Thursday, October 25, 2007
The Karmic Significance of Fruit Flies
The above photo is a close up of the compound eye of a common fruit fly. Obviously, a miraculous organism. I kill the little fuckers everyday.
About three weeks ago, our house became infested. I'd walk into the kitchen and find about a hundred of them having a party, rubbling their little legs together, looking for something sweet and sticky. They'd float past my eyes and try to go up my nose. This precipitated massive killing sprees. The one good thing about them is that they're slow.
A few days ago I explored the issue with Dr. Wes of whether my murderous ways might have karmic implications, and how this might explain some of my recent difficulties. Assuming a fruit fly lives about 3 days, he said, I'd need to kill about 10,000 of them to equal a single human life.
Wes is never shy about having an opinion.
This seemed not so bad. I kill maybe 5-20 a day on average. Maybe 100 tops on a really, really big day, but that doesn't happen much anymore. We found the source last week in a maggoty pail in the corner of the laundry room, so the numbers have gone down.
10,000 seemed like a big, safe threshold. I was sure I was nowhere near 1,000. What's the life equivalent of less than a tenth of a human? A pine tree? A tomato plant? Maybe a pigeon? I don't know the answers to these questions. Then I discovered that the adult life-cycle of a fruit fly is actually around a couple of weeks.
This bothered me. It's hard to feel bad about killing something that barely exists anyway, but two weeks? Maybe, in fruit fly terms, that's a rich lifespan. Or, maybe it's worse to kill something that only lives a few days, because, like, man, that's all it's got, you know?
Fortunately, due to the new Blogger polling element, located at the top right of this page, you can help me to decide. Here's my very first poll. Please cast your vote on this important issue today.
Fruit Flies. Do they Count?
A.) Yes. All life is sacred. You're totally screwing up your karma dude.
B.) No. It's a fruit fly. Clean your floor and buy some insecticide, idiot.
C.) Undecided. The universe is vast and mysterious. I really can't deal.
The results are in! A whopping 38 of the 877 unique visitors last week weighed in on this pressing issue, and fruit flies carry no karmic weight whatsoever.