When you have a barn, you have flies. And since our barn is not that far from the yurt, we have noticed an increased yurt-fly population. Ewww. Paul bought a number of fly swatters and some fly ribbon, and after killing 15 flies in the bathhouse–double ewwww!–I had the brilliant idea that now was the time to put up the fly ribbon in the barn. Woe be unto me and those who live near me.
First, in case you don’t know, fly ribbon is incredibly gooey, sticky, and curly. It pulls out of a thing like a film canister, and has a thumbtack stuck on one end, presumably for sticking the ribbon up with. Lots of first timers make that mistake. It does not, however, have any poison or fly killer on it, so the ribbon itself, before the flies die on it, isn’t that gross, except for the idea of all those fly corpses stuck to it, which is enough to make my stomach roll. But really, they are only sticky paper, so sticky that if you touch it, long, spidery thin strings of goo come off, like fur.
Anyway, I’m an intelligent woman, I figure, no sweat. I open one up and start pulling the tab. The ribbon kind of ooozes out of the film canister. So far, so good. I locate the thumb tack, and we are in business. Then, somehow, instantly, my hands are completely stuck to the thing. I start unpeeling one bit, only to have the curliness act as a spring and boing another bit off and around my wrist. I have to kind of reach around myself to get at the canister, which is now swinging like a pendulum, and I actually do several turns, a dog chasing her tail, before I catch it. But in catching it, the other end spring up and manages to attach to my hair.
My hands are now stuck together, the ribbon is wrapped half way around me and is hanging from my head, the canister dangling in my face, taunting me. Where is the camera when you need it? Or maybe it’s better if these moments remain undocumented.
Okay. I think, maybe if I stick the thumbtack in, I’ll have a fixed point from which to pull the stuff off of me. So I manage to reach up and get the thumbtack positioned as high as my arm can reach, up along the wall of the barn, despite only being able to use one eye, the other being obscured by the canister.
It won’t go in. I swear to god, they have blunted the tip of this thing and included it just to torment me. After exerting maximum effort, nearly bloodying myself in the process, it is in the wall only, perhaps, 1/8 of an inch. Seeing this I have this wave of frustration and I rip all the stuff off, including some of my hair, take off my boot, and hammer that mother fucker in. There! I win!
Five minutes later, Lucy goat walks out of the barn completely wrapped in fly ribbon. Sigh. I get it off of her. It is completely covered in goat hair and not one fly. I dump the ooey gooey mess into the compost bowl for the moment, thinking maybe it will get some of the flies that like to hang out there, while I wash my hands.
Of course, a million things happen and I forget it is in there and I take the compost out to the compost pile.
Five minutes later, Whitey the chicken runs by, wrapped in part of the fly ribbon and dragging the rest behind her. She is running for her life, certain it is a monster come to kill her. So there I am, chasing the monster that is chasing my chicken, trying to get the fly ribbon off of her before she kills herself, her squawking and shrieking, me calling her, the kids laughing at me like I’m put on earth for their own personal entertainment. Which, I suppose, I am.
We were all, eventually, fly ribbon free. But it took a while. They really need to put a warning label on those things.