The Fly, Pose 1 (Hipstamatic iPhone Capture)

The Fly, Pose 1 (Hipstamatic iPhone Capture)
The Fly, Pose 1 (Hipstamatic iPhone Capture)[clear]

The Fly, Pose 2 (Hipstamatic iPhone Capture)

Identical to the fly ashtray that’s in Jarmusch’s “Mystery Train”…

…down to the patina–I like to think Screamin’ Jay Hawkins swatted it by inference (except he didn’t swat the fly, the bell hop did, but I always remember Hawkins as having swatted it), for which reason we’re quite fond of the fly and have held onto it all these years. We came upon it in a thrift shop not long after seeing the film in 1989 and lugged it around with us later on a cross country trip, taking photos of it on great bread basket midwest fence posts and on the windowsills of various motel rooms, which served as inspiration for it appearing in “Unending Wonders of a Subatomic World” in the Memphis portion. When we crossed over into Canada, the single crossing guard with big, dark, aviator sunglasses decided ours was a car to search. Others were being waved through by laughing guards. Ours didn’t laugh. From four car lengths away we could tell he believed he was a star in an action-packed thriller. With painstaking attention to detail, our vehicle and its contents were examined. I was carrying a couple large loose leaf binders filled with some writing I was working on at the time. There were several hundred pages total and they went through every single damn one. Perhaps she was playing good cop to the bad cop, but the female crossing guard seemed sincere in her apology when she said she didn’t see why they were doing this. When she came upon the fly she exclaimed and grinned oohed and aahed over it, taking the opportunity to add some levity to the ordeal. She thought it was great, she said. She wanted one like it.

In which Screamin’ Jay Hawkins does not swat the fly. The bellhop does.

Published by

Juli Kearns

Juli Kearns is the author of Thunderbird and the Ball of Twine and Unending Wonders of a Subatomic World (or) In Search of the Great Penguin. She is also an artist/photographer, and the person behind the web alter of "Idyllopus Press".

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