Last Monday night before 11:15 p.m. our house was broken into. I don’t know how he got in—my guess is he came through the garage. In any case, there’s no excuse for breaking into someone’s home. The intruder could’ve taken anything he could carry and gotten away scot-free, but he wasn’t content with that. I realized his motives were much more sinister than theft when I spied him in our bedroom just as I was about to fall asleep.

He probably never knew his parents and was born into poverty, but frankly, I just don’t care. He had to be killed. And I killed him. But it wasn’t murder. It was self-defense.

My reaction was justified because it was evident this guy was planning to slowly torture us to death. That’s how it is with his kind. And although his miserable life was taken, I consoled myself in the simple fact that it was either him or me. I’ll even go as far as to say the world was better off without him. I felt no remorse and didn’t even call the police. Instead, I carried his body to our backyard and I buried it there.

*  *  *

Oddly enough, the break-in and subsequent death of the intruder was triggered years ago by a habit my wife, Karyl, and I accidentally acquired on Thursday, June 10, 2010, when we bought a $2.00 TV perch at a garage sale. When we got home, we had to hang it somewhere. The only wall that made sense was in our bedroom. The perch looked barren up there so, of course, we had to buy a TV to put on it. After a week, we decided a blank TV screen wasn’t very interesting. We purchased a DVD player and set it under the TV. Believe it or not, it was still boring. Finally, we bought a DVD to put in that player.

*  *  *

BTW: Karyl is a Weight Watchers coach, so, from her job training, we knew watching TV as you go to sleep sometimes doesn’t lead to a sound sleep. And if you’re not sleeping well it’s nearly impossible to lose weight. I should know. I’m about 843 pounds overweight. It couldn’t be my habits, so must be the TV, right? We knew we were going against the advice of every sleep expert in North America, but what could we do? The TV was already on its perch!

*  *  *

Anyway, we’re not fond of modern movies, but we remembered that “The Thin Man” (1934) starring William Powell and Myrna Loy was pretty good (and “Myrna” is a cool name). So we Amazoned “The Thin Man” right to our house and watched it six nights later when we figured out how to program the remote. After 43 nights of watching it, we heard there were more “Thin Man” movies. We were hooked. We ordered them all:

• The Thin Man

• After the Thin Man

• Another Thin Man

• Shadow of the Thin Man

• The Thin Man Goes Home

• Song of the Thin Man

• The Thin Man vs Godzilla

Okay—I made the last one up.

*  *  *

All that to say this: I should’ve been asleep, but when the intruder passed in front of the TV, he caught my complete attention. It was one thing to come into the house during the day. He might get away with that. But landing on Myrna Loy’s cheek was the last straw. I had to kill him—no matter how tired I was.

*  *  *

If a fly ever enters your bedroom at night here’s what to do:

• Pause the movie.

• Open the door from your bedroom to the adjacent bathroom and turn on its light.

• If you don’t have an adjacent bathroom then hire a remodeling crew to make one.

• Put a cover over the TV.

• Go into the bathroom, grab the fly-killing towel.

• In the unlikely event that you don’t have a fly-killing towel or (perish the thought) your spouse put it with the other towels (yuck), leave the fly to contemplate his doom, get dressed, drive to Walmart, buy a fly-killing towel and a can of black spray paint to mark it so your stupid spouse doesn’t put it with the other towels, buy a TV cover while you’re there and some Bluebell Pecan Praline, (in case you happen to slip in your weight-loss regimen), and finally, return to the bathroom.

• Wait.

• Wait longer—He’ll come to the light. He has to. It’s in his DNA. (BTW: Don’t disesteem fly DNA. The Military has attempted to teach drones to land upside down on ceilings for 11 years. So far they haven’t come close. One hour old Flies can do it with no practice and no instruction manual.)

• When he arrives (often in less than 45 minutes) shut the door.

• Wait till he lands (unless he’s one of the “fly till you die” species. In which case you’ll have to knock him out of the air–which isn’t as hard as it sounds—Trust me: It only takes five weeks to master it.)

• Pop him with the towel.

• If you skipped Towel Popping 101 in seventh-grade, go to your computer room and watch YouTube videos on towel popping techniques.

• If you don’t have a computer room hire a remodeling crew to make one.

• Pick up the dead fly with a tissue.

• Bury him in the backyard so you can casually say, “I killed a home intruder and buried him in my backyard.”

*  *  *

Karyl said I’m not able to lose weight because I don’t sleep well. She didn’t know I don’t sleep well because I’m up every night killing flies.

I close with this advice: Don’t hang a TV perch on your bedroom wall.

Editor: Expect a letter from Mrs. Harmon, my seventh-grade English teacher complaining about run-on sentences and the use of “Amazoned” as a verb. Don’t let her know Johnny added those to give her the enjoyment of correcting his writing each week. And do NOT tell her Johnny loves her. Too gooey. And if she mentions it, tell her disesteem is a real word.

Johnny Hayre worked at E-Systems/Raytheon/L-3 until he retired in 2013. He and wife Karyl have lived in Greenville since 2002 and are now “empty-nesters.” They have three living children and seven grandchildren, who are each beautiful, intelligent and  all the usual parent-grandparent praises. Email him at

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