Learning a new skill

With the approach of spring comes an increase in barbecues, an increase in exposure to the outside, and an increase in the amount of exposure that the inside gets to the outside. Doors are opened and the fresh new air replaces the cramped air that endured the winter months. With that fresh new air comes bugs, though. Specifically, the annoying flying type that serve no other purpose than to land on food and skin and buzz around aimlessly.

But to me this is an opportunity; a chance to develop a new skill. Yes, those little damnable flies annoy me, but they have become the target of my wrath instead of the source. I have transcended the flyswatter and all its messiness. I have moved beyond my ape-like necessity for tools and into a realm of inner tranquility and power coming solely from my own body. I am catching flies with my bare hands.

The first reaction is justified (ew, gross). They are a filthy creature carrying disease and pestilence. Let me counter, though, by pointing out that I wash my hands after every contact, and that it is probably better that I catch them whole rather than disperse their carcasses across a surface. Generally I will catch them alive, then run my hand under water to get them wet so they cannot fly away. Then they go down the drain to finish drowning. With the water already running, I wash my hands and the game is complete. On occasion I choose to bat them out of the air instead, and retrieve their body from the floor with a tissue.

But the reason I mention this strange and probably disturbing facet is not to disgust and offend but rather to identify my latest sport and skill. Admittedly, it’s not the most extreme, fun, interesting, or engaging sport, but it’s certainly one that requires a lot of patience, coordination, and speed. And it’s really satisfying to catch one of those buggers out of thin air.

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