Shoo Fly Don’t Bother Me

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This morning I was taking a shower and noticed a bug flying around in the shower with me. I filled my mouth with water and sprayed the little creature. But, he was insistent and came back again. So I filled my mouth a second time with water and repeated the process. He flew away but was back a minute later. I thought, hey, maybe the little fly is lonely and just wants someone to be around. I felt compassion for him. This reminded me of when I was little.

When I was very young, I remember that every time I got mad and hit or kicked the wall or some other inanimate object, my father would say something like, “how do you think the wall feels when you hit it?” I assume that like a lot of little kids, this made me think that possibly even inanimate things also had feelings and consciousness.

Also when growing up, I can only really remember two times that my father really got mad at me – and these were both very subtle forms of chastising, quite under spoken but which got their points across. The first time was when, and I can’t remember why, I was angry with my sister so I threw a football at her with all of my might. My father raised his voice, something that he never does, and said, “men NEVER hit women.” And that was it, I never hit or fought with my sister or any other woman again in my life.

This was kind of unfair. My sister had this ability to reach across the room with her legs (like a frog’s tongue to attack its prey) and grasp my skin with her toes in one excruciatingly painful pinch. How many times have women since then yelled at me for not getting mad or at fighting back? But I was taught to not fight with women, for better or worse.

The second time I was scolded was during another ingenious childhood moment of scientific awakening. I was in the garden with a magnifying glass studying the heat resilience of an ant. When my father found me crouched over the poor frying insect, he raised his voice, “Don’t be a turkey. What did that ant ever do to you?”

Even on days like today when I defend my honor in front of an insect that is invading my privacy, I recall those lessons of childhood and with a sense of repentance (slight, ever so slight), I wonder: (i) how must this insect feel and (ii) what did the poor bug ever do to me?

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18 Comments

Filed under Digressions, Friends / Family

18 responses to “Shoo Fly Don’t Bother Me

  1. You’re a better man than I, there is little tolerance for side breathers.

    Although, as often as possible, spiders are on a catch and release program around our abode. They have amnesty, as long as the spouse doesn’t see them, because they prey on other side breathers.

  2. eric

    Ha ha ha ha ha.

    Actually, I think that mosquitos were probably not subject to my family’s anti-Vick political correctness.

  3. Some of your family have zero ability to enact political correctness …

    Well, maybe only one or two of the family.

  4. TheCommentKiller

    I wonder what that is supposed to mean.

  5. Meaning myself, political correctness isn’t accepted or relevant, so his commentary, evident as an intended friendly barb, fell short of the mark.

    There is the possibility that another of the familial ranks is similar in disposition to myself, at least in the arena of political correctness.

  6. TheCommentKiller

    word. being pc isn’t easy. i used to think it was over-rated, but i have since changed my mind.

  7. Charlie

    For a different reason than James, I have always given spiders a pass. According to Swiss-lore that was passed on to me it was bad luck to whack a spider. On an even more serious note,has any one considered that Eric’s sensitivity to that insect could have previous life-reincarnation implications?

  8. ?

    Gads Pops, what about that behemoth specimen from the basement in Martinsville … I remember you giving what for … from a plethora of implements/tactical device.

    Unless my memory fails me, I believe you threw everything but the maternal unit on/at that creature …

    Hmmm, Eric as a hairy bloodsucker in a previous existence …

    LMMFAOROTFL … “I will play nice with the other children in the sandbox” Repeat X 100.

  9. TheCommentKiller

    All i know is that i was bitten by a brown recluse spider in the 8th grade; was out of school for over two months and almost lost my leg. So i am not quite as kind to spiders. the only non-human natural thing i dislike more than spiders is poison ivy. I think the poison ivy trade associations have successfully courted Monsanto.

    As for Eric, i think his favorite book is Metamorphosis.

  10. eric

    Charlie,

    I think that maybe I had been really insenstive and that is why I am now I am condmened to changing my ways, or that I had in fact been a bug of some sorts, probably named Gregor.

  11. word. being pc isn’t easy. i used to think it was over-rated, but i have since changed my mind.

    It’s easy when one no longer cares about honesty or integrity, which are greatly disavowed by American society and the media.

    The funny thing is, and I’m sure you won’t even bother to look for yourself, but UD, T A&M, Stanford and I believe UCLA also, did studies of several thousand students, and found that the PC society, is a weak subterfuge, and instead of making “race relations” better, they are encouraging individuals to be dishonest in “diverse groups”, and then when amongst their own kind, they unload their vitriol. Even with the study interviewers there in plain sight.

    PC means “I don’t have the fortitude to represent myself as I am, in all my aberrant human glory, I prefer to be a snake in the tall grasses”.

    Welcome to Invertebrate America, available in HD on MSNBC, Oxygen, and TBN … LMMFAOROTFL, males in this country should just opt for the breast implants and be done with it, they’re more female than male any longer. Maybe instead of socialism, poorly masquerading as democracy, we can spread the PC mentality, and sink the entire world into effeminacy??? That way the whole world could be “nurturing”, unique and special butterflies.

