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Hits 2312 | Created 2007-05-15 | Modified 2007-05-15

Written in Mexico during insanity-inducing boredom


I watch two flies dogfight into my drink. Oblivious to the danger, or maybe caught up in a macho spiral. Like pilots into the sea. I watch them wave their hairy little legs at me, caught up in the surface tension - Help! They scream. I am moved to action, and as he talks I am involved in a delicate operation to rescue the flies. A napkin touched to a leg does the trick, they take hold and are hauled out, by some kind of mystic air-sea rescue helicopter. I leave them to dry in the sunlight, keeping a wary eye out for ants. I have missed the conversation.

I watch two flies dogfight endlessly under a hanging light. So concentrated that they miss the pretty female fly, waiting patiently on the light itself.

I watch a fly hop about my plate of food remains. It pauses to groom itself at the edge of a lake of red sauce. I wonder if flies have aesthetics.

There is a fly here that we call the 'Darth Vader Fly'. Its shiny black body is shaped a little like Darth Vader's helmet. This fly hides behind your chair leg, keeping out of sight, and then, choosing an opportune moment, lands on your ankle. If unnoticed, it slowly pushes a long, needle-like, feeding tube into your flesh and proceeds to suck blood up through it. At this point, you notice the fly and make to swat it with your hand, but we live in slow-motion from a fly's perspective, and it simply removes its tube and flies back behind the chair leg.


A great pleasure to watch two dogs play. After greetings have finished, one will initiate play with a bite or hit, and then tear off, pursued by the other. The pursued dog is then either caught, or allows itself to be caught, then both dogs roll about, followed by boxing, trying to dash under one another and leg biting (in no order), until one will again dash off and complete the cycle. Occasionally, of course, both dogs will simply stop dead and stare at something unseen.


I watch a large ant with impressive red pincers lifting and generally struggling with (what to me looks like a bit of wood, but no-doubt is ant tasty) its load. It is all the heavier due to the other, smaller ant, who is no doubt trying to help, on top of the bit of wood. The smaller ant runs about, carried high, trying to grab hold of the wood occasionally, but mostly just sitting around.


I watch a no-nonsense spider walk boldly across my table. It stops, looking at me (so I like to think). I point it out to my friend, to ask its name. He immediately sweeps it to the floor and stamps on it.

I see another, similar spider later, but this time I say nothing.


I watch a wasp land on my arm. I am fearful of the sting, but appreciate the design of the wasp. I wonder how to make it leave without angering it (an un-knowable fact). My father favours blowing the creature, imitating the wind (seems to work). Others advocate gentle waving of the hand (also seems to work, though is more suspect), and others seem to flap and scream, which results in the most angry wasps.

I notice a wasp buzzing around my ear. Instead of invoking one of the three methods, I try another - let it do what it wants. I wait. The buzzing increases as the wasp lands, and then crawls inside my ear. It goes right inside. The situation is agony. I break into a sweat as the noise and scraping reach epic proportions. My head is frozen still. Eventually it leaves. The method seems to work, though the next time a wasp buzzes my ear, I gently wave it away (not being able to blow in that direction).


I see a pig in a pool of smelling mud. It does little indeed, as it is tied to a nearby post. I have been told that pigs are actually very clean animals, but people believe otherwise, generally.


In a restaurant here, the people who eat their food quickly finish and complain of hunger; while the slow eaters never manage to finish and complain that there is too much food.

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mexico animal writing

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