Thursday, November 22, 2007

catch more flies with honey

catch more flies with honey

I'm pretty sure that phrase isn't referring to actual flies. It's the sort of thing you tell your child after she bursts into a group and launches directly into one of her save-the-world-with-my-easy-plan speeches using her biggest voice and then wonders why everyone walks away.

I can't recall that I've actually used this line didactically in such a moment with my girl, as anytime I have something blunt and necessary but not terribly pivotal to tell her I'm much more likely to launch into my dreaded Scottish Pirate brogue. My ability to affect accents is limited, so whether or not the intent is vaguely rough and ruddy scottish highlander or dangerous scurvy pirate, it pretty much morphs into the same guttural arrrrs. My daughter might roll her eyes and respond with her best two syllable "mom", but she laughs and listens to whatever I'm saying.

(which always starts out with, "Arr! When I was a boy. . . [insert relevent made-up story] we wouldn't be fussin around sayin there wasn't anything to do. If we wanted somethin to do we'd be goin outside and pushin boulders with our heads, arr!")

The older she gets, the less the the Scottish Pirate falls out of my mouth. So maybe I'll start resorting to trite little phrases soon enough.

But who wants to catch flies anyway? Well, me! And if by "flies" one means "friends", any number of comparisons between "me" and "vinegar" might be made, but let's get one thing straight right now: I'm really talking about flies.

As in, the tenacious infestation of tiny flying scourges in my kitchen. It has come to keeping most of our produce in the fridge, save for bananas (I can't abide with mealy refrigerated bananas). They make aggressive buzzes past my head when I walk by. Drinks not gulped immediately are tossed down the drain, with their soggy little carcasses. It's frustrating.

Yesterday, I had a brilliant thought to pour some honey into a little bowl and place it near the bananas. This morning I found two dead flies. I had high hopes for catching the whole lot of them by nightfall, but it's still just those two. Maybe the word got out.

While washing the last of the many dinner dishes (oh, poor dirty dishes, I'll coax you back to your usual clean self in a jiffy, I will! see, it's still working!) I left a half empty glass of wine on the counter and by the time I got back to it, there were five flailing flies. And I thought I was being so clever with the honey! You know that line Gene Wilder says in Willy Wonka, "Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker"? I poured the wine into another bowl and set it near the honey one. I'll let you know what happens. Maybe it's not honey I should be offering to potential pals and kindred spirits (I'm reading Anne of Green Gables to the girl again for the eleventy billionth time) maybe it's booze.


midgettroyani said...

Before I got to the end of the post, I was going to suggest wine. Once, when we lived in Lawrence, we had lots of dirty dishes and lots of produce and lots of those annoying (though not as gross as the house variety) flies. I had brought home some wine from work, some left over, poured-together-from-opened-bottles wine. I thought I'd cook w/ it. But it ended up uncorked on the counter, amoung the dirty pots and dishes.

The next day, as I tackled the dishes, I thought there were fewer flies. And when I got to the wine, I found out why! They were in the bottle. Some were dead in the liquid, but many were just inside the bottle. I covered the opening and shook it up. Fly trap! I left it there for a few days and got lots of the flies.

I assume the fly thing is seasonal, like the sugar ants that invade my kitchen sink in summertime.

Angelina said...

The alcohol only seems to catch the fruit flies in my house when I'm not putting it out there to catch them. As soon as I actually put out a little glass of wine or beer they seem to know and stay clear of it.

I've tried the honey too and it seems like it couldn't fail to work, but it does fail. Why?