I love where I live. We have four seasons, big trees, enormous green biomass, plenty of surface water… all the features that make me feel safe and happy. I can deal with the ice storms and power outages (all hail the wood stove). I don’t mind having to get after the yard for months on end. For me, the pollen rotation is bearable, but there is one characteristic that I positively loathe about life in the Maryland countryside, and my neighbors are partly to blame.
I’ve had the same neighbors (or their kin) for decades. They are mostly quiet and family-oriented; they keep to themselves. Their favorite pastime is to loaf in the shade, though the kids often get together for play dates. I wouldn’t want any other neighbors, but being bovine neighbors, they tend to POOP in the FIELD and this draws FLIES by the SWARM.
I cannot abide house flies. Hate them with an irrational passion and will turn up violent in my efforts to keep them from my domicile. A house fly lands on me and I am rage personified. I, who can be philosophical about a mosquito needing protein to reproduce, who have been bitten by both European hornets and a brown recluse spider (in the same summer), don’t lose my buttons nearly as quickly over those bugs as I do over house flies. I’m not phobic about a flies–my reaction isn’t fear-based–I HATE them.
Flies are dirty, I know that, but it’s the feel of them I can’t stand. The little buzzing sound, the random flight patterns. My brain knows they are just going along trying to have a decent little fly-life, and that civilization would stop without the work that flies do, but my heart is determined to win the battle of the house fly at all costs. I know all the tricks–fans, light off, repellents, sprays, candles, colors, AC if your carbon-conscience can go there–and still they invade my space.
And wouldn’t you know it, one of the effects of the pandemic supply chain disruption for me has been a scarcity of the little cans of room-bomb (I did stumble upon a stash at Target). These are environmental anathema to me, but a sure fire last resort in knocking back the fly population. That they have become a little scarce upsets me inordinately.
There will one day be a character in my books who hates flies, and you will know why I have afflicted him thus. Authors are supposed to give characters quirks, because quirks lead to interesting backstory, and in this case, the backstory stops here. I think the War on Flies has special weight for me now because it has brought the reality of the pandemic closer to me. I did OK without milk, I conserved TP well enough, I have been masking up since mid-April no problem, but to be without my fly-killing bazooka of last resort… it maketh my blood to boil.
Are current events pushing any special buttons with you? Has the pandemic found or exposed any buttons you didn’t know you had? Keep it civil (cussing is OK, though), and I will send a signed copy of Too Scot To Handle (on ebook discount for $3.99 this month) to two readers.