Does Size Matter?

My intelligence officer frantically bursts through my plastic door, salutes with the wrong hand and reports to me in broken sentences and insufficient oxygen-intake THE terrible crisis which has befallen us:

Highly General! We’ve been hit by a surprise attack that is of the scale and deadly precision of… yes… Dec. 7th, 1941… “A date which will live in INFAMY!

Stunned and not sure whether I left the refrigerator door open this morning or not, and whether I remembered to apply my under-arm deodorant, I asked my IO Alright, so how bad is it? What’s the damage report?”

Sir of Highlyness, the reports are still preliminary, but all sectors are fighting gallantly in all directions! But there is just TOO MANY of them. We are being overrun!

I scramble to find somewhere on my big desk in front of my BIG chair underneath all my “kinky surveillance photos” and questionable magazines, Where is that file? I know it’s here somewhere!” Shuffle, shuffle, push, push… HAH! There it is!” My IO with the utmost attentiveness of a feline inside a pet-bird store snaps WHAT!? What is it your Highlyness!?”

I open up the top-secret file labelled “Top Secret” to read valuable national security data for kitchens:

If you have been seeing small flies or gnats in your kitchen, they’re probably fruit flies. Fruit flies can be a problem year round, but are especially common during late summer/fall because they are attracted to ripened or fermenting fruits and vegetables.

There it is. The Coup d’état of preemptive covert preparations in early to mid-April. Yes, APRIL! What good does that do us in June under piles of kinky photos and unconventional magazine… research!? The extensive report continues:

Adults are about 1/8 inch long and usually have red eyes. The front portion of the body is tan and the rear portion is black. Fruit flies lay their eggs near the surface of fermenting foods or other moist, organic materials. Upon emerging, the tiny larvae continue to feed near the surface of the fermenting mass. This surface-feeding characteristic of the larvae is significant in that damaged or over-ripened portions of fruits and vegetables can be cut away without having to discard the remainder for fear of retaining any developing larvae. The reproductive potential of fruit flies is enormous; given the opportunity, they will lay about 500 eggs. The entire life-cycle from egg to adult can be completed in about a week. 

Obviously I cannot confirm the red eyes because the little f*ckers never stay still, especially when I try to look up close directly at their eyes! Tan bodies? What!? Are they migrating here from Caribbean beaches of UV-coconut lotion? Wow, what a life!

Eggs on fermenting foods or organic materials? That is unequivocally wrong! I have nothing fermenting within my zone-of-defense and most grocers don’t sell anything organic, at least not at reasonable prices! Damn, these little pecker-pests have figured out another method of infiltration and penetration! And I am NOT talking about Karen McDougal or Stormy Daniels. HOLY SHIT! 500 eggs!? The entire life-cycle from egg to adult can be completed in about [30-seconds].” Well, at least that’s much much longer than Donnie T’s endurance.

As I am reading this Top Secret file I have three enemy flies/gnats buzz me. One tries entry into my nostril the other tries my ear like my skull is the Death Star and they have delusions of Luke Skywalker grandeur! OH HELL NO!” I’m swatting my hands everywhere like M.C. Hammer on steroids firing laser-machine-guns! BAAM! BOOM! gnatty-ness carnage everywhere!

But within minutes there’s another wave of horny-for-500-more fruity flies flying to my kitchen and to every orifice on my body… I presume because I do not have enough organic produce! Hence, I am the fruiter’s target. I must read the rest of the Top Secret fruit-fly files FAST… EEER!

ERADICATION – or Counter-attacks:
Once a structure is infested with fruit flies, all potential breeding areas must be located and eliminated. Unless the breeding sites are removed or cleaned, the problem will continue no matter how often insecticides are applied to control the adults. Finding the source(s) of attraction and breeding can be very challenging and often will require much thought and persistence. Potential breeding sites which are inaccessible (e.g., garbage disposals and drains) can be inspected by taping a clear plastic food storage bag over the opening overnight. If flies are breeding in these areas, the adults will emerge and be caught in the bag.

Are you fuckin’ kidding me? I have to find areas with 500 eggs? And we thought Easter was fun!?

I scream at my IO, Corporal Klinger! It is time to call-in SEAL Team D-O. We have no choice, no hope of clean orifices if we do not call-in the Specialized DO-ers.”

Cpl Klinger

Cpl. Klinger, Intelligence Officer

Cpl. Klinger stares forward and stares forward… KLINGER!” He jumps to attention, SIR!?” I give him the piercing reprimand-stare, This is no time for daydream believers and homecoming Queens! Make the call!” He salutes proudly, “Yes sir. Right away sir! I’m sure the Black-Ops of Drain-O squad will see to it that Operation Orifice is a resounding success!”

“Well, it better be or we will become the 30-second breeding ground of eggs-galore! Can you imagine being violated like that in 30-seconds?” Both of us pause a few seconds and remember the long, long history of patriarchal plunder. Cpl. Klinger begins to open his mouth to respond. STOP! Do not answer that.”

“Right now we have a formidable fruit-fly foray requiring our finest feats of ferocity! Are you fit for this forthcoming fatal function of fracas fruit-fly…” I must pause to wipe my lip and chin… FARNAGE! the Cpl. blurts out! You are indeed my fashionable Intelligence Officer. Go call SEAL team DO-ers!”

