Saturday, December 13, 2008


These past few days, we've been noticing a growing number of fruit flies in our kitchen and dining room. There are always fruits in the house but it seems that whenever we have grapes, the flies aren't far behind. And these flies multiply fast.

This morning, Gabriel got a flyswatter and started swatting these pesky creatures on the walls and mirror. I was at the dining table, checking emails on the laptop.

"Don't do it so hard. You might disturb the neighbours or break the mirror. You're not swatting rats. You're only swatting flies...," I said.

Gabriel snickered. "Mom, you don't swat rats," he replied.


When I stood up, Gabriel used the laptop. I got the flyswatter and started hitting the flies. Pretty soon, I was hitting them hard.

"Mom, the neighbours!" Gabriel blurted.

There's something about flies and flyswatters that arouse a "killer instinct" in me. I think I have memories stored in my limbic brain of the many flies, ants, cockroaches and rats we had to exterminate in some way inside our houses in the Philippines.

Soon after we moved into our own house that was still unfinished, among the first things we had to get installed were screens on all our windows and doors to keep the flies and mosquitoes out. The flies were not just fruit flies, but full-sized ones. Occasionally, one or two would manage to get in so you need to keep a flyswatter handy.

And the ants! I know we can learn a thing or two from their diligence, but apart from that I loathed these smart critters. They are so tiny but so many and so organized. I was amazed but extremely annoyed at the speed at which they found our food and swarmed on them. Oooh I hated that!

Being a stay-at-home mom, I was constantly finding ways to outsmart those ants and kill them in the process. What worked best for me was to place a shallow bowl or bowls of water in the middle of the dining table, and put an empty glass at the center of each one. I then placed the plate of food on the glass like it was perched on a tower. Let's see you all drown. Bah!

Another public enemy -- cockroaches! We were the first residents of our house, but it seemed those vile roaches had been there before us nesting in the surrounding lot. I was a very squeamish person, but when I had enough of these vermin creeping on our floors and kitchen counters, I declared an all-war against them. I hit them with a slipper, a flyswatter, a rolled newspaper. No mercy! Finally, Baygon killed their colony. I did not allow a stray roach to wander inside the house again without me running after it. Whaack!

OK, I will not even describe to you how we killed rats and mice. Oh, I forgot to mention termites. For these ones we had to call professional exterminators because they knew where to find the queen. You can't have termites in the house. They are destructive and very insidious.

When we first came to Canada, I was so relieved that we could leave the food on the table and not see an ant or a fly or coackroach. Deliverance!!! I was almost delighted to finally see a mosquito.

So here I was this morning, flyswatter on my right hand, reliving the same aggressive emotions I felt when I was battling pests that disturbed our home life in the Philippines.

Ooomph!....Hrrm!...Hah!... Oomph! I grunted as I hit the flies here and there, almost obsessively.

"Mom, the neighbours! Calm down," Gabriel said.

Once I got the momentum, I couldn't stop. I felt a great sense of satisfaction with each fly killed. I kept muttering things like, "Patay kang bata ka!" (You're dead, kid!"), "Buti nga sa yo," (Serves you right), "Akala mo makakaligtas ka sa 'kin, ha!" (You thought you could escape me!)... Oh, I can do this all day. It is good for releasing aggression!" Better than nagging.

"Mom, stop! You're annoying," Gabriel complained as I kept swatting around him.

"Oh, there's one! Move your head," I said while jolting his head forward. Now that's annoying--and intentional. "Oops, there's another one," I did the same thing, teasing Gabriel even more.

At one point, I stood quietly, flyswatter raised on my right hand, ready to pounce. It was as if I was taking an oath, "Do you swear to swat a fly and nothing but a fly?...

"Mom, stop standing there," Gabriel said. He grabbed the flyswatter from my hand. I remained standing.

"Mom, stop looking around. Watch TV," Gabriel insisted.

I was relentless. I went to the kitchen and looked around. I found a few more flies perched on the cabinets. I swat them with my bare hands.

"I love swatting flies," I exclaimed. Did I just say that? I thought to myself. Either my life is dull and pathetic, or I am one who will find excitement in anything. I won't ever get bored.

I think I have killed most of the flies. I don't see them flying anymore. Good riddance!!


LHB said...

:) Come on, be nice. The poor fruit flies' life expectancy is only a day even if you don't swat them. :)

Here, back East, we're enjoying another benefit of winter - you can go outdoors at night without being bothered by mosquitoes.

Here's an old joke - Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

lerryblossoms said...

hahaha. then it must be the banana!!