there is an abundance of bugs just beyond my four walls. But a net over an open window has proven a fairly successful form of pest control - until now.

The beasties are everywhere. Even - quite literally - on television. Even the most thrilling, romantic film is flipped into farce by their inevitable cameo appearance - usually crawling across the hero's nose right at the climax.

Which highlights the fact that one of the worst things about houseflies is how annoying they are. At least most spiders won't bother you for long. Indeed, you can sense the mutual revulsion when they spot you, freezing all eight awful legs before scuttling as far away as possible at the first opportunity.

Flies however are like over-friendly tourists who just won't stop pestering you. They refuse to follow what is surely their own advice and buzz off.

As you soon find out, if you are deluded enough to think they will fly out the door once you kindly hold it open for them.

Instead, like the title of that Clint Eastwood movie, most flies choose to buzz every which way but loose, rather than exiting stage left to life and liberty. And this leaves you standing there like a doorman as an inch-high housefly flagrantly flouts your courtesy. Instead they choose to repeatedly bash themselves against a window, all accompanied by the less than serene soundtrack of incessant vibrations.

Finally worn out, the foolish fly drops dead.

And in so doing, flies remind us of Albert Einstein's definition: that insanity consisting of doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. Because much as we may hate to acknowledge that we have anything in common with houseflies, don't most of us occasionally persist in battering in vain against an obstacle, growing increasingly frustrated, yet refusing to give in?

Whereas if we calmed down and looked around, we might notice a way out of our worries is right under our nose.

No flies on those who have learnt that lesson.

Sunday Independent

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