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Kids, Flies, and Crude Philosophy

Updated on May 28, 2011
photo courtesy of kenwong08 at
photo courtesy of kenwong08 at

Fly Control & Philosophy - How to Kill Flies

Yes, you heard me correctly, I’m going to describe to you how to kill flies. Now, to promptly begin, your method best depends upon how old you are and how adeptly creative you are. In the advent you are somewhat deficient in the either the former or the latter skill category, I’ll endeavor to help you along.

The absolute best way to kill flies will require you to have children and a good set of ear plugs. Be prepared, for the volume of the endeavor will entail decibels on the level of a 747 jumbo jet at full throttle. If you qualify for this best case scenario, then prepare your nonchalance for when your spouse catches you at this I guarantee you will need it.

Now make an excuse to outfit each child with an equestrian riding bat. The cute ones with a hand shape on the working end is most engaging for the younger kids in particular. You can obtain one or more of these at a local tack & saddle shop for somewhere between $5 and $10 depending on how much real leather is built into it. If the cashier is curious about why you need five or more, you may smile and use the explanation that you are preparing your students for a lively activity and you wouldn’t be lying.

Next, purchase a large bag of gumdrops from your local grocer. It is always good to support your local businesses by voting your confidence in them with your wallet (and it helps to keep the prices low by manipulating demand, economics 101). The gumdrops are a very important and necessary detail to this process, so do not neglect them. In other words, hide them from hubby. They are not a late nite t.v. snack. If you can’t get gumdrops, then jelly beans will suffice. Better yet, a highly efficient, bang-for-your-buck, if-you-can-afford-it confection, would be several packages of chocolate-covered espresso beans.

When you return home with these items, you are nearly ready to begin. Carefully remove any seriously valuable breakables from the room(s) you intend to eradicate your vermin from. Trust me on this, it would be hard to explain to your 85 year old mother precisely what happened to her crystal wedding vase that she expected you to pass down to your daughter eventually.

Be sure to tie open all draperies as you can achieve a bonus with this exercise in that you can scare your neighbors and thereby ensure none of them ever even consider robbing you in the middle of the night and will do things like speaking respectfully to your face at the local community center, and cross to the other side of the street when you near to pass on the sidewalk as he has room to excuse himself before he must force himself to keep a straight face while trying not to stare.

Final preparations include dressing all the children and yourself in the part of fierce-looking quasi-ninja warrior outfits (makeshift costume), by dressing all in black t-shirts & shorts. I don’t recommend wearing heavy clothing while employing this method as it is guaranteed to leave you with heat exhaustion.

When all the above has been completed and all is ready, gather the children in the war room next to your dining room table. Explain to them that the more they scare the flies, just before they swat them out of the air, the higher the points they will gain. 1 point for killing the fly, 2 points for hunting, scaring, & mid-air curve-ball connections between riding bat & fly buttocks without touching anything else. 1 point gains one jelly bean or chocolate covered espresso bean, and 2 points gains 2 of which ever type reward you made available.

The logic behind the confection reward is that the art of killing flies is an exercise in perseverance and endurance. Why? Because as everyone knows, when you kill one of the little buggers, two more always seem to replace it lickety-split. The candy helps to fuel the little engines as they tear after the psychotic airborne bugs, keeping the game perpetuated and raising the bar for buggy excellence in aerial acrobatics….it also helps you to keep up with all the action, so be sure to snag a few to munch before you get started. You’re the team captain so a little cheating is entitled.

This activity is a great way to lose weight. It entails running through the house and squealing in glee as you try to beat your four-year old to the next bug. It entails problem solving, for those so inclined, since you must find creative ways to get the ones who think they’re smarter than you for camping out on the ceiling. Therefore, there is also climbing involved so if you have weak ankles, then I suggest you break out the sports wrap and cinch it down real snug before you get started. Be prepared to be a bit of a wrestler as your teen or pre-teen tries to muscle you out of the way in pursuit of the next victim. Yelling and crowing through various successes is 100% legal for all persons (including you) involved in this activity. And if the neighbor peers in your window to see what the commotion is all about, give him a big xxit-eating grin, let out a war whoop and show the kids once more how it’s done in style.

The game ends when everyone is gasping for breath and drenched in sweat. The little ones will have very rosy cheeks and be grinning ear to ear and asking when we can do it again. Or they might be trying to explain to you at the top of their little lungs, competing with each other for your attention, about the one that was THIS BIG, and he TRIED TO EAT ME before I SMACKED HIM. This is where you may smile sagely and explain to the young ones that this is the only activity in which smacking something is ok. This gives you the opportunity to incorporate both literary awareness with regards to the mechanics of Tall Tales and also common social etiquette since smacking is normally not allowed. Now if little sister sneaks a smack in under the wire on the backside of her big brother when he’s not looking for the fact he teased her unmercifully earlier in the day, well, then you may as matriarch-ensuring-justice, feign ignorance of the action and allow karma to take its course.

The really neat thing about equestrian riding bats is that they make a huge smacking sound even when used softly. They are a horseback riding tool designed to be an attention-getter rather than a physical punishment for the horse in question (when used on horses). And they make wonderful toys to use on hubby after the kids go to bed and he figures being an ornery old man will get him that new snowmobile faster via your grocery funds. As we all know running a successful household is not a democracy but rather an exercise in quasi-despotism mixed with Greek philosophy.

Aristotle, for example, taught that every object in the universe had four causes. The first corresponds to the idea the person has before he begins work, the creationary form to be realized. This he called the “formal cause.” Then there is the matter which the person is to manipulate. This is the “material cause:” The third cause is that by which the idea is made, the tools employed to make the idea manifest. This is called the “efficient” cause or “moving cause”. The fourth cause is the purpose or end for which the idea or action is made, that for the sake of which the work is done. This Aristotle termed “the final cause”. It is my belief that sometime before Aristotle was born as Aristotle, he lived at least one life as a housewife….for his ideas have a feminine practicality.

For Aristotle, all these causes are operating in the thing or idea or action it develops, changes, grows, becomes. We must not think of the person as separate from his idea or action but rather of a person as part of his idea or action. For Aristotle all motion is to be explained as the union of form and matter. When we kill flies in the manner described above we are engaging actively ourselves in becoming or realizing a form which proves that our world is not simply a mechanical world. It is not a mere mass of units or atoms moving about and forming objects as the Atomists who theorized before Aristotle, taught. No, it proves to ourselves that the teleological world is a purposed world; a world of spirit expressed.

Dear Reader, go express it with pizzazz.

Alpha and Omega, Yeeeee Haaaawwwww! SMACK.


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