My Kingdom for a Flyswatter

For the ten or twelve of you who actually read these blogs you might remember I had quite an extensive list of everything we had packed in the van as we prepared to leave for our recent road trip.


For the record, that list was referenced at least TWO TIMES during the trip.  But mostly we just spent our time opening drawers, pulling out baskets, looking under the mattress, and asking “Where did we pack such-and-such?”


Of course, there were some items we failed to pack, not recognizing their importance at the start of the journey.  The foremost on that list being: a FLYSWATTER.


Tennessee wasn’t a problem because it rained through the whole state.  Didn’t have any issues in Kentucky.  But once we really headed west, towards Missouri, the flies began to find their way into the van.  Parking next to a gas station dumpster surrounded by farmland didn’t help our cause.  It got a little better in Kansas but by the time we reached Iowa it was evident we needed to buy a flyswatter.


You know how sometimes if you wait until Christmas Eve to buy a fresh Christmas tree they’re all gone?  Well, we must have been traveling at the end of ‘fly season’ because we could not find a swatter anywhere.  For a couple days we resorted to rolled up magazines and visitor brochures as we kept checking dollar stores and even Wal-Marts as we traveled.  Throughout Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota we struck out trying to buy one.  The cashiers in many of the stores would look at you like “oh, is there a fly problem out there?”


Finally, I think somewhere in Billings, Montana, we found a two-pack!  (It’s a good thing there were two flyswatters because within 24 hours we had lost one of them!  How do you lose something two feet long in 84 sq ft?)


At that point we could declare war on the airborne pests.  The flies rarely crossed state lines but there always seemed to be a new batch waiting to board the white candy van at each stop.


Typically, as soon as we park for the night we put up bug screens but there is still a lot of in-and-out which allows opportunities for the flies to get in.  The evening usually ended with us turning on one light in the van and waiting for any activity to gather around it.  They never stood a chance.  If only they understood that from the start.


When we reached home and unpacked the van we never did find the second swatter.


1 comment

  • David, if you don’t like flies, by all means, stay away from Maine in September. The flies there are as big as the horse flies at the beach. And mean!

    Helen H. Ammons

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