20080610: hoovering flies

Part of this evening was spent in the defence of our kitchen, having been threatened with an invasion of tiny ‘smaller than mosquito’ flies/bugs/midges.  After unwisely leaving the fluorescent lights on and the window open with the gauze screen cover closed, allowing in the outside air, but attracting hundreds of interested spectators, straining at the fences like Beatles fans at the Hollywood Bowl.  Action was required, and Chuck Norris was unavailable.  I simply had to shut the windows, which would involve sliding one half-window to the left. This would in turn trap the midges between screen and window, but I would deal with that when the time came.  In the manner of elite sporting heroes, I visualised opening the right-hand half-window for the split second necessary to be able to push the left-hand half back to slide back into its closed position and therefore shut out the remainder of the alien hordes.  My handiwork was impressive.  In the time taken for this nifty operation, a mere 150 fly-ettes entered and were attracted to the pristine painted plaster to the right of the stove. Perhaps they made a bee line for it.

This affront to property rights was too much.  My honour and personal space must be defended.  I challenged them to a duel, respecting most of the rules, apart from that minor subsection that states that in terms of being equipped with a weapon, both parties should be of equal status.  My chosen instrument of death was the hoover. This was promptly fetched and, after 10 paces, I plugged in, took aim and with a cry of ‘touche!’ I sucked the first of the posse into a dusty passage to a dizzy, whirring, spinning demise, which may at least inspire one of the great insect film directors to make a staggering horror scene.  Instead of ‘Volcano,’ ‘Airport,’ or ‘Towering Inferno,’ the great blockbuster in the buzz-ins next summer could be ‘Suction Tube of Death,’ or ‘Plastic Pipe of Doom,’ ‘Just when you thought it was safe to head towards the kitchen lights…,’ ‘Janet, don’t worry, it’s only a window. There are hundreds of other bugs there. It’ll be just fine. Don’t listen to those scare stories. Besides, it’ll be a whole lot of fun, cruising the screen and we can have a flutter around the kitchen. My brother’s been teaching me the loop-the-loop.’ ‘But Jimmy, I don’t like it. Mom says the bright lights are addictive. Everyone says they’re harmless fun, and they can deal with them, but then they just can’t resist them.’ ‘Aw Janet, don’t be such a larva!  It’s just for fun, and we’ll be back home in no time.’ ‘Oh, I suppose, just this once…’

We know what happens in the end, after scenes of infectious partying happiness, a group of daredevils go too far, getting through the hole in the screen, ‘last one through’s a coward!’, and then, after the dazzling abundance of new surfaces to explore, and great grease stains to low-fly over, and a couple of stunt flying tricks, a strange whirring noise makes their thousands of eyes look left and right in a slightly worried way, accompanied by quietly eerie and/or unnerving music.  Their concern is turned up to 11 as Brian seems to have disappeared from the giant virgin expanse of white plastered wall the swarm was perched on, feeling adventurous and rather  pleased with themselves.  ‘I didn’t see him go back through the screeeee…,’ goes the next, as the hoover tube approaches and applies its pan-galactic strength tractor beam.  The second victim’s immediate neighbour is the next to lack the time to announce, ‘we have lift off,’  although some towards the edges of the wall are mumbling, ‘Huston, we have a problem,’ and, ‘Maybe staying in tonight and doing some cursor tracking on a computer screen would have been better tonight,’ ‘Perhaps if I stay still, it won’t notice me,’ and, ‘I can just hear Janet’s Mom saying, “I told you so, but those young’uns never listen,”‘.  Soon, the group of bugs are taking part in a community performance of, “CERN particle accelerator,” in which the part of ‘Scientist’ and ‘Lab technician’ are already cast.  The last words of one of the participants are, ‘So this is almost what bungee jumping is like…’  The director cuts to a group of three bugs, trembling, hidden in a spot just behind the gas pipe, from where they can see their friends being launched upwards in a gruesome, Logan’s Run style entertainment.  In an affectionate tribute to Bambi, one of three midges is cracking up, eventually screaming, ‘It’s going to get us all!!! We’re going to die!’ whilst the two invertebrate friends with some sort of backbone try to calm their colleague, ‘Just stay still and we’ve got a good chance…’  With a terrified, ‘I can’t take it any more!!’ the be-looned midge springs up, breaking cover, instantly attracting the mobile black hole which has been bereaving hundreds of flies, watching from outside the now closed kitchen window.  The panic stricken bug is rapidly out of its misery in a whirlpool of tragic effeciency, not knowing that hide-out of the two remaining six-legged aeronauts has now been tagged on the attacker’s mental Google Earth screen, and they are being inexorably zoomed in at…  [Close up of the whites of many many eyes and twelve trembling legs. An image of a gigantic pipe is reflected in the eyes…] Javier Bardem is to wield the deadly weapon, almost reprising his role, in ‘No Country for Old M… [that’s enough. Ed.]