Monday, June 18, 2012


Although Flickr has entered a sucksome phase, new-and-improving itself into suckicity, I uploaded pictures of flies today.

Fly Portraits (which didn't work as a set in my Flickr gallery because of a lack of instructions for the new-and-improved suckicity) was inspired by Pete McArdle's cover story for the Piker Press this week, "Shoo Fly." I love Pete. He's so warped that my own weird penchants seem mild by comparison.

I don't know why flies are funny. I remember being about giggled to death over Gary Hockenberry's capture of a fly in seventh or eighth grade; he pulled one wing off (not the capital crime it is nowadays) and named the fly "Charley the Diving Fly" because he'd allow the fly to climb up his fingers and then take off, only to land abruptly on the floor by Gary's desk. I think Charley lasted through two classes, both American History and Math.

And of course there was my mother's take on faith formation during the Canon during Mass at church when I was young and impressionable: a fly landed on the pages of our hymnal, and she snapped the book shut on the insect with a loud retort, squishing it between the pages, her facial expression unmoved like a deadpan statue of an Aztec bystander. Did the priest notice the sound, or the tears of hilarity that poured down my face in lieu of laughter? I never knew.

Leap forward thirty years, and imagine with me the flies of Manteca, California, where we lived for eleven years. I swear to you, and don't even care if you believe it, the flies in that area would land in front of you, and do this really rude hoocha-hoocha thing with their legs, rising and falling in a dance that never failed to enrage my emotions. Why did they make me so angry? Why did they dance like that when the flies we have here in Ripon, only six miles south, do not?

I had as much fun photographing flies on the back patio as I did snapping pics of "Things on the back of trucks."

Yes. I am easily amused at times.


Lydia Manx said...

Love it. I worked down at Palomar Airport when it was little more than a stop for celebs avoiding 'real' face time and farmers of legal and illegal varieties. The airport was a mecca for flies. I practiced with newspapers. Enough said or someone will try to charge me on cruelty to insects.

Aser said...

I killed seventy flies in my office in Manteca one morning before I started work back in ... 1990? I can't remember if my secretary topped my score or not, but we had to sweep the floor before we allowed people in.