Questions prompted by a conversation on the fly

By Gerre Joiner | Published Saturday, November 22, 2014

Share this page...

Had an interesting conversation this morning with my friend, John Hogan, worship pastor for our church. He began our conversation by reporting about a recent conversation in which he had participated with some mutual friends regarding the life cycle of the common house fly.

Gerre Joiner

Gerre Joiner

Here are the facts:

  • The fly starts out as one egg in a batch of about 150 eggs. The mama fly produces up to five or six batches in just a few days. A mama fly favors manure when choosing a place to lay her egg batch.
  • Within a day, the eggs turn into larvae, also known as maggots. They lay (and feed) in the manure and mature for a period of three to five days. Then each one develops into a pupa.
  • When the pupa finishes a four-day transformation, there appears a fly with three pairs of legs and a pair of wings.
  • Within a few hours, the female is capable of reproduction.
  • The life expectancy of the house fly is from 15 to 30 days.

Here are a few questions that arose from the cerebral conversation John was having with our mutual friends:

  • Do you think a fly knows he/she has only two or three weeks to live?
  • If they know they only have a short life expectancy, do they talk about it to their friends? (“Thought I’d drop by and visit for a while. I’ll be croaking tomorrow.”)
  • If they know they have only a short while to live, are they less careful toward the end of the life cycle than at the beginning? (Fly 1: “Here comes a lady with a flyswatter.” Fly 2: “Yes, I see her. You go on. My life cycle’s finished tomorrow anyway.”
  • If a lady with a flyswatter doesn’t end a fly’s life, what does? Old age? A windshield?

While thinking of the upcoming Thanksgiving season, I consider some of the following elements of my life … and am extremely thankful.

  • I am thankful that my life cycle does not include unsavory stages called “pupa” or “maggot.”
  • I’m thankful that not one of my life stages includes maturing in anything that rhymes with manure.
  • I’m glad I don’t have to keep track of 149 siblings or their offspring.
  • I’m thankful I have already seen wonderful blessings in a rewarding life cycle that has turned out to be much longer than 30 days.
  • I’m thankful I don’t know how long my life cycle will last and that my ultimate “transformation” will be enjoyed in heaven with the One who made both me and the little fly.

On a lighter note:

A very sensitive minister was driving past a cemetery when he heard a man’s voice shouting the question, “Why did he die?!” He thought he might be able to help some poor struggling soul, so he turned around, found the man kneeling at a graveside, still shouting the question, “Why did he die?”

The minister asked, “Was the deceased your son? Your father?” The man shook his head and repeated the question, “Why did he die?”

The minister finally asked, “Well, who was this person?”

The man shouted, “My wife’s first husband!!”

Gerre Joiner is a semi-retired church musician and has lived in Decatur since 1999.

Leave a Reply. Note: As of March 24, 2011, all posted comments will include the users full name.

WCMessenger.com News and Blog Comment Guidelines

You must be logged in to post a comment.