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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Irritated (11/08/12)

TITLE: About Irritation, from a Musca Domestica
By Hugh Houchin
11/14/12


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The Musca domesticas filed into the filthy, trashy, and stinky assembly hall. They took seats in the nearest piles of rubbish, and, in a moment of bliss, wriggled their bodies into the mire. They came to hear Mr. Whirlwind Flythrob speak, who, according to the Flyguinesst Record Book, is the oldest wild Musca domesica in the fly world, give or take a few hours of being six-weeks old.

The ancient one, though, carries battle scars; the loss of sight in one eye, when a window fan blew fly-spray into the fly-hero’s flight path, and arthritis, from dodging fly swatters and rolled newspapers. Nevertheless, Whirlwind plans to keep scheduling speaking engagements, for as long as possible.

His message never varies: Dire consequences often result from being irritated. The story Whirlwind tells is true, which further enraptures the packed assembly halls

With all four legs malformed from bending in coil like positions, to accelerate quick escapes, the aged fly-icon hobbled to the podium, amid thunderous flyplause. When it abated Whirlwind began. “Being irritated has consequences, and the consequences result in bedlam. But, on the positive side, it takes at least two to irritate. So, it’s a simple, but difficult to comprehend, concept. In order to eliminate irritation, one party must remain calm and think clearly.

“To become irritated, one of the parties must perceive being teased or tormented. It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, it’s the perception. Oftentimes, this disillusion leads to frothing like behavior and frustration, synonyms of irritation.”

Silence reigned in the assembly hall. If one of the Musca domestica needed to fly to the restroom, it best wait because the humming wings would disrupt the audience’s concentration.

“Which brings us to the other side,” Whirlwind continued. We’ll call it the offending party, and in most cases the perception is it’s the fly-world. That may be true, though, because many times flies, when calmness is of the essence, become energized and emotional, and react in inept and clumsy ways.

“For example, I remember training a newbie, in the taste and escape technique. You know, at a picnic, when someone is about to take the first bite from a burger, to buzz down and land on the other side of the burger and stare. It’s guaranteed to irritate. Both hands are on the burger with no fly swatter or spray, to say nothing of the fly-sewage being left on the burger, its fly ecstasy.”

The audience emits a fly-roar, which reverberates off the assembly hall ceiling.

“However, Whirlwind went on, “The newbie, with no experience about irritation, became brash and left the perch of protection; the burger. No one would swat or spray the burger. Nevertheless, the newbie took one irritating step too many and lit on the table, as one last gesture of arrogance, and swat, someone, not taken into account, ended his debut of conceit.”

The audience buzzed in knowing affirmation. Except for newbies in the crowd, all could relate to the story, and the finality of its ending.

“In conclusion,” Whirlwind said. “Learn from a long-lived Musca domestica; pay attention to battle scars and learn the limits of irritation. That secures each party a position in a relationship, and each party feels content and safe in that position.


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This article has been read 157 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Phee Paradise 11/15/12
Eeww! You described the life of flies so well. I was disgusted, but intrigued. Flies are indeed irritating and this was truly a unique approach to the topic.
Sandra Wells11/16/12
This was so creative, I loved it. You really know your flies.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/17/12
Wow! If you can, picture me giving you a standing ovation and cheering. This is a bit of genius. You covered the topic in a totally unique and interesting way. Your character was grand--the quintessential hero!

I noted only one tiny error in the middle of the speech you forgot a quotation mark after the phrase Whirlwind continued. And that really is minuscule but I wanted to point it out because I think you should try to get this published either for a teen Sunday School class or in a magazine. This is a fantastic story that as many people as possible should have a chance to experience (I purposely said experience instead of read because that is what you gave me--an experience full of delight, smiles, chuckles, and a nodding head)

I thoroughly enjoyed your unique sense of humor and I daresay the next time a fly dive bombs me and tries to die in the soft cushion of my hair, I'll think of your story. This is so good on so many levels. It's a beautiful message wrapped in a layer of fun. You are quite the talented storyteller and my hat is off to you and your well-written piece.