For What’s Bugging You


LOCKED AND SEASONED. I have armed myself. A while back, I was at a friend and colleague’s house in Rossville, a popular place for the Second Amendment.

We were brainstorming a project we’re both involved in when he spotted a fly – several, in fact. He picked up a pump gun and both of his dogs jumped up – they are, after all, hunting dogs – and started running around the room. He stood, slide cocking the weapon, releasing the safety and looking down the barrel through the pop-up site.

The fly never had a chance. Nor the second one. Nor the two he let me handle.

I’m through lunging at flies with rolled up magazines, swinging a sweatshirt at the ceiling, knocking over a lamp in the middle in the night going for the filthy little buzzers driving us crazy. I now have my own Bug-A-Salt sodium-loaded pest pulverizer and if they fly in here, they’re not flying out. At Christmas, I armed my son and son-in-law with one as well. We’re not playing.

Flies now know, if you come around here – just like the Morton’s salt it’s loaded with – when the Bug-A-Salt rains, baby, it pours.

And I’ve found other uses for my bright yellow – it also comes in camo – Bug-A-Salt shotgun.

In 1974, Elvis shot Robert Goulet in a hotel suite in Vegas. Actually, he shot the TV tuned to Goulet’s performance. Elvis shot a lot of TVs and perhaps other appliances – the actual number, like of lot of Elvis actualities, is hazy – and legend has it the victims are buried at Graceland.

Perhaps I was inspired by the King the first time I picked up the Bug-A-Salt and shot my flat screen, taking out Jeffrey Lord, re-cocking and dropping Kellyanne Conway while covering the whole jabbering panel with salt splatter. I’ve since declared open season on chesty blond surrogates on the right and preachy doomsayers on the left. Local weather people get salted every time they interrupt whatever I’m watching to tell me it’s about to get windy somewhere. When Dish shows me a partial signal loss, they get a full load. NFL, SEC and NBA referees … and Houston’s James Harden … are fully seasoned.

And macOS Sierra makes me shoot my iMac several times a day.

The confirmation hearings have run me out of salt twice.

Just seeing Tennessee’s own Marsha Blackburn on TV makes me take up my Bug-A-Salt in defense of women’s rights.

Eat salt, Marsha.

Whatever your issues, whatever’s flying around in your own psyche these days, I’ve found this to be excellent therapy. It’s fun, the dogs get into it, and my wife – while a bit uneasy at my enthusiasm – is amused by it, and when it’s over the only damage is easily wiped off the screen.


In such a target-rich environment, channeling my aggression and frustration into harmless, even silly, activity until the emotions pass is both calming and satisfying.

You might give it a shot.

I’m a Memphian, and please pass the salt. 

Dan Conaway, a communication strategist and author of “I’m a Memphian,” can be reached at