Tuesday, September 04, 2012


When you think about it, the common house fly is a wonder of design, sleek, compact, aerodynamic, perfectly adapted for its purpose, which is to get into the house and track its dirty feet all over the crockery. And yet, I have no compunctions about doing them in. SWAT!

But what about the creature above, the crane fly? They too seem to have an overwhelming desire to get into the house, although for what purpose I have yet to discern. Same order of insects as the house fly, the Diptera. But swat one? Never!

If my wife insists on disposal, murder's not an option. I get a drinking glass and a piece of paper and walk them out the door.

Why the squeamishness? I set traps for mice. I put out poison for the rats. I mop up ants in their teeming hundreds with a wet rag. But no way I could kill a crane fly.

I think it has to do with their sheer improbability. The utter absurdity of those threadlike legs, with their knee warmers. That goofy little pair of wings -- like paddling a rowboat with a pair of butter knives. The second pair of wings having reverted to a pair of useless stumps when they would seem to be needed more than ever to get the whole contraption airborne.

Clearly, the Intelligent Designer was having a bit of fun, and God knows the world can use a little whimsy. Who am I to say, "Get serious."