    LMMFAOROTFL … I’m still waiting for the day someone can prove Machiavelli or Fromm wrong, but it ain’t gonna happen … LMMFAOROTFL …

    De-nile ain’t no river in Egypt!!! Call Bubba and let’s drink some ‘shine and watch Oprah!!!

  12. TheCommentKiller

    It is hard to appreciate the importance of calling people what they desire to be called (even when not in their presence), unless you live in a diverse atmosphere. Almost everyday i see the reaction on people’s faces when they are called something or categorized in way that they do not want to be. My basic view of “being PC” is just think about what you say before you say. It is not about not calling a spade a spade or candy-coating something, it is more about being more conscious language and of your audience. Words are quite powerful.

    For instance, your last post was blatantly offensive and disrespectful towards women. Your post wasn’t PC per se b/c it was clearly offensive. However, my sense of being PC is more the unintentional consequences… so if you didn’t mean to offend women, then i would be more concerned about what you wrote. Does that make sense?

  13. Yes it makes sense, but I again dip into history, cugino:

    No one can make you feel inferior, without your consent.

    Eleanor Roosevelt

    The only words that have power, are the ones you willingly consent to give power to, in error.

    “A word” is an abstraction, are cartoons powerful too?

  14. TheCommentKiller

    Absolutely. But why shift the burden of your own language onto the receiver (or the unintended receivers), why not be more proactive? Why not raise the level of consciousness or intelligence in your own statement(s)? Being PC should be primarily motivated by being accurate, but not in an inductive reasoning fashion. So it would be PC (in my opinion) to say “all uncles are males,” but we have to be more cautious statements like “all uncles like apples.” One’s inductive reasoning may have lead them to that conclusion, but hopefully their deductive reasoning has taught them otherwise.

    I think there are at least two parts or motivating factors behind being PC. The 1st is respect and the 2nd is being conscious of the power or effect of language.

    For example, why would it be preferable (more PC) to call a Korean person (or a group of Koreans)- Korean or Asian, instead of Chinese, Chink, Chinamen (Big Lebowski reference) or something other than Korean or Asian? It is simple, Korean or Asian is more accurate and respectful.

    Generalizations is where I (and i think many) get tripped up. And beyond offending someone, sometimes people listen to what we say and might even believe us… that “all uncles like apples.”

    And when i am around my nieces and nephews, i appreciate even more the importance and power of language b/c certain words will capture their attention. Two weekends ago they were in town and Kim said, “hissy fit” and the next thing you know they repeated that phrase the whole weekend. I think even adults are all like that to a certain extent… it seems like there is often certain nuggets of information people give me that stick regardless of its level of importance or accuracy.

    Anyway.

  15. Of course children love words, and mimicry … both are abstractions, and that is the world of a young mind, incessantly.

    “Respect”. Therein lies the problem with our disagreement.

    It would appear in your estimation that it is something of natural entitlement. In mine, it is a privilege of those who earn it.

    A thing given, has no more value than in what can be made by objectification.

    A thing earned, has the value assigned to it by the level of sacrifice paid to possess it by action.

    As you are so fond of saying, “Anyway.”

  16. TheCommentKiller

    Again I mostly agree. And I think you would agree, as you seem to enjoy language and word selection… that what we say and how we say it has a lot of power. As such, we should be more conscious, proactive and deliberate w/ our words. I have a lot of trouble with this, but have (very) slowly gotten better over the years. But i am still far from being good at it. that being said, i have recognized the importance and power in language selection.

    Anyway.

    I have been trying to come up w/ a new pen-name b/c CommentKiller is no longer applicable. I picked CommentKiller b/c when i first started posting every time i wrote something the discussion would immediately end. So now i am looking for a clever pen-name that has to do with the fact that i pretty much write the same exact thing every post, but in different words.

    Anyway.

  17. Again I mostly agree. And I think you would agree, as you seem to enjoy language and word selection… that what we say and how we say it has a lot of power. As such, we should be more conscious, proactive and deliberate w/ our words. I have a lot of trouble with this, but have (very) slowly gotten better over the years. But i am still far from being good at it. that being said, i have recognized the importance and power in language selection.

    Quite to the contrary, what I perceive is that language has become so unrefined, as to lack any power whatsoever.

    It has become flaccid and impotent in its bloated verbosity, slang, acronyms, and lack of definitional authority promoted from an academic standing that is more concerned with the idiocy of social preference.

    Power, is in genetic fitness, superior physicality, superior tactics, superior discipline, superior intellect … everything/anything antithetical to American society. There is no power in abstraction, unless one submits to such a fallacy.

    I will concur on deliberate wording, especially where law, academics, policy and legislation are concerned.

    We all rewrite the same thing over and over, that isn’t just you. It’s dogma, and we are all guilty.

  18. TheCommentKiller

    maybe rewriter is good new pen-name!

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