You witnessed it on national TV Wednesday night just like I did. It commanded your attention. And, if you are being truthful, you will admit that you became enamored by the sight.
After about a minute, you became fixated. You were not alone. Thousands of Americans had the internet buzzing about it. You know what I’m talking about, right?
No, I’m not referring to that debate-crashing, attention-grabbing Super Fly that landed on and stuck to Vice-President Mike Pence’s perfectly coiffed hair.
Actually, I am referring to Sen. Kamala Harris’ comment: “Mr. Vice President, I am speaking.” Good Lord, the memories. When "I’m talking" came out of my grandmother’s mouth, or any adult for that matter, it was time for children to shut up or take shelter.
I know there are many people, especially those of color in the boomer age group, that shouted “amen” when they heard it.
Harris’ comment was both soft and brutal. She was asking both for common courtesy and demanding respect. “Mr. Vice President, I am speaking,” simultaneously cut like a butter knife and a razor.
While it didn’t always stop Pence from barging in while she was speaking, it definitely resonated with the public. I could envision women, especially Black women, nodding approval or high-fiving each time she said it.
There’s talk of people already getting shirts done bearing that comment. These are the times we’re in when the simple request for a little common courtesy attracts attention. Yep, this is 2020.
With that, I’ll let the real political pundits determine who won the debate. But Harris’ comment is still reverberating through America.
Now about that fly. Isn’t it so 2020 that a fly would steal attention from a historic debate between two vice presidential candidates? These are truly strange times.
Yes, we all soaked in the seriousness of the answers to questions about the president and his team’s early reaction to the deadly COVID-19 virus. We know that over 210,000 Americans are dead and millions more contracted the virus. It is a sorrow of giant proportions in American life. We all get that.
But, for nearly three minutes, a fly stole our hearts and minds.
Initially, I thought the fly was on my TV screen. But, upon closer inspection, I could see that the fly was chilling in Pence’s hair.
Immediately I started getting tweets with silly remarks, some too bad to repeat.
Would it stay or would it go? Then I thought: “I’ve never seen a fly stay in one position so long.” To spend two or three minutes anywhere is a major commitment for a fly because its life expectancy is only 15 to 30 days.
Then my mind started to drift.
If it was a female fly, then that could be problematic for Pence, who has suggested in the past that he won’t dine alone with a woman who is not his wife. This fly seemed to be dining.
He was going to have to do some explaining to the Missus who was unusually quick on the stage after the debate. By the way, she wasn’t wearing a mask. What a great example for the country, seeing that her husband is head of the president’s coronavirus response team.
Now, this is something I can’t verify. Some folks said the fly limped outside to an awaiting tiny helicopter headed for Walter Reed Hospital. Pence could have been contagious with COVID-19, so out of an abundance of caution, the fly’s family believed a trip to Walter Reed was necessary.
I wonder if some of the conspiracy theorists will be conjuring up stuff that the fly was sent by the opposition to distract viewers during a crucial response by Pence. Admittedly, the fly did not venture over the anti-COViD-19 plexiglass dividers into Harris’s hair. Very suspicious, I say.
And, real reporters, on top of their jobs, would have interviewed the fly about its shenanigans. Obviously, they were showing their biases.
There is one question left hanging in the air after the fly issue: What if it had landed in the president’s hair?
Email Edward Pratt a former newspaperman, at firstname.lastname@example.org.