When I return to Maine, the deer flies and I play a cruel game: they try to bite my head, whilst I try my best to make them dead.
The game is played on the bike trail and wood trails of the University of Maine. Back in the day, it was referred to as University of Maine at Orono (UMO) or UM “Zero.” I still call it that, partially because I’m a traditionalist about some things and partially because it really annoys some people. Anyway, back to the game.
The deer flies, which breed by the thousands in the woods, try to bite me. They, for some reason, almost always go for my head. Normally, the game is played while I am running, which limits the game to the faster flies. This year, however, my quadriceps tendon repair limited me to walking the trails. I thought that this would entail that I would be surrounded by vast numbers of flies from the zippy fellows all the way down to the lazy ones. However, I just had the usual amounts. Perhaps they are a spotting lot and decided to stick with the classic game for old time’s sake.
As I walked as fast as my bad leg would let me go, the flies launched their attacks. In response, I would try to grab them and send them off to deer fly heaven (populated, no doubt, by fat and immobile deer). As usual, the score was zero for the flies and about 60 for me. Since the flies have not scored once since I started running the trails a couple decades ago, one would think they would give up. But, I have to hand it to them: they are always ready for a go. They are not very good at the game, but their spirit is as great as their intelligence is small. Of course, since I am the only one who survives the game, they do not get much (any) practice. Just zoom and crush, a glorious death for a deer fly.
Normally, I am against killing critters, but I’m fine with competitive sports. The flies show up to play and I would be remiss not to give them my very best.