I have this book I read to my kids - Thelonius Monster's Sky High Fly Pie. It's a rhyming one, funny and clever and illustrated by the guy who does stuff for The New Yorker. It starts off with this guy, Thelonius Monster, swallowing a fly - and deciding a fly would taste grand in a pie. Etc. And there's this one line in it that I can't get out of my head: "and now for the flies".
'Cuz we've still got 'em. Sewer flies. Still here. Only now they're bigger and, it seems more resilient. Maybe it's because we know what they are (and where they come from), but somehow they're getting harder to kill. Before, when they were just flies, we'd slap the wall and they'd be dead. We'd bat at them mid-air, they'd drop to their deaths. Now, we whack 'em. And guess what? They take a licking and keep on ticking.
I'm beside myself.
I've called the exterminators who tried to reassure me, telling not to panic....yet. I asked them when I could start to panic, and they said it takes a couple of weeks for them to die off. Now, I'm no scientist, but if they live for a day and their breeding grounds are gone - how can they still survive? It's Darwinism at it's purest form. A true survival of the fittest, 'cuz these mofos are big and bad and refusing to go gently into that good night.
We say goodnight, and their party starts.
So while my basement continues to lie fallow, the flies frolic. The insurance-approved demo team wasted no time in ripping it out (my basement, that is). All of it - floors are a mess of concrete and nails. The asbestos (yup) is gone so at least we're no longer the house in the plastic bubble. The walls don't touch the floor. No euphemism - it just means the walls hang there, not touching the floors. My garage is packed up - most of it upside down. All my kids' toys, in boxes, upside down in bigger boxes surrounded by enormous, near-impossible-to-move furniture.
And we wait. And wait. And wait. For the big rebuild. And yes, we'll probably look back and laugh. But that's of no comfort to me now. Even my baby tells everyone our basement is broken. My Big Boy tells people they can only come to play with him if it's nice outside because we have no toys in our house. And tho' it's not killing them, it ain't making them stronger either. This is no character building exercise. This is a bloody nightmare.
And so we play outside. Except when it's cold. Then we watch TV. And we read. And we keep coming back to that book, and that line:"and now for the flies". Which prompts someone to look around. And spy a fly. And try to kill it. Tiny corpses litter our walls. And the cycle starts again.
"And now for the flies".
I was told not to panic. So I asked when I could panic. The exterminator laughed and said a few weeks. That makes it June 1st. One week. Then I can really panic. So I'm trying to hold off and just rant a little until then.
And now for the flies.
Perhaps they'll die.