I used to live less than half a mile from a rodeo arena and while, I’m sure, many of you outside of the state of Texas or maybe even outside of the United States might be thinking, “Neat, how amazingly Texan of you. That sounds like fun!”

No.

It is not.

Stop it.

As a result of our close proximity to the rodeo arena, my house periodically became infested with flies drawn in to the copious amounts of livestock and livestock poo. I’m not kidding, we had so many flies at certain times of the year that I half-way expect a retching priest to come running by on his way out the door.

There were hundreds of the little creatures and I was killing, I’m not kidding, at least thirty a day through various means like flyswatters, fly paper, and homemade fly traps. There were so many of them I found myself actually having to do dishes every day, take out the trash every day, and scoop my cat’s litter every day, just to deny them a breeding ground but somehow the buzzing little horrors continued to multiply. I was beginning to think there was a dead body hidden behind the walls.

The thing is, I know where they were coming from and it drove me crazy. It was the kids! They never closed doors. They just opened the door to the elements and every buzzing insect in all of creation and just stand there picking their noses as flies, mosquitoes, and raccoons just came on in like they owned the place. The fact that Summer was about to lapse into Autumn didn’t help as everyone knows that’s the time these pests are desperate to get indoors before the first freeze and the children were only too happy to oblige them.

You couldn’t reason with the kids either. You couldn’t explain to them that flies were getting in because they just opened the door and left it open when they went out to play. It didn’t register with them. They just sat there and listened to you with that blank look of pure childhood innocence that you just can’t get mad at. One of the girls actually told me, “I like flies” and I thought it was the cutest thing I ever heard until one of those disease-carrying kamikaze horseflies buzzed right into my face.

If these were normal flies, I wouldn’t even be that upset, but these are not normal flies. They were actually attacking me as I walked through the fly room (or, as we used to call it, the kitchen). They would fly down, hit you in the face, and then just swarm you. You swat at the air trying to get them to go away, and they just kept coming back. I’m not sure, but I’m almost certain that this is a form of interspecies sexual harassment.

My poor baby looked like one of those kids you see on charity TV commercials with all of the flies buzzing around her face. It made me mad, too. That’s my baby! So I declared all out war on these cursed insects. I not only killed them with swatters, fly tape, and helpful cats, I tortured them… I pulled their wings off and let them go as a warning to others (incidentally, when you pull the wings off a fly, I believe you have to call it a “walk”). I even learned a few Voodoo curses so that their little fly souls will shoot straight into the fires of hell and damnation… I know I don’t really believe in that kind of stuff, but I’m really hoping I’m wrong. I really want them to suffer. If I am wrong, I wasted a lot of pig entrails and virgin blood.

I’m only a few steps away from setting off some bug bombs in my house and gassing these pests straight to fly hell.

Of course, none of this worked… because the kids kept leaving the door open.

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Written by Jason Gaston

Father, teacher, writer, photographer, artist, actor, male model, and inventor of the semicolon.

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