During the last week in March, hardworking local New Londoner, Michael Rix made a startling announcement. He had seen the first housefly of the season. While the housefly is a common pest that disrupts meals and awakens people from a perfectly good midsummer sleep, these insects are absent from New London in winter. Whether they hibernate during the colder months or migrate to southern climates around October is a matter of debate.
Mr. Rix, who suffers from clothes hanger thumb, has a job that allows him to travel. From his professional headquarters on the corner of Bank Street and Montauk Avenue in New London, Mr. Rix visits locations in Mystic, Groton, Montville, Waterford and Niantic over the course of any given day. His routine takes him to a number of different environments where he can observe how the seasons change over time.
Mr. Rix reported that the fly he had seen was fat, black and slow. Its size was particularly noteworthy, being about the length of a bit of pimento. Its girth suggested tht this was a mature housefly that had weathered winter well. Its speed suggested that March's chill had some effect on its muscles, but it was still fast enough to escape being swatted.
Mr. Rix announced that he had spotted the fly and he predicted spring would soon follow. He made this announcement in front of a number of witnesses. The word went out around town and no one else could claim to have seen another housefly yet this year. The local media were contacted and Mr. Rix gave interviews, describing in detail what he had witnessed. Mr. Rix's discovery was published and two television stations carried the story. Mr. Rix is very telegenic, and he presented the best possible face New London has to offer.
Just as Mr. Rix predicted, spring has begun. Several more housefly sightings have been documented. Daffodils and jonquils have bloomed and the trees have started to bud. Birds have returned to New London and thier songs fill the pre dawn air. The heating oil companies have stopped making deliveries.
As a reward for his sharp eyes, the Mayor of New London officially recognized Mr. Rix for the good news he brought the city. She read a proclomation before the assembled City Council and presented Mr. Rix with the key to the city whch was specially made from a leftover slug at Radick's Rapid Locksmith and spray painted gold for the occasion. Unfortunately, Mr. Rix lost the key a week later. Because he has clothes hanger thumb, it is sometimes hard for him to hold small objects. It is an occupational hazard.