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Eavesdropping might have explained difference in flies

July 13, 2008
By SANDY MICKELSON, Messenger staff writer

Eavesdropping in the newsroom keeps me informed on too much stuff to quit doing it. Trouble is, that propensity to listen can be embarrassing, too.

Like at supper the other night.

We were eating out, intent on the food and quiet. The most action came from two annoying flys trying to eat our dinner rolls. Then I hear a man say, there's one of each, a man fly and a woman fly.

I'm wondering just how he knew that. The flies were different sizes, so I figured I'd get some kind of scientific explanation that would make me look smarter in the future when I dropped this information into a conversation.

"How do you know that?" the woman asked.

He points to the big fly and says, "that one's the woman. Its wiggling its butt."

I laughed so hard everybody in the place heard me. I even got the "shush" look from my husband.

Yes, it's embarrassing to laugh so hard everybody looks, but I'm not ashamed of laughing. Aside from shaking like good ol' Saint Nick when I laugh, the whole concept of laughing is good for me. Good for anybody.

I have no scientific proof that this is so, but think about it. Don't you feel better when you're laughing than when you're sad or even just even - when you're neither up nor down, just going along with nothing to cause fluctuation in your life. On my snide days, I'd call it dead, but the fly story still tickles me, so I'll call it even.

You never know when something will tickle your fancy, funny bone or not.

The other day I was out on a road trip, driving east on Highway 15 north of Rolfe before it turned north again to West Bend. Thick black clouds to the south stayed there, but wispy black clouds floated around along Highway 15.

Honestly, it was like looking at those 3D pictures where if your eyes move ever so slightly, you could see figures in the patterned flat board/paper/page. I actually stopped the car to watch the clouds, trying to dig out the layers of clouds I saw. At most I counted four layers, all different shades of gray.

It's one of those "Wow" things. Seldom seen but most amazing.

Amazing covers a lot, doncha know. Even Tracy Byrd.

More than loving the work, I get a few perks with my job, like interviewing special people like Tracy Byrd. He's coming to that Country Bash concert in Dayton, and I got to talk to him for a story. I've sung duets with him many times, so talking to him tickled me plumb silly.

Many years ago in Wisconsin, I got to talk to Travis Tritt. He called, and when he said "Hi, this is Travis Tritt," I giggled. When I made arrangements to talk to Byrd, I was ordered not to giggle. Giggling isn't professional.

Giggling is like a laugh, though, and laughing is good.

When I told Byrd I'd sung with him often, I just couldn't tell him the song went sour right away when he stopped singing. It's easy even for me to sound good with his voice mixed in. At least, that's what my mind tells me.

Others say different things.

So long friends, until the next time when we're together.

Contact Sandy Mickelson at (515) 573-2141 or



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