A Tale of Two Flies … And Two Idiots

It was the best of flies, it was the worst of flies, it was the age of genius, it was the age of idiots, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of dares, it was the season of acceptances, it was the spring of hilariousness, it was the winter of desperation, we had flies before us, we had money before us, we were going to eat them, we were going to chicken out – the period was so ridiculous, that some of it’s noisiest authorities insisted on its being carried through, for laughter or for money, in the superlative degree of entertainment only …

I don’t really know where to begin this story. I’d like to say we were suffering from temporary insanity, or extreme boredom, starvation, or just plain greed. I’m sure it’s a little bit of all of it, but mostly … at least for me anyways, it happened because I have a hard time saying no to a challenge.

For those of you who don’t know me personally (yet) I am a touring musician, and I am currently playing with the band Mustang Sally from Nashville, TN. Most band stories start out a little like this, “Oh my God! You were soooo drunk! You’re not going to believe what you did … !” Our stories are … uh … a little different. Usually it’s something like this, “You are such an idiot … I can’t believe you just did that. I’m going to tell everybody …”

It is true, this I tell you. I do not need alcohol to trip and fall. I do not need Bud Light to get into a fight. I do not need the Cuervo to act a little loco.

This story begins on Sarah, our lovely fiddler’s, birthday. We were playing the Arkansas State HOG Rally. (VVRRROOOOM VVRRROOOM HOGS not OINK OINK HOGS … ) The stage had been set and we were all impatiently awaiting soundcheck time. It was also birthday party day which consists of us decorating the bus with toilet paper and “Happy Graduation 2003” party supplies. We’re cheap … did I mention that? Actually that has a lot to do with this story … April in Arkansas = hotter than hell in a wool sweater. So, we were in the bus partying hard with our computers, books, and crossword puzzles like all rockstars do. We had a couple of hours to kill and nowhere to go.  And neither did the fly that seemed extremely interested in what was going on inside Brenda’s nose.  It really wanted in there! While she tried to figure out the answer to 17 ACROSS it was dive-bombing nostrils like a Kamikaze fighter pilot. Does anyone know a 7 letter word for “Machu Picchu dweller” that starts with the letter “R”? The fly didn’t seem interested in anyone else so it kinda made me wonder where Brenda’s nose had been that would make a fly so interested in it.

Finally, in a fit of fly-induced frustration she blurts out, “I will pay $100 to whoever catches that fly and eats it!” … Really … Rrrreally? … RRRRRRREEEAAALLLLYY? I didn’t say anything. Not one word did I utter from my lips. I sprang like a frog from a lilly pad, smacked the fly against the window with my newspaper, and smiled. Brenda seemed pleased until she realized I was really going to eat it! … And she was really going to have to pay me $100!! Who carries around $100 bills?? … Lucky for me … Brenda does.
Mandy : Satisfied smirk of accomplishment

Brenda : “S*&# …”


Brenda laid her tear soaked $100 bill on the seat beside me …

In order to keep my money I had to keep my fly in my belly, which you can see was a slight problem … but I did it!! $100 baby! There I was … imagining all the cool stuff I could buy with my $100. Like a tank of gas … or one month of electricity … or a pair of pants …  Then … someone says, “You have to give her a chance to win it back!” … But … But … Bu… NOOOOOOOOO!!!! This did not really interest me at all, but in the face of peer pressure I crumbled. I had to allow Brenda the opportunity to get her money back by catching and eating a fly of her own. I didn’t really think she would do it. But the one thing Brenda hates more than eating bugs is losing $100 … and the one thing Brenda loves more than $100 is having $100.

As you can see, she is super excited about it!

Brenda may carry The Benji’s in her purse but don’t try to rob her … She will kill you … and eat you to get them back. Catching and killing the fly took almost as long as mustering up the courage to eat it, but she ate it … and I gave the money back  … and two people ate two flies … for nothing.

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