To Kill a Fruit Fly

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Few things quietly and unconsciously drive me to act in a bizarre spaced-out state the way that fruit flies do.


In my apartment the fruit fly’s evil happens to be necessary. Necessary not because I need the brainless flying dot-puzzle rejects, but because I grow plants to make the apartment look and feel and smell more like a place that a human should like to live in —— and those awful, tiny specks of relentless idiocy, whirring about without aim or purpose like a fish duct-taped to a bottle rocket are my curse for wanting a hospitable place.


Unfortunately, they’re nearly impossible to ignore, and yet to acknowledge their presence you find yourself clapping them into smears and dust, or setting apple cider vinegar traps —— but that’s never enough. No. You see, if you have an engineering kind of mind —— which my brother and father do, and so somewhere in the detritus of my head I have a bit of that too —— you might buy a few fly strips, and then a few more, and then you might be inclined to Google the shit out of any term relating to the swift massacre of those winged shits, and you might find that people can make fly paper out of a few ingredients that cost pennies.


This is bad. Now, you think, why am I paying so much to kill these inbred buggers? And then a retrospectively embarrassing period of failure and shame spiraling anger ensues —— and all of it, the entire time, has no speck of use in your life. But regardless, you waste your time anyway.


But what would I do without these flies? Would I get more done? Not likely, that’s just my nature. I need to kill things every once in a while, and the fruit fly is the perfect substitute for something larger, like a squirrel or a mountain.


You might spend half an evening drinking PBR and pretending that your life is not as pointless as a fruit fly’s. You might smile stupidly while you wait for a solution of sugar and water to boil on the stovetop while you dream of the final moments of hundreds of red-eyed little bastards stuck helplessly to a late night alcohol-induced science project engineered by what they think is a giant human mutt with a brain at least twice their size (and likely more).


You do all this when you should be focusing on work, actual work, that improves your life or others’ lives, but you don’t. You’re under invasion and you have to charge at them with as many cylinders rupturing as possible. But is it ethical?


It definitely is if you look at the situation with the right kind of eye. Take their civilization for instance. It’s not very impressive. Of note, there has never been and never will be a philosopher fruit fly. No winged Orwells or Joyces or Seth MacFarlanes. They’re simply too fucking dumb. They’ve never had a poet like Baudelaire, or a fly who drafted intelligent designs like Leonardo da Vinci’s, or wrote satire like Jonathan Swift. They can’t fire a shotgun. They don’t know how to Tweet properly, and they don’t know how to kiss a girl on the back of her neck while under sheet covers.



Carnivorous pitcher plant.

They think the moon is a god and that rain is violent and the only time you’ll see a fruit fly drink anything alcoholic it will get hammered and die like some wilted pansy everyone ignores. The fruit fly has no taste in art or sport or film. No interest in grungy country hick-pop like Deer Tick, or wavering cacophonies like the music of Tom Waits… and they certainly do not in their populations have Bieber-esque little boys that their older female flies want to wrap up in a bow-tie and properly violate while Twilight plays in repeat in the background. But the worst fact about the fruit fly may just be that they do not have an oddly (but not so odd when you think about it) popular book about bondage and submissive sex like 50 Shades of Grey that all but acknowledges the axiom that women are as sexually perverse as men (probably more, which I totally advocate) and that women certainly get a lot of pleasure out of reading about things like lying down for a fine iced lemonade and light spank session on a warm sunny morning (haven’t read the book, just assuming what happened) or a good wholesome tie-your-lover’s-hands-to-her-calves-and-ankles-and-see-what-happens fest. You know. Sex.


Fruit flies suck at it. Women, on the other hand, seem to know a little bit about it, but likely much more than they let on (even when they’re letting on (they might possibly be a little less vocal than men when feeling the urge to use a fine red oak dining table for something other than dining, or see that a stiff fly swatter actually has a few other uses… which is all the more reason for men to think about what’s possible and fun, because if sex should be anything it should be hilarious and fun and make you look like you’re having a mild seizure with a whole lot of dumb thrown on your face)).


Note: I’m straight. For not straights, substitute “women” with “men” or “transsexuals” where appropriate, but to save some space so the Internet doesn’t get clogged, I’ll simply write derivatives of “women,” but not “womyn”. That just looks stupid.


So, how to put fruit flies out of their pointless existence? Supposedly, if you try to make your own fly-paper, you mix a one-to-one sugar/water solution and boil it and throw in some honey because why not? Honey tastes good. Have some mercy for the tiny douche-bags. Let them have a final nosh while their little hearts dry up. This country after all was founded on the ethical treatment of everything living —— as evidenced by our society —— so you might as well be a little nice to the bastards. But not when they’re mating.


