(Editor's note: This is not part two of Monday's I'm Not There column about fruit flies. We both just happen to be at war with the pesky buggers. 'Tis the season.)

I would hurt a fly.

I'm not just jumping on the "Westworld" bandwagon here. (Although I am admittedly a sucker for sentient androids. Lt. Cmdr. Data makes my heart go pitter patter. A wink and a shout out to my fellow TNG, BTS and BSG fans.)

No, I'm just sick of fruit flies — specifically the infestation that hopped a ride into my home on my backyard peach harvest. Now the peaches are all long digested, but the arthropod invasion fleet remains, and its ranks grow by the day.

I started by hoping the problem would resolve itself. When that didn't work, I moved the compost bin outside and started sealing away every sugary substance in my kitchen. I live-trapped them for relocation. But now that they've established a beachhead in my cat's food bowl and I have to defend every glass of wine with hypervigilance, I realize it's time to take more serious measures. In a reluctant submission of my idealism to practicality, I have begun enforcing capital punishment.

And this sucks monkey balls because I am a card-carrying bleeding heart when it comes to animals. I don't like to eat or wear them. I regularly cave in to the World Wildlife Foundation donation pleas that assault my mailbox. I have made origami boats for miller moth corpses so that I could float them in puddles and light them on fire, Viking funeral style. And I once prevented my brother from killing a mosquito. A mosquito!


I formed strong views about animal rights as a little kid living in Boulder, and I developed a preference for the company of critters as I got older and started noticing the slimy side of humans. Adolescence is a baptism of angsty fire. Friendly children become awkward wallflowers, insecure bullies and jealous social climbers. We get used to exclusion, insinuation, judgement and the kind of jerks who can change your mind from "I like turtles" to "Turtles are better than people."

While fruit flies are making me forsake my values, the election season feels a lot like going through puberty again. The debates and tweets have left me uncomfortable, confused and sweaty. Plus, the stress has caused my face to mimic the surface of Mars during the Late Heavy Bombardment. The name-calling and threats would fit in seamlessly in a middle school environment.

I desperately hope that, like puberty, this too shall pass. Because pantsing and swirlies aren't going to make America great again.

When people are more interested in hurling insults than offering solutions, the evidence mounts for the superiority of turtles. But I still believe in the power of cooler heads, the exchange of ideas and the possibility of working together for a more prosperous and just future for all.

If not, perhaps the technological singularity will produce a malignant artificial superintelligence to wipe out the puny lot of us, like so many fruit flies.

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