For about two minutes during Wednesday night’s vice-presidential debate, a large, black fly planted itself on Vice President Mike Pence’s white hair.

It may have been the most compelling live television of 2020. A nation in dire need of something good to cling to sat fascinated, wondering if the fly might remain atop Pence’s noggin for the entirety of the debate. Social media lit up with fly jokes. Entomologists, I assume, rejoiced.

I doubt many Americans could understand what that fly was saying during the debate. Our educational system has never prioritized Diptera-as-a-second-language classes. Fortunately, I am fluent in fly, and the winged insect’s comments were picked up clearly on Pence’s microphone.

As a service to my fellow Americans, those rooting for Pence as well as supporters of Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris, I am happy to provide the following transcript:

Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Oh man, what is this stuff I’m on, snow? Nah, it’s not cold. Kinda sticky, though.

Whoa, I’m on some dude’s hair! Oh, bug, I must be standing out like a sore leg segment. Hope there aren’t any frogs around.

This dude better not try to swat me. I’ve still got a good 15 days left. Last thing I need is to get squashed on some human’s helmet head.

What’s with all the lights? Are those cameras? COOL! Hey, look at me, focus on me! Hey, I’m a fly, check out these wings.

Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! Man, that’s fun to say. I never get sick of that.

Wow, this guy sure talks a lot. Let me listen.

Hold up, hold up. Is this the vice president? Did I land on the head of the (expletive) vice president?!? Oh, man. HEY DAN, YOU WATCHIN’ THIS? I’M GONNA SPIT ON THE VICE PRESIDENT’S HEAD!

Boy, I hope my brother Dan’s watching. He’ll be so freakin’ jealous.

Man, does this guy ever shut up? That lady over there who’s asking the questions seems to want him to stop talking but he just keeps going.

C’mon, dude. Shut up! She’s asking you nicely, man.

I hear her, she keeps saying, “Thank you, Vice President Pence. Thank you, Vice President Pence. Thank you, Vice President Pence.”

And you’re still talking! That’s just rude. Take a hint, buddy.

Oh, now the other lady is talking, the one behind that clear barrier thingy I almost flew into.

All right, she’s kind of making some sense here. I want to hear...WHOA, WHITE HAIR, YOU JUST CUT HER OFF! SHE WAS STILL TALKING AND YOU JUST...

Hey, why isn’t the question-asking lady doing anything? Dude just cut off the other lady and now he’s talking a mile a minute.

This is...this just seems rude. It’s almost like this man whose head I’m sitting on doesn’t have much respect for women. He’s just doing whatever he pleases. Heck, half the time he’s not even answering the question, just going on and on about what a great job him and that dude Trump have done on the coronavirus and...

Wait a minute. Great job on the coronavirus? HAHHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAAAAAAAA!

Listen here, dude whose head I’m on. I’m a common house fly. I darn near killed myself a couple minutes ago because I don’t understand what Plexiglas is. I have a brain the size of a poppy seed, and even I know you and your boss screwed up this coronavirus thing.

You, sir, are lying! I can’t believe...OH MY GOD, HE’S TALKING OVER THE QUESTION-ASKING LADY AGAIN!

Are there any brains under this pomade-heavy hunk of white hair? You’re disrespecting the lady behind the Plexiglas, and you’re straight-up ignoring the one asking questions. Does the word “misogynist” mean anything to you?

C’mon, dude. I find this offensive, and I like sitting on poop! How do you think this is playing in the suburbs, my dude?

Lord, I can’t take this anymore. I came along looking for a place to rest, maybe lay a few hundred eggs. And I have to bear witness to this 1950s throwback trying to...OH NO, NOW HE’S TRYING TO SAY THERE’S NO SYSTEMIC RACISM?

Well, at least he didn’t OH MAN NOW HE BROUGHT UP HIS BOSS HAVING JEWISH GRANDCHILDREN AS A DEFENSE?!?

That’s it. I’m getting out of here before I tarnish the good name of flies everywhere. I’ll find a more wholesome place to lay my eggs.

Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.


Rex Huppke is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune.

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