When I arrive at our meeting point, the fly of the hour is already reclining on an orange peel, rubbing its front legs together in a pensive manner. The fly looks relaxed, but its compound eyes sparkle. Unlike most celebrities, it is a little bit larger in person, though its features are delicate. It’s easy to see why so many eyes were drawn to it during the vice-presidential debate. Its dainty, gossamer-thin wings look touchable. It doesn’t seem a day over a day, but, in fact, it’s a little over that. I won’t specify how close it is toward the end of its 28-day lifespan — a lady never tells!

The following conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.

So, you’re the fly from the vice-presidential debate.


You were on Mike Pence’s head. From what I can gather of your age, you spent — that’s — that’s like if I were to spend a month on Mike Pence’s head. Maybe even longer. How long were those minutes for you?


I’m trying to imagine what it must have felt like to spend the fraction of your life that you have spent listening to Mike Pence claim that justice was served for Breonna Taylor and insisting that it was “not true” that the president had failed to condemn white supremacists. I can’t imagine it. I guess that’s not really a question.


Washington Post columnists weigh in on the vice-presidential debate between Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) and Vice President Mike Pence on Oct.7, 2020. (The Washington Post)

The White House reportedly has a big fly problem. Is that where you hail from?


I’m sorry, I have to ask. I know that Reince Priebus spent a lot of his time in the —


— White House swatting flies on the president’s orders, so I know the vice president has difficulty —


Did you think Susan Page was an effective —


— moderator?

(The fly gives a conspiratorial twitch of its thorax that seems to invite me into a secret of our own making.)

And so when Vice President Pence was asked about — I’m sorry, whenever I interview anyone I feel like it’s just me talking and talking and then at the end I look at the transcript and I’m like, oh, I should have let them say something. But that’s the opposite of the problem that Mike Pence had tonight, not getting to talk.


Are you a fruit fly? Or do you mostly — if you could land on any substance, what would you land on?

(Very gracefully and with effortless cool, the fly deposits itself on a small pile of horse dung.)

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