Monday 12 July 2021

A failing flycatcher

The fly is a spy

One of the nursery rhymes, if it were a rhyme in my childhood, was about the lady who swallowed a fly and then a spider, and many more predators to go after the each subsequent prey she ended up swallowing and for each ingestion, I bet she died, but she seemed to have more lives than a cat. [Wikipedia: There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly]

I have been trying to get at a fly, just one fly and it has been a menace. I do not intend to swallow the fly, but anything that can help me kill it would be a joy beyond measure. Last year, I bought an electronic fly swat racket and that was ambitious of me if I were to recognise my limitations.

Hand-eye mis-coordination

My parents took me for tennis lessons when I was 8 and I was completely useless at the game, I could not even hit the ball, much as my dad was an avid tennis player. Whilst I cannot say I was ever a sportsman, the main reason I could not hit the ball was because I had astigmatism, my right eye was not aligned for stereo vision, though it was not diagnosed until I was in my late 20s.

The lazy eye meant I could not track speed and distance, my awkward handling of the racket in trying to hit the ball was simply with funny eyes, my hand-eye coordination was off. At that age, something could have been done, like my wearing an eye-patch for a period of time to correct the alignment, but in my 20s, the best that could be done was to attempt a correction in the lenses of my glasses.

Not seeing too clearly

However, I was not suddenly going to be a tennis professional once I began to see as I was apparently supposed to see things. My brain had already programmed some compensation into having a dominant eye and I managed the rest by not risking life or limb crossing roads when I was not sure, though there was one time I did cross the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway at the Isolo flyover completely oblivious of the car speeding towards me, everyone screaming and I none the wiser until long after the event. It could have been the end of me.

This eyesight deficiency has also informed my decision not to drive because of the necessity of judging the speed of approaching vehicles and how fast the vehicle is closing the distance between us is one that could make me both a poor and dangerous driver. There is nothing I need to prove in that area, I will not be able to drive. My fly-swatting racket is a dud, not so much because it cannot swat flies, but because somehow, the fly also has a mind of its own, if I do get it, I might just play the lottery too.

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