My Life During the Invasion of the Hippie Fruit Flies
These are the times that try men’s souls. No, I’m not talking about the pandemic or even the Days of Our Lives style election. I’m talking about fruit flies. My house has been invaded by them. Not your average ones, mind you. This is an unusual lot, a group obviously on the fringe of fruit fly society.
Instead of congregating around apple cores or banana peels, these fellows cling to my bathroom mirror like hippies in the fields of Woodstock. Here they waste their hours getting high on the sCent of Chanel #5 and snorting toothpaste.
Every morning when I go to brush my teeth, they swarm around my head in a silent ambush. I’m convinced my bedhead has caused them to mistake me for Joe Cocker. It is their one excusable mistake.
When I come back in the afternoon, nothing has changed. If anything, my mirror looks more freckled than it had in the morning. I wonder how to get rid of these annoying critters, and then I have a thought.
This is modern times — why not start a dialogue? Perhaps if I politely ask them to leave? Of course I’ll have to talk on a level they can understand, but hey I’m a mom. Surely that gives me the credentials to pull something like this off. I take a deep breath and give it a go.
“Hey man, I’m down with you letting your freak flag fly, but your hostile takeover of my bathroom is kind of a downer. It’s encircling me in an aura of negative waves. It’s stifling my karma. What I’m saying is you need to go. Sure, the age of Aquarius has dawned, but it’s also seen its twilight — do you dig what I’m saying?”
No response. I try again.
“There’s a guy with long curly hair and ripped jeans around the corner that looks just like David Crosby. I bet he’d love to share some dehydrated seaweed with you.”
Not one fly budges.
“I saw Jack Kerouac buying vape at the 7–11 around the corner. If you hurry, you can catch him before he’s on the road again.”
I am totally ignored. These fruit flies are obviously too in their groove to listen to reason.
The only thing left to do is assume the lotus position on the bathroom floor and try to channel Jerry Garcia in hopes he’ll send me a solution. I start to chant “Ommmm,” and then my husband comes in.
In his hand is a small plastic apple with little holes at the top.
“What’s that?” I ask.
“Fruit fly trap,” he says, placing it down on the counter. Then he walks out. No negotiations, no striving towards a mental connection with the enemy. He was in the army, after all. He’s probably hardened towards these types of things.
After some time I notice the flies congregating around the holes, dipping in and out into the sweet poison-laced ambrosia that lies inside. Soon their numbers start to dwindle. They have feasted their way into another world, into a nirvana of macrame curtains, beanbag chairs, and lava lamps.
In the morning, only a few stragglers remain. Eventually they leave too, probably to trade their tie-dyed bandanas for business suits. Wherever they went, I don’t care. The revolution is over, my bathroom is mine once more.
Sure, it’s a small win, but in a year like 2020, small wins are all we can hope for. And what a relief to brush my teeth, shower, and dress without those pesky critters shimmying across my mirror. Maybe the tide is turning. The new year is just around the corner, after all. Perhaps things really will get better.
And then I go down to the kitchen.