There was a big, fat fly in my dressing room today. He was flying around lazily in the heat, the pitch of the buzzing giving away the fact that even he was too sweaty and tired to really put any effort into his job (which basically involves shitting on bits of food as far as I understand it).
I too was hot and bothered and trying to work and much as I love all the creatures of GodÂ’s creation I wasnÂ’t in the mood to share this limited space with this disease harbouring interloper. I tried to shoo the flying insect out of the door, but he was having none of it. Another time I may have persisted, but I was tired and sweaty and just not in the mood, so I decided that me and this fly would have to fight this out. It was going to be a fight to the death. Only one of us would leave that dressing room alive. My money was on me, unless the fly could do a spectacularly potent shit on the Pret a Manger sandwich I was half way through eating.
I am afraid it wasnÂ’t much of a battle. There was a mismatch between the sides reminiscent of the recent Battle for Baghdad (and possibly my reasons for destroying my enemy were similarly tenuous- revolving as they did around similar accusations of weapons of mass destruction, although opponents of Bush and Blair will not be satisfied if only fly shit is found in Iraq). A couple of times I gave the fly a blow which knocked it to the ground. It was stunned, but shook itself off and resumed its irritating flight. Taking a tip from the gladiators of ancient Rome I grabbed a towel and threw it at the fly. I caught him in my trap and the towel and the fly fell onto the surface of the table. I pressed down on the towel around the spot where I knew the fly to be. My enemy was vanquished. I expected to feel exhilarated, but the ease of my victory left me hollow inside.
I couldnÂ’t bare to lift the towel and see the squished form of my nemesis beneath, so I left him there. Literally crushed.
Fifteen minutes later I got a bit disgusted by the idea of a squished fly on my dressing room counter, so I went to move the towel. As I lifted it off the counter and looked for the body of the unfortunate creature I was shocked by the unharmed fly rising like a phoenix and heroically heading for my face. It was like that bit in Carrie where the arm comes out the grave (or that bit that is in all horror films where someone you think is dead turns out to actually be alive. How had he survived my onslaught. One had to admire his tenacity. As he had survived my execution I considered letting him live (commuting his sentence to life imprisonment), but within about two seconds he was annoying me, so I punched him in the face (well really, pretty much all over) and while he lay stunned on the floor I stepped on him til he be dead.
I felt slightly guilty at the senseless destruction of life (not that IÂ’d been that bothered about the chicken that IÂ’d just eaten in my sandwich) and wondered if the Gods would punish me by making me have a bad show.
As I lifted my shoe I was surprised to see the fly had gone. Had he survived again? Had he just been a phantom fly?
No, he was wedged into the bubbles on the sole of my shoe. I tried to shake him off, but he wouldnÂ’t go. I rubbed my shoe on the floor. He was still there. Eventually most of his crushed carcass fell to the ground, but some of him remained lodged in the grooves of my shoe.
Even in death he mocked me.