Here in Northern California, it has been very hot the last couple of weeks. And with the heat has come the houseflies. Normally, I don’t notice them and I don’t really care. As long as there is not one buzzing past me and distracting me, what’s the big deal? But yesterday, I came into the kitchen and behind the blinds on the front window were a group of at least a dozen flies. I grabbed the fly swatter and went on a killing spree. It was terrible. It was like if the United States went to war with with Ghana.
I’m not proud of this. In fact, I feel very bad. The flies weren’t doing anything. They weren’t bugging me. They were just hanging out. But I don’t like flies. When seen outside, they are usually standing on a pile of dog feces, enjoying a banquet. I know: it’s the circle of life and every creature is special. But I can’t help but think that every time they land on me, they they are tracking feces all over me.
And this isn’t just some kind of germophobic fantasy of mine. Houseflies are known to transmit over a hundred diseases, including tuberculosis and cholera. And it isn’t as though we don’t have enough of them. They are everywhere. We now have confirmation that they’ve made it to Antarctica. So there is no reason to morn for the houseflies I destroyed yesterday.
Just the same: why? I mean, what’s the big deal? They were out of the way. There were none flying around my head. In fact, I had to lift the blinds to get at them. And it always makes me think that if some advanced civilization discovered earth, they would probably kill all of us humans with as little regard. And I could hardly blame them, because we are far more annoying than houseflies.
And then I think of the Jains and how they won’t even hurt a root vegetable. Meanwhile, I can’t live in peace with a dozen houseflies living in my window seal. What kind of a monster am I?!