But, no worries. We have fly strips, fly traps and fly bait. And, best yet, we have good old-fashioned fly swatters and people who know how to use them. Five-year-old Gabe has gotten to be an expert, and the preteen girls are old hands at it. Along with our half-dozen, new-fangled, flimsy plastic swatters, we have an Amish-made leather one that's lasted ten years (pictured left), but, lacking any one of those, we have a couple big boys who pride themselves on being able to catch flies in their bare hands. Their Dad, the fly-swatting king of the universe, is a grand example of duty and satisfaction in the job, and arriving home on summer afternoons, heads straight for the swatters, chooses one like a surgeon selects and instrument, and gets right to work. It's a never-ending job, but the Davises are on top of it. We make the NCIS team look like amateurs.
In addition to deploying our fly assassins, we've learned to take preventive measures against stealth fly penetrations. There are saboteurs underfoot at all times; for every fly swatted, a toddler lets in three more. We have learned, therefore, to never leave food uncovered. The fact that we've accepted their inevitability does not mean that we don't take every measure possible to keep icky fly feet from tracking their icky fly germs across the lips of our cups, for instance. Some of us are practically obsessive about it. We went to a formal indoor event a few years ago where our children, to the confusion of the other guests and their mother's embarassment, automaticall covered their drinking glasses with their napkins. It's a conditioned response, and probably a good one, I guess. When we're home we carry little scraps of paper or tupperware lids with us wherever we go to protect our drinks against any incoming invaders. Sometimes we get fancy and make little lids like this one -- made with a scrap of fabric sent from Mighty Mom, crocheted to a circle cut out of a Cool Whip lid. (Did you recognize that, MM?)
Our forefathers and foremothers, the ones who swatted the original fly population out here at the farm, fought the same battles we do now, but with an elegant practicality that was lost when it became shameful to admit one had flies in one's house. They crocheted lovely, bead-weighted doilies (like the one pictured there on the left) to cover their mint juleps, they kept in their pantries elegant screened domes to cover plates and platters, and, if they were "of means" they constructed large fans over their dining tables, which were manipulated by servants to shoo flies away.
You thought these were meant to fan the brows of dining victorian aristocrat, didn't you? Ha. Not on your life. We country folks know better; they were to shoo away flies, no doubt about it.
But, enough about the nasty little pests -- on this Wordy Wednesday. I guess I ought to move on to something more edifying, or I'll lose any readers who have stuck with me this far.
And, like ze French say, Une bouche fermée n'attrape aucune mouche.*
In the following song, we substitute "Eastern Colora-a-do" for "North Ontario-io"):