Either South Australia has a serious bush fly problem or I need to ask some tough questions about my personal hygiene.
Since Ceduna, the flies have defied all comprehension. If I’m not spitting them out then I’m picking them from my eyes or fishing them out of my coffee. In my entire life, in all my travels, I’ve only seen two places with plagues greater than this: Northern Canada and the Old Testament.
I can handle irksome bugs, but these flies are so much more than a mere annoyance. They’re devious bastards with a mean streak. When I see them rubbing their dirty little hands together I know they’re hatching diabolical schemes to lure me into a straitjacket.
First of all, I don’t like what’s being insinuated when creatures that eat dead stuff and turds crawl into my ears looking for their next meal. What an ugly thing to do to someone’s self-esteem.
You’d think it would be enough for them to make me feel bad. But no. These flies aren’t satisfied until I look like a damn fool.
Their game plan is simple. I swat my left cheek and they land on my right. I swat my right cheek and they land on my chin. I swat my chin and they fly up my nose. By reflex I chase them the only way I can and always, always I get caught out by someone who never saw them in the first place.
“Nah, I’m nuh pigging id!” I cry with a finger jammed in my nostril. “Der’s a fugging fly in mah nodes!”
People are unconvinced. Or horrified. They cover the eyes of their gaping children and hastily retreat to their vehicles, power locks descending in unison. I’m left sitting there alone with a soggy fly in my hand.
It’s even worse on the highway. Since the fly crises began, drivers have been giving me a strange look whenever we pass on the road. I racked my brain and finally figured out where I’d seen that expression before.
It’s the same look people in Darwin used when they saw the crazy bag lady who carried a cat kennel full of old Christmas decorations.
This is exactly what the flies want. They buzz their wings with glee, knowing full well that people can’t spot them swirling around my head in a giant, obnoxious cloud. Motorists can only see me, the guy on the bike who flails his hands uncontrollably and swears like he has Tourette syndrome.
Right now, the only thing standing between me and the men in white coats is a mesh bug hat. It cost me 99 cents and I wear it like a king.