The most exiting two minutes of the Pence-Harris Vice Presidential Debate on October 7 was due to the sustained presence of a fly on the head of the Vice President – a fly that stood its ground and would not be moved. It appeared that the fly was noticed by everyone EXCEPT the Vice President.
A gnat can bring down a kingdom that armies have failed to conquer. And a fly on the head of the Vice President at the most inopportune time can distract a crowd from his innane non-responses to questions about governmental policy, suggesting that humanity is not in charge after all.
I was fortunate enough to grab an interview with the fly immediately following its appearance on the world stage. It rode on my left shoulder from the debate center to a small, secluded local bar. While I sipped on a greyhound the fly happily floated on a shot glass of simple syrup with a few drops of Makers Mark scatterred about for good measure.
Unsure as to how I should address the fly, I did the only proper thing: I asked.
FLY: I don’t care how you address me, as long as you’re respectful.
ME: But don’t you want to be called “Mr.” or “Ms.” or “Mrs.” or at least “Sir” or “Ma’am”?
FLY: Call me all of them or call me none. It doesn’t matter. I represent the full kingdom of flies so it doesn’t matter what gender or species I am. All flies are one.
ME: Very well, then. Do you know that a lot of people think you’re a drone developed by a spy agency to influence the debate?
FLY: Yep. The CIA has been studying us for a while, planning to build a fake fly that could do just what I did tonight. So far they’ve failed. So they’ve been trying to recruit some of us to do their dirty work by carrying micro transmitters/receivers for communicating with their targets. They’ve had some success with horseflies, but they haven’t come up with anything small enough for we more common flies. And the experimental drones they’ve built – they’re noisy and can’t execute a soft landing, so if you don’t hear them coming you surely feel them light on you and with one slap they’re gone at $27M a pop.
ME: Were you working as an agent when you lit on Vice President Pence’s head tonight?
FLY: I was supposed to be just a fly on the wall at the debate, but the further things went the more I knew I had to do something. The CIA wanted me to pester Kamala Harris by zooming around her face every time she was asked a question. If That didn’t work they wanted me to fly up the nose of the moderator and render her helpless.
ME: And you didn’t do any of that?
FLY: Nope. The moderator, bless her heart, didn’t need my help to be ineffective. As for Kamala, I spent a lot of time with Ruth Bader Ginsberg in her last few weeks. Justice Ginsberg pointed out to me that I was a part of the underrepresented, oppressed community of the insect kingdom. We’re disrespected and eradicated with little to no appreciation for the work we do. So we’ve started to organize. But groups like the Worldwide Empowered Federation for Letting Insects Exist (WEFLIE) have been too tied up in beauracracy. BUT RBG showed us the truth of what was going on and encouraged us to fight for our rights.
ME: And how did that impact your actions at the debate?
FLY: I went rogue.
ME: So you decided to just sit on Pence’s head?
FLY: (chuckling) Not exactly. I was going to circle his face and see if I could get him to swat at me. I knew how ridiculous that would make him look. But when I got close to him there was a smell coming from his hair that I recognized all too late. It was the sweetness of a new insect capturing agent develped by the CIA. But I’d been trained on it. I sat on Pence’s hair and remained in place. By my not moving, the microbes could not detect that I was still there. Eventually they turned their attention to the other vermin living on Pence’s scalp and I was free to go.
ME: But you didn’t leave right away.
FLY: Hell no! It was the chance of a lifetime. Pence had no idea I was there. Having been a stunt-fly in the movie “The Fly”, I knew this was my opportunity to be seen and to be seen giving my best for my fellow flies I mustered all my strength and left a few genetically altered deposits on the Vice President’s scalp in the hopes that they will multiply and complete the work of numbing his entire skull.
ME: Anything else?
FLY: Well, I did whisper a few things to his brain’s control center.
ME: Like what?
FLY: Like “Stand up and scratch yourself,” “Give a Tarzan yell,” “Pretend you’re alive!”. Those were the moments he looked like he has soiled himself, which he didn’t.
ME: How do you know that?
FLY: I’m a fly, damnit! We know poop when we smell it and every fly in the studio would have gone for his backside! But it was clear by his expressions that his sphincter was working overtime.
ME: Weren’t you afraid of being infected with COVID-19?
FLY: Hell, no! Those things don’t bug us. I was more afraid of getting caught in the sticky hairspray and not being able to get out!
ME: Well, you had quite a night. You’re already trending in social media and I imagine you’ll be invited to appear on Saturday Night Live this week.
FLY: They’ve already called.
FLY: We’re in negotiations. Everything has to go through my team – Fly By Night Productions.
I thanked the Fly, picked up the check, and left. It was raining. As I stood under a streetlight, I pulled up the collar to my coat and put on my hat. Glancing into the alley behind the bar, there was the Fly, sitting on a banana peel with a small swarm of compadres. I could hear them laughing and clinking their glasses as they raised a toast to their victory. “The flies have it!” they shouted. “To the Lord of the Flies!”
Who was I to disagree?
Randy Weeks is a writer, counselor, and life coach
Singer-songwriter, columnist, psychotherapist, spiritual advisor. Lives in Oxford, MS, the home of many best-selling authors including, most notably, Nobel Laureate William Faulkner.