Monday, September 22, 2014

Blasted Flies!

When late summer heats up the wine country, we get flies: fat, sticky, misery-making flies. They invade the restaurants, buzz around the windowsills making the cats go crazy, and persistently land wherever you don't want them.

You can shoo them, they just return (often to the same spot, over and over). You can swat them, but that just leaves a disgusting mess. If you don't mind serving yourself a helping of pesticides as well, you can spray them. 

Or you can invest a little target-practice time, and a few spoonfuls of table salt, and annihilate them!

We fell in love with the idea of the Bug-A-Salt, a spring-powered gun that shoots table salt and rips the wings off the pesky flying bugs. We apparently weren't the only ones, either—the company that makes them has been battling back-orders for the last month from the surge of business.

It shouldn't have been a surprise that they had received many orders: the gun is not only available for sale from the manufacturer's site, but also from Cabelas and Amazon.com. At last, we got the notice from SKELL that it was on its way to us. (SKELL INC. is the company founded by artist Lorenzo Maggiore as a vehicle to bring his artistic creations to commercial life.)



Today, there it was on our doorstep, a long box stuffed with gun, apron and bottle opener. (We bought the "grill-master special".) It also came with a little note signed by creator Lorenzo, offering skill-building and maintenance advice, plus access to his hotline, and the admonishment "SHOOT EM DEAD MY FRIEND."

In two short minutes, we had it out and loaded, and were off in search of flies. But the word appears to be out; the flies have gone elsewhere. Not a single fly was anywhere to be found in the whole house. 

Aha! Not so, says my spouse. I found a dead one on the windowsill. Maybe the cats killed it, but I shot it just to see it jump. If it wasn't dead before, it surely is now. 

Well, okay, it was dead before, but it was fun to shoot it anyway! Now, what else* can we kill? 

*A reviewer advises that the gun can be used to kill mosquitos as well as flies, and even wasps and cockroaches, but that a close-in shot may be required to kill the bigger bugs. We shot spiders with it, and their still-twitching bodies hung quite convincingly in their webs.