What’s in a name?


I watched that film last night – the one you said I should.”

“What did you think of it.”

“A bit far-fetched, I thought.”

“Of course it is. It’s science fiction horror. What did you expect?”

“I was ready to suspend my disbelief for a while, but please … The transportation I can follow; seen loads of it on Star Trek. I can even go along with the melding. Remember the time Tuvok and Neelix merged in the beam and became Tuvix? But that was how they came out, completely melded. This gradual morphing from a man to an overgrown killer-fly thing? Sorry, I just don’t buy it.”

“Lots of people did. It did well at the box office and the critics loved it.”

“Most things Jeff does go down well. Anyway, shall I tell you what else has been bothering me lately?”

“Go on then.”

“Why do they call us ‘fly’?”

“It’s what we do, isn’t it? We fly.”

“Yes, but we walk up walls and windows and hang upside-down on ceilings, too, but that’s not what they call us. And anyway, birds, beetles, bees, wasps, hornets, mosquitoes, bats and loads of other things fly, too. But they aren’t called flies.”

“Ladybirds aren’t birds, either.”

“I know, they’re beetles. Do you know, there are more than five thousand species of ladybird worldwide, and only forty-six of them in Britain?”

“Earth to Mork, Earth to Mork — come back to base. You’re going off on a tangent again!”

“I know, but the whole subject fascinates me. What I don’t get, though, is what the status of ladybirds has to do with anything?”

“Just saying that a thing’s name can be a bit random. Naming it after what it does is one way…”

“Okay, then. We’ll call humans ‘walks’ instead. And dogs? We’ll call them ‘barks’. And bears, we’ll call…”

“I can imagine. But you’re being silly now.”

“Am I?”

“Yes, you are. Anyway, whilst you’re contemplating why other animals can’t hang on the ceiling – it’s because they don’t have sticky feet, by the way—”

“Some of them have sticky fingers, though.”

“Yeah. They’re called shoplifters. Meanwhile, much as I’d love to stay here and discuss the finer points of structural and mechanical differences between members of the insecta and chordata phyla with you, I have … oh dear, what’s the insect equivalent of other fish to fry?”

“Other sugars to vomit on and consume?”

“Yes, but no. That’s nasty. Oh yes, that’s it! My brother-in-law’s friend’s father’s grandmother’s sister’s pet ant died and it’s my turn to console her.”


“My brother-in-law’s friend’s father’s grandmother’s sister. Must fly.”

“Yeah. I see what you did there. Very good.”

This original fiction was written in response to Kreative Kue 378 published on this site earlier this week.


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