It was Bogart who gave me the first clue. He was out in the yard growling and a-swinging his big bear arms so violent-like, you’d have thought he was gonna take off like a helicopter, don’tcha know.
Bogart! I shouted. What in the world are you doing?
He wasn’t wearing his voice synthesizer tam o’shanter cap so I couldn’t hear what he was thinking, but that’s when I saw them… a big swarm of black flies making poor Bogart spin like a top… a bear top.
Quick, Maybelle, I thought, do something. I grabbed the garden hose, whipped it around and sprayed those varmints like there was no tomorrow.
Poor ol’ Bogart’s fur got so drenched you could hear him growling from one end of Lake WhaddyathinkImean t’other.
Next thing I know, Officer Stanley Penelope McBottom is racing up my driveway in his police cruiser, siren a-wailing…Beanpole Starkman’s flying over head in his Tiger Moth bi-plane. The Lake W volunteer fire fighter brigade drives up with Vilma Yuccch hanging onto the back wearing bright yellow sequin hip boots, don’tcha know … and Sybil Beaucannon Hughes rides up on her motor bike with Neville sputtering out of breath behind her.
Where’s the fire? everybody shouts. There’s no fire, I shout, the black flies are back!
Well their groan was so heavy I could have sworn the earth shifted. Black flies?!@ Not alreaddyyyy!!!
Well if the phones didn’t go crazy. I ran into the cottage and found caller after caller complaining about the same thing and telling ol’ Maybelle I need to warn all my listeners, don’tcha know.
Nickie B! I shout, and sure enough, he clomps up the stairs from the basement in his Led Zeppelin t-shirt and leather collar. We gotta get on the air quick, the biters are back!
Fffffttt! if he didn’t disappear in a nano-second. Then, fffffft! he’s back, covered head to ankles in a one-size fits all prune colored black fly space-lookin’ suit shuffling over to the control board twisting knobs and pushing buttons, don’tcha know.
Are we live yet? I ask. Oh yea, says Nickie B.
So I sit down in front of the microphone and tell my listeners…
Hello everybody out there in radio land, this is Maybelle Morton with a black fly advisory, don’tcha know.
Well, if the phones didn’t ring off their hooks again. Only this time, they were callers shouting that black flies have rights too.
In fact, they’re still a-callin’, and the flies are still a-flyin’. So this is what I’m proposing to you…
If you have some innovative ideas about how folks can protect themselves from black flies, you just write it into the comment box.
After all, ain’t that what community is for?
Nightie night. Maybelle