I was in the hardware store yesterday and I overheard a nerdy, iPhone wielding guy ask where the fruit fly traps were. From all appearances this was a guy who was a techie. Geeky but based on what he was wearing, probably a successful geek. From the white pallor of his skin, I think he spends most of his time indoors. I bet he's a problem solver, but views it from a "new is better" perspective. I say this because I tracked him down and gave him a homespun fix that is way better than any trap bought in a store.
Yup, I followed the guy. I realized that if I had a preconceived notion of him, he certainly had one of me. There I was in the store with a ratty t-shirt, covered in sawdust, wearing worn out jeans and dirty tennis shoes. I was unshaven and my hair is getting that distinctive look that only bald men get when the hair gets shaggy--I call it the clown shroud.
I leaned in conspiratorially to the guy and said, "Hey...I heard you're looking for a fruit fly trap."
He seemed a little unnerved, but had that courteous demeanor we all put on to strangers in public.
"Yes, I am."
I decided I would give him a little folk wisdom, whether he wanted it or not.
"You don't need a trap, man. All you need to do is take a piece of fruit, cut it in half, put it in a bowl, cover it with Saran wrap and punch a bunch of holes in the top. The fruit flies are smart enough to get in, but too dumb to get out, and so they get trapped. Works like a charm."
"Thanks--maybe I'll try it," he said, looking as if he only hoped I'd go away. The entire time he had his iPhone in his hands, as if he was checking out ratings of different fruit fly trap brands.
I suddenly felt like I needed to convince this tech guy of the efficacy of an old school remedy and so I quickly blurted out, "I do it all the time--it works great. You should try it!" He just nodded again in feigned appreciation and so I left him to his search with a shrug of my shoulders.
Since the hardware store didn't have what I needed, I headed for the door. The tech guy caught my eye as I walked past him while he was asking two employees exactly where the fruit fly traps were. Since he realized I had overheard him, I heard him say, "This gentleman suggested another method, but I'd like to buy a trap so I have a few options."
As I tossed my shopping basket into the pile at the door, I let loose a last parting shot, "You gotta try it, because it works!" With those words, I headed out the door and realized that I had become "that guy," the guy who sidles up to people who never asked for his help and tells them a homespun remedy that sounds a little crazy.
I don't mind.
And besides, if you've ever been to my kitchen, you'd know that from time to time, I'm bound to have a fruit fly problem.