Monday, July 2, 2012

It's War (and Peace)

The fruit flies are back.

At least I assume they are. Small and nasty insects are flying around my apartment, but for a while I hoped they were June bugs, except now it's July, and they're still here. Or maybe they're gnats, since something's been stinging me, and my recollection is last year's fruit flies were vegetarians.

My big concern, actually, is that the fruit flies married some gnats and birthed little frat flies. I dread the thought of insect toga parties all over my home.

Since I have no positive feelings about fruit flies, even if they don't bite me, I decided to do some research on   the dumping thereof. Naturally I went to my pal Mr. Google to see what I could find.

Right off, there was a lengthy piece about ridding one's home of fruit flies. A lot of it was pretty funny, since it  offered many suggestions of letting fruit flies out into the wild. I am not about to play catch and release with fruit flies. I'm not that softhearted.

But there was one piece of information that took me by surprise. Fruit flies hate fans.

Personally, I love fans, and I like to think I have one or two perhaps even lurking around here (and waiting, no doubt, to sting me). But it turned out fruit flies, while having no objections to giving autographs, don't like fans of the electrical variety.

As it happens, I have three electric fans in my apartment. So I moved all three of them into the kitchen and turned them on full blast.

And it worked! It's been particularly effective around the kitchen sink, which was always fruit fly heaven. I left one fan on all the time, and I haven't seen a fruit fly in the sink or even the cutting board (they used to hold their wedding receptions on the cutting board). Of course they're all over the garbage can, but I refuse to put my garbage in the freezer as was suggested, and it's hard to put an electric fan in the garbage can, especially since there's no outlet on that wall.

But for the moment, I'm thrilled with the lack of fruit flies around the sink.

Meantime, I'm pleased to report that my editor sent me an e-mail explaining why I haven't heard anything about The Shade Of The Moon The Last Version Ever Ever And I Mean Ever. Everyone's been busy. Well, that's fine. I've been busy too, ridding my world of fruit flies.

Sadly though, my editor explained, the publishing world is going to continue to be busy for quite a while to come. There's the 4th of July, and John Quincy Adam's birthday, and Bastille Day, and the summer Olympics, and the anniversary of the resignation of Richard Nixon, and Benjamin Harrison's birthday, and Labor Day, and the Jewish holidays, and the World Series, and Halloween, and Election Day, and the Macy's Day Parade, and Pearl Harbor Day and Beethoven's birthday, and the Christian holidays, assuming the Mayans were wrong, and if the Mayans were right, well, the world will come to an end before the Christian holidays, and all those gift cards you bought for your nieces and nephews will never get used.

She did reassure me that if the Mayans were wrong and the world doesn't come to an end, there'll be plenty of other things to keep the publishing world busy, and it will probably be two to three years before they can make up their minds about my book. By which point the fruit flies will figure out how to unplug the electric fan and take over my apartment, while expecting me to pay the rent.

Le sigh. At the very least, I hope they invite me to their toga parties!


Heather said...

Easiest and most effective fruit fly armageddon recipe:

Fill a small bowl with water (~1/2 cup), add in a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a splash of dishsoap. Stir and set on counter. The fruit flies will be unable to resist the sweet smell of the cider vinegar, but will sink to the depths of the bowl after discovering that the soap destroys the surface tension of the water/cider mix. Give it 12-24 hours and you will be fruit fly free.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hello Heather-

I tried something last that last summer, and found the fruit flies practicing their 200 meter breast strokes, but I followed your directions and will see what happens (most likely a medal ceremony).

Nina said...

3 YEARS!!! NO! I can't stand it!!!

Anonymous said...

I cannot wait that long :(

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Good evening Nina and Anonymous-

I'm certain it won't take that long to get an official response. It just won't come as quickly as I might like!

tigerlily* said...

I certainly hope that you hear from your publisher in the near future. But we will all wait patiently, even though we might ready to burst from suspense on the inside!

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Good morning tigerlily*-

Trust me, you're not the only one ready to burst from suspense on the inside.

I know for a fact many of my pet fruit flies are very impatient to know what the publisher is going to decide!

Emily said...

You know, I used to think that the Mayans just ran out of their favorite rock and didn't want to carve the rest of the calendar on anything else, but after reading that article, I'm not so sure.

I've recently re-read Life as We Knew It, which makes me even more eager for your next book!

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hallo Emily-

No, those Mayans were pretty smart people, although my guess is they just wanted to avoid last minute Christmas shopping crowds, so they scheduled the end of the world to clear the malls out.

To the best of my knowledge, no one else has that theory.

I've been thinking about rereading Life As We Knew It. I guess it would be cool reading in such hot weather!

jess said...

Susan! I just read all three LAWKI books in the last two days (after finding out about them from the crossover teens section on B&N, as a 29 yr old teenager this section is my lifeblood) and cannot tell you how much I loved them. I was reading book two while hungry and swore a can of green beans would taste like filet!

I instantly googled if there would be a book 4 and found this blog. As someone who has worked in book publishing, I understand your pain but hope hope hope it gets contracted soon!!!

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Jess-

I'm an extremely fortunate person, and one piece of my good fortune is the crossover market for YAs.

Another piece of my good fortune is the absence of fruit flies by my sink. It makes waiting to hear from my editor a lot less painful!