You all know what I'm talking about?
Those annoying little flies, smaller than a regular house fly, that travel around in packs and descend on unsuspecting people sitting at bus stops. Or anywhere.
For several years, bush flies haven't been in the city in large numbers, some years I haven't seen any at all.
But this year, they're back. And zooming in on faces, arms, necks, settling on clothing.
People everywhere are walking (or sitting) and swishing their arms or hands around every few seconds to brush away the flies. If there is a breeze, things aren't so bad, but a still day brings them out in droves.
It reminds me of childhood in Port Pirie, where people gathered in the streets for a gabfest would have a veritable army of tiny flies hitch hiking on their backs. Children tore small leafy twigs off street trees and used them to swish away flies as they walked.
These irritating little buggers are the reason swagmen wore hats with swinging corks tied around the brim.
Once I moved away from Port Pirie I forgot about them as there didn't seem to be any in the Eastern cities I lived in.
Even coming back to Adelaide I didn't notice any. It wasn't until I spent a week in Port Augusta visiting my dad that I saw bush flies again. They were everywhere up there. More than I'd ever seen.
Does anyone remember seeing old footage of film from places like Africa or Australia up in the Northern Territory with indigenous people that had these tiny little flies clustered around their eyes and noses, sometimes by the mouth? I used to wonder why they didn't brush them away.
Well, those are the flies I'm talking about. And this year, they're back. with a vengeance. For a few weeks now I've been flapping my arms about as I sit and wait for buses to or from the city.
You'd think with such a workout the "bingo wings" would tone up wouldn't you? Not so. I'm tempted to tear a twig of the nearest tree, but that might be illegal these days, so I'll have to start carrying a fan. Reading a book at the bus stop on a still day is impossible now. Maybe I should get a swaggie hat with the swinging corks?
I can't wait for bush fly season to be over.
Please, all you flies, go back to the bush!
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