August 27: the housefly conundrum

My relationship with the simple housefly continues to develop over the Summer months. I try not to kill the fly when he gets into my flat. This may surprise some of you (see Killing a fly July 28 2015) but I have never been an active killer of insects. My conscience was further piqued a few months ago when my 16 year old niece Vassia reminded me that he might only live for one day. ‘This is his life’, she said. So I couldn’t kill it. Men are great fly murderers. They just cannot bear to have things unsettled. They want the world still and this confounded thing keeps flitting into their eye line. Now where was that ‘Top British Trucks’ magazine? Just perfect to swat a fly. Women are less concerned by flies than by wasps. When a wasp arrives on the scene women go beserk. They are convinced the wasps want to fly into their mouths, so they hold their hands there, like Premiership managers disguising strategy. My present issue with the housefly is a philosophical one. A fly gets into the flat. You don’t want to kill him because this is his life. You usher it towards the front door to let it out. You open the front door. Chances are another one will slip in even as you escort the first one out. And so our philosophical dilemma arises: does every potential solution not carry within it a potential aggravation of the initial problem? I shall call this the housefly connundrum.

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