Saturday, June 20, 2009

He Wouldn't Harm a Fly

It must have been a slow news day for the president to create such a whoop-la-la by smacking a pesky fly. Especially when you consider the nasty little creatures carry life threatening diseases on all six of their dirty little feet. Spreading diseases isn’t enough for adult flies—they lay their eggs in places where the larvae can burrow into flesh and damage internal organs in unfortunate animals.

I wonder if the PETA guy that protested the president swatting a fly has ever been bitten by a horsefly. Well, I have and they hurt. Although the lowly fly causes pain and suffering for just about every other living animal, PETA is supplying the president with a special trap that will not harm the flies. The idea is to take the trapped flies outside and set them free.

All this concern about small creatures reminds me of an incident that happened when Jim was in the early stages of dementia. We were headed to town in Jim’s Nissan pickup. I was driving, and Jim sat beside me. We had just turned onto the blacktop when he began to pull against his seatbelt and leaned forward into his seat.

“No!” he shouted. “You’re killing them!”

For some unknown reason a mass of caterpillars were creeping across the blacktop. “No! No!” he shrieked. “You are running over the worms.”

“I can’t miss them,” I said. “They’re everywhere.”

Jim was really upset about the creepy crawlers, but I just ignored his protests. Why he was so upset, I really don’t know. It was just one more glitch in his thinking.

I can honestly say I cannot recall one time that I was deliberately cruel to any animal. I make it a habit to swiftly deal the fatal blow when necessary. Maybe it’s just me, but I have a tendency to kill flies, ticks, spiders, or any other critters I find in my house, or on my body. If PETA considers killing annoying, disease-carrying bugs mass murderer, then I plead guilty.

Oh, wait. No one really cares if I kill flies because I am not the President of the United States. Sometimes it pays to be an ordinary person instead of the rich or famous whose every indiscretion is caught by a watchful camera lens and published on You Tube.

I found a tip on the Internet that makes me think PETA may be on to something with that trap. Flies follow each other in their constant hunt for food. If you catch a few flies in the trap, their buzzing will attract more flies. Once the trap is full of flies, you can get rid of them.

Maybe you are the kind who couldn’t harm a fly and will set them free. Or you may be a person who plans to terminate those suckers and rid the world of disease carrying pests.
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