The Battle-Smoke Slowly Clears, the Smell of Apple Vinegar Lingers with Fly-Bodies Floating Lifeless Everywhere

💀  💀  💀  💀  💀

It was near disaster. There were so many. They just kept coming and coming and coming. Three bottles of apple-cider vinegar (squirted with Dawn dishsoap) gone, strategically dispersed throughout our fortress defenses, precision counter-attacks by the SEAL DO-ers, and orifices brilliantly booby-trapped… the war had been won, but at what cost? Would we be able to withstand the next attack? Unless we breed like our fruity enemy do we have a chance? Yes, we were victors, for now. Like the dinosaurs we are big and mighty, for now. But can we last?

Do numbers matter? Scary still, does size matter? We face an uncertain future with those levels of reproduction and libidos. I don’t think we hetero males will keep up. Have we been deluding ourselves over the millenia with dreams of superiority?


Live Well — Make Love Much More? — Laugh Often at our Arrogance — Learn Always from the Tiny Details

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A Familiar Date

glass-half-fullBe glad your nose is on your face,
not pasted on some other place,
for if it were where it is not,
you might dislike your nose a lot.

Imagine if your precious nose
were sandwiched in between your toes,
that clearly would not be a treat,
for you’d be forced to smell your feet.

Your nose would be a source of dread
were it attached atop your head,
it soon would drive you to despair,
forever tickled by your hair.

Within your ear, your nose would be
an absolute catastrophe,
for when you were obliged to sneeze,
your brain would rattle from the breeze.

Your nose, instead, through thick and thin,
remains between your eyes and chin,
not pasted on some other place–
be glad your nose is on your face!

“Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face” by Jack Prelutsky

Reflection.  Today is a day not so ordinary for me.  Today I find myself in silent reflection over a collage of memories spanning five decades.  Ugh, I said it.  A jagged horse-pill in some ways, but in others a medal of honor.  A question I sometimes ask myself is this, “Would you change anything?”  Before marriage, having children, and then going through a painful divorce, my youthful perfectionist side would answer abso-frickin-lutely!

Yet, as I reminisce there are so many things I would not change.  And upon this realization, I sit….quietly and peacefully, and honestly a wee-bit uncomfortably.  It is such a strange bag of life I’ve collected filled with (but not full) a plethora of emotions.  I am finding on this familiar date that as I reach inside to pick what I want to keep, I honestly do not want to discard anything, no matter how painful the memory might be.  Why is that?  Does that make me masochistic?   Why would I want to make my bag “heavier”?  And then it hits me.

My father, as much as he was a mentally tough ex-marine perfectionist, one day taught me in his own imperfect way a painfully invaluable life lesson.  I believe I was eleven or twelve years old.  I was mowing, trimming hedges, and edging our neighbor’s yard while they were away.  I was using their lawn equipment because if I had used our lawn equipment, Dad was going to charge me a rental-fee.  The edger my neighbors owned was the single-cylinder side-mounted blade on two wheels you would carefully guide between the concrete and the edge of the grass.  I had never used one of these machines.  When I finished edging the entire yard, I looked around the machine for the power-switch.  Nothing.  Not any sort of button or lever that even resembled a power-switch.  Placing the still running machine in a safe position, I went to get Dad for help.

When we returned to the running edger, he pointed to and explained that the L-shaped metal lever next to the exposed spark-plug cut the electrical circuit running through the engine.  He told me push and hold the lever onto the spark-plug and the engine will simply die.  Wow!  Easy enough, so I reached down put my finger on the metal lever, pushed it onto the spark-plug….and WHAM!  The most violent electrical shock I had ever experienced in my life!  My arms were shaking and trying to seize up.  In utter astonishment I looked up at my Dad wondering…what did I do wrong?  He told me again, push the metal lever onto the spark-plug and hold it there until the engine dies.  I think to myself I haven’t corrected anything I did before.  But out of total trust and obedience for my father, I pushed it down again….longer this time to try and kill that engine!  WHAM but now for 3-4 more violent seconds!  In tears I look up again at my Dad, shocked that his instructions were not working and more shocked that he was repeating the same instructions….”Turn it off” he said.  Again, I tried and again the same result but for a second or two longer.  I am now bawling.  My hands and arms are quivering on the verge of seizure.  I am scared shitless and I want the pain to just go away.

Calmly and compassionately my father finally changed his instruction and pointed to my other hand, “Do you see where your other hand is? See what it is holding?”  Through my tear-drenched eyes I looked over and noticed I was holding the metal part of the handle bars.  I was completing the circuit from my hand, to the lever, through the spark-plug, through the mounted engine, through those handle bars, into my other hand and into my body.  “Move your hand onto the plastic” he said “and then cut the engine off.”  It stopped almost immediately.

For the next hour or so I hated my father.  I wanted to pound on him in anger.  But with each passing year and each passing decade, I understand more and more how unimaginably valuable that very painful lesson was for me.  It was painful not only in respecting the lethal power of electricity, but perhaps more importantly for making me realize that painful lessons have their merit too.  As I reflect back on this familiar day all the beautiful memories I’ve been gifted to experience, I can be equally grateful for the painful lessons and memories — in their weird strange ways they make my cup half full, never half empty.  After everything I’ve experienced and everywhere I’ve been these last five decades, I am quite certain that my life could be so much worse.  I am grateful for what it has brought me and what is still to come.

I love you and miss you Dad. Thank you.

(paragraph separation)

Live Laugh Love

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