Over the years I’ve heard an awful lot of folks — usually women — complain about baseball players, football players and curling stars always adjusting their, um, personal equipment and scratching in places you just shouldn’t scratch in public or in front of 80,000 fans or 23 million watching on television.
Sorry, but men simply have to make adjustments every couple of minutes. Then we have to check to make sure the last adjustment was effective. And sometimes we are not even adjusting but are simply making sure all our equipment is still there.
“Every two minutes?!”
Yes, ma’am. You can’t be too careful these days. People will steal anything.
Never miss a local story.
The scratching thing, though, I’ve never really understood … until now. Obviously, America’s athletic fields and arenas are infested with yellow flies.
Yellow flies — also known as deer flies or tiny flying terrorists — are born when annoying gnats mate with vicious yellow jackets. They are much like gnats in that they are persistent and I have no idea what they want. They are like yellow jackets in that their bite or sting or knife assault hurts much more than a mosquito bite.
Like a mosquito bite, a yellow fly assault leaves you with itchy little bumps that last somewhere between a couple of days and the rest of your entire life, apparently. I don’t spend a lot of time on athletic fields since that streaking incident at that Mets-Braves game back in 1989, but yellow flies also seem to have infested the bottom of the hill behind my house.
A few days ago I cleared a lot of brush from the bottom of the hill while fending off relentless assaults by yellow flies. Somehow they managed to bite me in some awkward spots. I guess that’s what I get for working in shorts and flip-flops. I’ve been walking around the house scratching the forward and aft sections of my ship, often at the same time, making me look even more like an ape.
“Do you have to do that in the house?” my wife asked.
“According to the neighbors across the street, yes. They’ve got folks visiting.”
I’m scratching all the time. Forward and aft. Port and starboard. I’m scratching more than my Cousin Earl when he blows his week’s pay on a stack of Georgia Lottery scratch-off tickets. In fact, I scratched three of those bumps completely off this morning and won $20, which is $20 more than Cousin Earl usually wins.
I haven’t found anything that repels yellow flies. That’s another way they’re like gnats. Folks always have some revolutionary new way to repel gnats, but it doesn’t really work. You can douse yourself with gasoline and strike a match and you’ll still be pestered by gnats. You’ve seen those folks in movies running around on fire, waving their arms around wildly. They’re still trying to shoo gnats away. Nothing works.
Same with yellow flies. So, I say we just find a way to nuke them or something. I want yellow flies and gnats wiped out of the food chain once and for all. Noah never should have brought them on the ark. (Although, I am impressed that he figured out which ones were male and female.) Yellow flies need to go because they are mean. Gnats need to go because the world doesn’t need creatures whose names start with silent consonants.
Sorry gnus and gnomes, but blame the gnats, gnot me.
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