Our apartment is a social one, although, frankly, that's more of a survival mechanism than a choice of free will. Being on the very end of the complex (and out of the view of the courtyard, a veritable wellspring of social interaction), we need to go out of our way to be social if we want people to remember that we exist. Since our door opens out to the stairs to the parking lot, we kept it open through most of September, bidding passers-by hello. It brought friends and well-wishers into the apartment, but with them, an unforeseen foe - flies. Initially, it was only one, which didn't amount to a plague so much as a minor nuisance. What we didn't know is that flies, while certainly not possessing as intricate a social networking system as Facebook, do still possess some sort of primitive fly wireless radio, allowing them to tell others that our apartment was open and accepting new tenants. It seemed like we had four or five new visitors every day. Swatting, shooting them down, and other war tactics had little effect.
It was time to kick it up a notch.
Two of my roommates found a box of strike-anywhere matches and set to work. Tiny torches aloft, they stalked through the kitchen, hunting down our common enemy. The air had a strange smell of sulfur and smoke before I realized what they were doing. "They just sort of...pop," one of them said to me. I imagined a scene of greenish slime coating the walls of the apartment, followed by one of tiny pieces of popcorn littering the floor. When I looked into the kitchen, I saw neither, but rather a clean, fly-free room. It was beautiful. At last, the war had been won.
The flies, however, were not amused.
When I walked into my kitchen this morning, the flies had regrouped. Not only were there more of them, but they were smaller. (I can only assume that some of the flies that had been "popped" last night merely burst into six or seven smaller, more annoying flies.) They hovered erratically around the sink, as though they were protecting something. The dish soap, perhaps? I left the apartment for an hour or so, all the while worrying about what I would find when I got back. I imagined myself entering the apartment to find an eight-foot tall behemoth to dispatch. I would quickly slam the door shut, putting the apartment on lockdown. Spinning around the wall divider, I would pull out the shotgun from its place on the wall, load it with an insecticide dart, and pull back the bolt. It's go time.
In reality, life is a lot less interesting. That said, I might be proven wrong when my roommates come up with a new way of retaliating against our enemies. Setting them on fire could prove to be mere child's play.