Ah, the joys of domestic life.
I live in a dilapidated little farmhouse, almost a hundred years old. It’s summertime and there are no screens on the windows, just panes of glass wrapped in crooked old slabs of wood. There’s no air conditioning, so the windows are open from the time we get up until we go to bed.
You know what that means. Flies.
Beloved hates flies. He hates bugs of any sort indoors, but flies seem to be the bane of his existence.
I don’t like them, but I really hate those sticky gross flypaper strips you hang up to catch them so that you can proudly display their rotting corpses until there’s no room left and you have to try and pull it down without touching any rotting insect bodies.
But. I also hate trying to have a conversation with my boy and trying not to crack up every two minutes when he has an OMIGOD FLY BY MY EAR seizure. So ok fine, we can hang up the stupid fly strips.
Since he’s nearly six feet tall and I’m a runt, it’s beloved’s job to hang them up. Cool, except that the flies must have had an orgy recently and all the girly flies were fertile. There’s been a population explosion around here overnight. And since beloved is dead to the world till mid-afternoon and hasn’t gotten the strips up yet, I get to try to hang one of the corpse strips in the mudroom if I want to be able to walk through there without being accosted by a horde of insects. They come with thumbtacks on the end, so it should be a simple matter of sticking it in the ceiling and going back to not being an evil fly-trapping killer.
Ok, except that I can just barely reach the ceiling in there, and it’s made out of old wooden beadboard, not the smooshy paper stuff that’s in the rest of the house, so it’s really hard to poke the thing in with my scrawny little fingers.
I’m a wimp. What can I say.
So I finally get the sticky paper thumbtack stuck in the ceiling and am feeling quite proud of myself. I’m about to walk away when it falls. It’s a slow-motion thing, spiraling down toward the litter box, and in the millisecond that I have to react, I’m trying to decide which is worse: litter-covered flypaper strip, or trying to catch the dumb thing. Of course, I’m a little slow, so before I can decide it lands on the edge of the box.
[insert string of bad words]
Ok, but the litter is clean and it’s just on the edge, so I pick it up and try again. I stick it in the same hole the tack made before and of course it falls again.
Genius that I am, I try to catch it this time.
Those bitches are STICKY. Good god. And somehow, this thing transformed itself from simple sticky paper strip into some kind of homicidal paper boa constrictor.
It wrapped itself around my arm and would. not. let. go. I wrestled with it for a few seconds, cussed a little bit, and it finally let go of me.
And went right after my other arm.
By now, I’m pissed. I’m not going to be like Steve Irwin and get taken out by a lame-ass nemesis like a sting ray or a flypaper anaconda. I grab it by its stupid little thumbtack head and yank.
Ha. I am the victor. I carry its still-alive but defeated body into the kitchen and grab a bar stool, wrestle them both back into the mudroom and somehow manage to get one knee up on the stool while keeping the flypaper at bay.
And the stool goes ka-thunk.
And the pissed off writer goes goddammit stupid crooked uneven floors, what the fuck, and gets down and moves the thing an inch to the left and an inch to the right until it’s semi stable.
And then I haul my pissed-off, cranky, afraid-of-heights self up onto the stool and pound the last bit of life out of the head of that maniacal strip of trying to eat my arm.
Bitch ain’t going ANYWHERE now.
To the sink, to wash the sticky off.
And wash. And wash. And wash.
What the hell is that stuff MADE of? I need to find out and when my kids are acting up, I can just brush a little onto their toes and hang them from the ceiling. They’ll be able to get down sometime about the time I’m ready to retire. [I’m KIDDING, ok? I’ll never be able to retire.]
If I can’t get this sticky shit off in the shower, I’m going to have to send beloved to the hardware store for turpentine or something.
He just got up. if I hear one single word about the flies in here, I’m turning the flypaper snakes loose on him.