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Tuesday August 21st 2012    Tim Candler

     The Fruit Fly gathering is later than usual this year.  The kitchen downstairs appears to be a paradise for them.  They like coffee in the morning, thrive upon cleaning products, become excited around refrigerator doors, they thrill at the prospect of spending time inside a freeze box or microwave oven. Nor are they in the least alarmed by any maniacal with murderous intent swatting activities directed against them.  But more astonishing is that a of all creatures in the world, a variety of very small male Fruit Fly called Drosophila Bifurca has the largest sperm. About nine thousand times larger than gametes that provide the haploid generation in the males of my own species.

      I have no intention of ever knowing exactly what variety of Fruit Fly it is that have chosen to call the room where I sleep home.  And I am certainly not going to completely lose touch with reality by starting to wonder about what it is the upstairs branch of their community finds to eat.  I would prefer to think these five little creatures, obsessed by a computer screen, are driven by curiosity and a deep yearning to improve themselves, because the cruelest thing about Fruit Flies is their practice of traumatic insemination.  A male pierces a female's body in order to  inject his sperm through what becomes a wound in her abdomen.  It's a wound that leaves her susceptible to infection, premature death and sadness.   I am told Robber Flies and some Wasps, prey upon Fruit Flies, but, however tempting it might be, I am not yet so deranged as to open a window onto that spectacle, or call forth a far too obvious political digression.

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