Practicing proper black fly decorum

Steve Galea

Last updated on May 18, 23

Posted on May 18, 23

2 min read

Now that black fly season is here, I think that it would be useful to speak a little about the importance of maintaining a semblance of dignity when confronted by the little darlings. This is only right since we will be introducing ourselves to a new generation of black flies and, as mom always said, first impressions matter.

It’s also nice to be able to behave in a manner that does not elicit mockery from your so-called friends. Nobody respects the black fly dance, no matter how well you do it.

After years of that and other embarrassing behaviours when dealing with black flies, I have concluded that the best tactic is to try to keep a stiff upper lip. That’s mostly because if your upper lip is quivering, they tend to home in on it.

Always remember is that black flies are like any fearsome, aggressive, man-eating predator, except they are much harder to hit when charging. That rules guns out.

A better idea, of course, is not to incite a charge.

The best way to do this is to stay calm and show no fear. The second-best way to do this is to immerse yourself underwater. But that is only a temporary solution.

Showing no fear won’t stop a black fly but at least it will garner some respect.

The truth is you must resign yourself to the fact that, so long as the black flies are hungry, you are the restaurant. The best approach is to make your restaurant less desirable than the next one.

One of the ways to do that is to go easy on the advertising. Flailing your hands and arms in the air and running around in circles might seem like a useful thing to do when the black flies are taking an extended lunch break, but all it really does is attract more attention to yourself. You are essentially doing an imitation of one of those used car lot inflatable clowns. If I am with a person doing this, I always opt for the more reasoned approach – I play dead.

Some people will also tell you that a good idea is to raise your arms over your head and make yourself big. But all this really does is expose your armpits to multiple itchy bites. And since scratching your arm pits in public or private is for some reason frowned upon in polite society, this should probably be avoided. If anything, I find it is better to curl up in a fetal position and make yourself much smaller than the next target.

All these things work to some degree, but as previously noted, if you are outside and black flies are in the area, you might as well resign yourself to getting bit.

Sure, you can flail, whine, whimper, curse, cry, or have a meltdown, but the only thing that will get you is a starring role in a YouTube video that goes viral. Also, your friends will ask you to do a re-creation of that time “the black flies were really bad” at every party.

My best advice is to grin and bear it, and always keep one eye open so you can have at least one eye free from black flies. And then find a good repellent that works for you.

That’s always been my approach.

Plus, I don’t go to parties anymore.

; ;

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