October 18, 2021
  • 9:43 pm Sammie Simpson Day at the Heritage Center
  • 9:38 pm Mules head into off week looking to regroup
  • 9:35 pm “In a ‘Deepfake’ World, Who Can We Trust?”
  • 9:33 pm Senior Center—Meeting the Needs
  • 9:31 pm MISD, Shelby’s Bridge partner to help students learn workforce skills

I confess.

I just committed three killings, and I enjoyed each one. Even as I write, I’m planning another. Maybe more. [Update: Yes, now four. Make that five.]

It’s barely 10:00 a.m. Murder and mayhem before lunch. And I’m still far short of Friday’s serial killing count: almost 100 shot and killed while I was grilling burgers.

When I stop to think about it, I have to admit that the creatures I delight in killing are as amazing as they are disgusting. Their design is utterly incredible, particularly considering the miniaturization involved. They walk, crawl, run, and loiter, equally at home whether they’re doing so right side up, upside down, or sideways. Most amazing of all, the little creatures fly.

Why, pray tell, if flies are called “flies,” are roaches not called “crawls”? I’ve long wondered. But I digress.

Yes, of course, I’m writing about the common fly. All too common. But amazing. Can you imagine the covert intelligence coup it would be if the CIA could create an artificial fly to use as a “bug”!?

I love the changing seasons, and, as I write, we’re enjoying the beginning of a really nice autumn (fall). Yesterday was one of the most beautiful days I’ve ever seen. Completely comfortable temperature. The closest thing to “no wind” that we ever see here. Remarkable! As my wife enjoyed a nice cigar, the smoke went—this is amazing in our country—almost directly up! (Some, maybe most, of the details in that last sentence have been changed to protect the guilty.)

The only problem: flies. And until we get our first freeze, they will be increasingly problematic as they sense their impending demise.

I don’t feel sorry for them. I despise them. I refuse to coexist with them in the same house or room. I will drop everything to kill one. Could I accomplish their complete destruction with one word of cursing, I would utter it.

If it worked, I’d try cursing and eliminating mosquitoes and grackles next. And, of course, I’d probably somehow foul up the ecosystem in the process. Maybe before I wiped out those

pests, I could submit an inquiry regarding potential consequences. Maybe at a climate change conference, they could take up the issue. Perhaps for a moment, gnats conducting meetings on the rear end of an elephant and regularly issuing solemn and grandiose statements about their plans to “save the elephant” could spare a little time. I doubt the elephant would notice.

You say that this is all excessive? Maybe so. Look at some magnified photos of a fly and try warming up to such a creature. Ramp up your research and do a little investigation of “Beelzebub, lord of the flies” and tell me you don’t see at least a hint of the demonic. Or just try preaching or singing with a kamikaze fly aiming at your throat. Then see if you don’t think that an exorcism or a mass killing is not in order. (I recommend a “Bug-a-Salt” gun. Look it up. Fine and fun killing machine.)

And here’s a fun fact for you from the University of Florida: “The potential reproductive capacity of flies is tremendous, but fortunately can never be realized. Scientists have calculated that a pair of flies beginning reproduction in April may be progenitors, under optimal conditions and if all were to live, of 191,010,000,000,000,000,000 flies by August.”

Swat away, my friends.

Make sure the grandkids close the door behind themselves.

Repeat after me: Suffer not a fly to live.

For my part, I intend to keep on preaching and singing the truly Good News (but with a flyswatter cocked and loaded nearby). God’s blessing of a fine fall will also soon bring a very excellent “killing” freeze, and we’ll have yet another reason to be thankful before Thanksgiving.

Curtis K. Shelburne, Columnist

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