Note: it is not pleasant to imagine anything sexual involving fruit flies. Trust me.


They look stupid when they enact their evil coitus on your windowsills in the morning. And for whatever reason, they only seem to do their scum spreading in the morning. Normally, I advocate for morning sex without hesitation (substitute “sex” with “spanking” or “silly-humping” as appropriate). In this case, though, I’m flummoxed. I simply cannot bring myself to be okay with the fruit fly banging on my windowsill, particularly if I have not done anything of the same nature that morning. So, I squish the paired flies and rub their dead bodies on a towel I save just for them, which I hang on a cabinet as a warning against their douche-baggery and as a symbol of their impending violent death.


All this makes sense when you get distracted enough not to think about it.


After boiling the sugar/water solution so that it’s thickened a little you can dip the paper bag strips and hang those on a tree branch you can find outside in the parking lot of your apartment building because you don’t have anything else to hang the damn things on, and then you can wake in the morning to find that you had wasted your goddamn time because the strips aren’t sticky at all. So you throw the failed strips out before someone sees them and can make an obvious observation about you. Your ADD has progressed to an impressive state. Your obsessions are odd. And, you can’t logically explain why.


You come to find fruit flies are a kind of exercise, a regimen of focused albeit minute destruction of living creatures. It’s even lamer than it sounds. The fruit fly is a pathetic, genetically haggard insect that should only serve one purpose: to help scientists do science, and then die.


The fruit fly, unlike people, does not criticize intellectualism, or disregard science, a criticism based in the fear and hatred of smartness which is absurd and horrifying. It really is. People don’t like that our politicians have advanced degrees. Fruit flies don’t fly that low.


Now, you may ask yourself: aren’t these flying crackheads a necessary part of a biological system? A legitimate question…. However, the answer is no. They have about as much worth in them as a doctoral thesis ghostwritten by Paris Hilton on a Robo-trip.


Now, when I should help out the fantastic Ms. Bloom with reformatting web stuff for this website I often choose instead to kill these little fuckers, which is astonishingly easy. But the satisfaction wears thin quickly.


A light press of the finger will usually do it. But then it’s over and you say something like, “Well, four thousand to go. How the hell do I make this fun?” You try to embrace the over-exaggerated violence of the whole thing and use a fly swatter or a dictionary. Doesn’t really work. And if you use a fly swatter, they can sometimes slip through nearly or completely unscathed. What you can do is encourage spiders to take up space around your plants, and buy a carnivorous pitcher plant, which I did and in its first day in the apartment it drowned nearly three dozen of the small bastards.


But still, all of this is a waste of time. When I could be informing myself about the election campaigns or history in general, I’m wasting my time on these shitty little Nazi-worshiping ugly-ass-zombies. I could spend more time watching Amy Goodman, or reading parts of the health care proposals the candidates have put forward (or have put in place in Obama’s case).


Is any of the obsession legitimate? Probably not. Because not even Jesus would respect these fuckers. Though I think the Dalai Lama would, and that bothers me.


But what would I do without these flies? Would I get more done? Not likely, that’s just my nature. I need to kill things every once in a while, and the fruit fly is the perfect substitute for something larger, like a squirrel or a mountain. God help me, if there is anything running this universe, if I ever let my fruit fly obsession keep me from friends and whiskey and beer and events that combine all three of those in dizzying proportions because then I will truly be lost and will have wasted my abilities and failed those smart polymaths in the Enlightenment who felt everyone should live to the fullest of their capabilities.


I would have noted that the polymaths who founded this country, including Jefferson, believed that we all had a basic responsibility to be smarter, and that states should help us with that, but you’ll never hear a fruit fly suggest anything like that.


And yet, the fruit fly does not seem to exhibit any extremism, either, other than its inherent wretched looks. The fruit fly, unlike people, does not criticize intellectualism, or disregard science, a criticism based in the fear and hatred of smartness which is absurd and horrifying. It really is. People don’t like that our politicians have advanced degrees. Fruit flies don’t fly that low. And though you can bet your ass there aren’t any philosopher fruit flies, they still regard each other with their own kind of civility, and they don’t really hurt anything or anyone. They just eat rotting stuff.


They’re little whorish zombies on autopilot. Miniature reminders of cataclysmic emotional nightmares like hearing someone you’re hot on say they’re into a sexy celeb that makes you look like a used sock in a forgotten gym hamper… but they don’t rape or murder or steal or swear much or smoke cigarettes or make racist comments (except against deer ticks) or do many of the terrible things that people do with dizzying frequency. So, now I’m feeling a bit ambivalent about decimating a small population of flies. I mean, I’m still going to slaughter a whole bunch of them, but now I feel a little bit bad about it.

by & filed under Local, Musings, Science, Earth & Stars, Top Stories.