My Nemesis: The Deer Fly

Nature has many assholes. I mean, not literally. (Though also: literally.)

Ticks are assholes. Those little bloodhungry, disease-curdled vampires. Mosquitos are assholes, too. Yellowjackets are super-assholes — total fuckfaces looking to fucking fuck up any picnic you have. Nature’s vast gaping assholery doesn’t stop with the insect world. It goes all the way up and down the spectrum — from the micro (crotch fungus) to the macro (hippos, no matter what Sandra Boynton would have you believe). In fact, one suspects that being an asshole is probably a biological imperative. Ducks are rapists. Chimpanzees form violent jungle gangs. Sloths are cute and all, but c’mon guys, get a job. Am I right? I’m right.

I’m sure if you watched a blue whale long enough he’d make a left turn without using his blinker and then loiter outside a 7-11, vaping while porpoises pass by and offer judgmental stares.

Bugs, cats, people: this planet is just crawling with assholes.

But I’d like to talk to you about one very special asshole.

My nemesis.

THE DEER FLY.

Look at him.

Just look at that little bastard. Sitting there like he doesn’t give a hot rat’s rectum.

The deer fly is from the family Tabanidae, which is Latin for: “Hateful Fuckery.”

The deer fly is of the genus Chrysops, which is Greek for: “Christ, Get This Thing Out Of My Ear.”

The world is home to an approximately infinite variety of deer flies, and I assume that each one of them are awful people. Just wretched. They are related to another asshole, the horsefly, who is basically the tank version of the deer fly. But horseflies are fat and dumb and slow. And the deer fly? The deer fly is fast.

Here’s what the deer fly does, and here is why I despise the deer fly with every ounce of gall I can muster inside my hate-fueled body: you’re just walking along, minding your own business. Whistling, chewing gum, checking your email, walking your dog, fidgeting casually with your genitals presuming nobody else is around. It’s summer. It’s warm. The birds are whoo-doo-doodlin’ along. A squirrel is nearby, panic-eating an acorn because squirrels are not capable of doing anything without a veneer of twitchy panic. In short? It’s a nice day.

But that’s about to get all shitted up.

Because somewhere nearby, hiding in the brush like some deviant who wants to show you his balls, is the deer fly. The deer fly senses motion. It senses the exhalation of carbon dioxide. It’s such a malodorous asshole it probably can sense the contentedness and well-being you presently feel. The deer fly launches from forth its hiding space and zeroes in on every part of your body you don’t want it to — your nose, your eyes, your earholes. It tries to get in those places and, when it fails, will just batter itself against you like some drunk bro-hole at a local dance club. It’s all just thap thap thap thwip thud thud flit flit and it’ll get in your hair and on the back of your neck and it’ll bean you in the dead center of your forehead.

And you think, okay, yeah, that’s annoying.

That sucks.

But it’s not that bad.

As they say on TV: But wait, there’s more.

The deer fly will not only harass you for a mile, but the deer fly also likes to bite. And again you think, well, lots of bugs like to bite. That seems to be a rather buggy thing to do, in fact. But take special note of the deer fly’s mouthparts: it is basically a pair of scissors. It’s a little knife and it goes snippy-snip across your skin (or even through your clothing) and boy howdy does that hurt like a motherfucker. Then it laps up your blood like a sloppy Labrador eating food someone spilled on the floor. And then it has the option to spread various diseases to you because of course it has diseases. Tularemia and anthrax and something called “hog cholera” which is about the worst sounding thing I’ve ever heard and I would’ve before now assumed it was some kind of sauce you’d find at a Guy Fieri restaurant. (“New Double-Bacon Monkey Wings With Chipotle Dingus-Crisps, Triple-Sextreme Castoreum Squeezin’s, And A Hot Slatherin’ Of Rib-Kickin’ Hog Cholera!”)

Deer flies are also territorial. So they hunt the same area every day.

They’re seasonal, to boot. For us here it starts around June, ends in July. Which is almost two months of me walking my dog or my taking a stroll with the family and being facially assaulted by one or several deer flies at any given time. I wonder what my neighbors must think of me — sometimes I suspect the true conspiratorial intent of the deer fly is to get me to look like a dum-dum in front of other people. As I walk, I’m frequently flailing my arms around like I’m in the throes of endless muscle spasms. Worse, I’m constantly smacking myself in the face, neck, and head as if for the purpose of clumsy, brutish flagellation. They must see me through their windows and think, That guy really doesn’t like himself. Then they lock their doors and hold their children and pets close in case the Strange Smacking Man would ever stray onto their yards or into their homes.

So, the question is, what can one do to thwart them?

Well, you can cover yourself with DEET, but they don’t seem to give an actual shit about it. I guess maybe if I sprayed it right in their eyes like it was pepper spray it might work, but otherwise? They keep on buzzing and biting. Probably be more effective to just cover myself in lighter fluid and fling a match against my chest. Sure, I could cover up — a hat helps, and if I really want to brine myself in my own fluids, I could wander outside in a pair of jeans, boots and a heavy Christmas sweater in the 90-degree summer heat, I guess? Your own personal sweat lodge!

Or, you can do this fucking thing.

See, deer flies are extra-attracted to THINGS THAT ARE BLUE for some indiscernible reason, and further are likely to fly closer to something that is higher than other things.

So, you create a deer fly trap by slathering SOMETHING BLUE in SOMETHING STICKY and then somehow affixing this thing to the top of your head because hey, congratulations, who doesn’t want to look like King Doodoo Dunceworthy of Dinkletown as you’re wandering around the neighborhood walking your dog or having a jog? Just wear this stylish sonofabitch:

LADIES.

Haute couture! You definitely won’t look like an escaped deviant with that thing rocking the top of your skull! You definitely won’t be added to a variety of neighborhood watch lists! It’s fine!

It seems then that the choice is to do nothing. Or, I suppose, I could kidnap a very tall friend and paint him blue and then duck down beside him as I take a run or whatever. Anybody willing to take that bullet for me? I’m only 5’8″, people. I pay well, which is to say, I do not pay actual money but I do have Cheezits and Tim-Tams I would be willing to share.

(Hell, it’s not even just on walks anymore. I literally killed one inside the writing shed this morning. In fact, killing a deer fly gives me a perhaps unreasonable amount of pleasure. Once in a while one will get trapped in my hair or beard and I’ll just batter the fuck out of my own body until it’s dead, and when I have its corpse, I pinch it tight and parade it around, showing it to all the other deer flies. “THIS IS WHAT YOU GET,” I bellow. “FUCK WITH THE BULL AND YOU GET THE–” And then usually another one bites me on the neck or something and I then have to run home like a whelped puppy with tail between legs and fly corpse pinched betwixt fingers.)

Won’t anybody help me defeat my dread nemesis? The winged villain that plagues my journeys?

This bug that is good for nothing?

This extra-special asshole troll of the natural world?

*slaps at head*

*punches self in mouth*

*cries*

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