August 24th, 2019

Not Bugged by the First Bug


Yesterday afternoon I was briefly entertained, by a fly. I know, I need to get a life. But this fly was a special fly, as it was the very first house fly I had seen alive since before the winter of 2013 ice age occurred, here in Vermont. He or she, I’m not sure which gender the fly was, or even why I said he or she, was just leisurely walking around on the outside of my windshield, as I sat in my car, waiting for my wife to return from the pharmacy. The fly was, apparently, simply getting some exercise for its little fly body, and was totally unaware that a creature of immense intelligence (everything is relative) was watching its underside as it did so.

I don’t normally enjoy insects, or spend much time thinking about them or watching them. But, about fifteen minutes before yesterday it was winter here in Vermont, and I was sick of that fact. The Bible says that someday “they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.” Truthfully, I’m ready to beat my snowblower into a lawn ornament, or something.

I guess I don’t belong this far north, but so far, the far south is far from where I am. As strange as the following may seem (and be), I am a person who thinks it’s normal to plant spring veggies and flowers, in winter, in his house, just to see something green, alive, growing. I love the smell of a seed tray full of fresh, moist potting soil, warming in window-pane sunshine. So sue me. For several years I made it a habit to grow a pumpkin plant in a pot, in January, from a leftover jack-o-lantern seed from the previous fall. I also often walk around our neighborhood, in the evening, at this time of year, and look for the first blades of other-than-brown grass on some lawn, any lawn, anywhere, and for the first buds of spring. Yesterday I was simply being entertained by one of the first BUGS of spring, or at least the first one I had seen. You people in Florida just don’t know what you’re missing. Well, maybe you do.

So, I actually welcomed seeing that little ‘bugger,’ as he scurried around on my car’s glass. His (or her) actual purpose was probably simply to find something disgusting on the glass, to eat. Unfortunately for the fly, my car had recently had most of the disgusting stuff of winter washed from its surface, so that windshield must have seemed to be a huge wasteland of no-waste, from his tiny point of view. How sad, to walk on, nearly forever, (flies have short lives – again, everything is relative) and to find nothing to sustain you.

In a few weeks I will certainly forget about the first fly of spring, on my windshield, and hopefully, by that time, you will also have forgiven me for writing this column. After all, my fly looked a lot like most other flies, in fact, pretty much exactly like most other flies. In those few weeks from now, whenever I see a fly, I will think only of just how nasty they really are, and of the kinds of places they normally like to walk around. Piles of doggie-do, bodies of dead rodents, and other such lovely landing spots will come to mind the first time a fly lights on my cheeseburger. But, for now, to me, this first fly was my harbinger of a spring which might actually be beginning in Vermont; the first living bug I had seen since that last fly of fall, about a hundred years, and six hundred bags of wood pellets ago. It was good to accept my fly as that first promise of warm weather ahead. He was quite welcome on my car yesterday, and I refrained from using the windshield wipers to whisk him away. When he did leave, I didn’t actually raise my right hand in a Vulcan salute, but did think the words: “Little fly… live long, and prosper.” Like I said, I need to get a life.


George’s World,” a new 740 page collection of George’s columns from The World, is available at xlibris.com, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and your favorite bookstore. “The Smoke And Mirrors Effect,” George’s first novel, can be seen at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. Happy Reading!


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