Wednesday, February 27, 2008

on the fly

Venus fly-trap
Sometimes it is rather useful for a family to have words and sayings that have nothing to do with their actual meanings.

Several weeks ago while helping my 11 year old son get ready for school, I noticed his fly was down. For some reason I said "Venus flytrap", which of course he thought was odd, I told him "your fly is down". "oh" and he zipped it up. He told me that as a metaphor venus flytrap just has nothing to do with someone's fly being down, and thus is stupid. I said they both have the word fly in them, and flytraps make me think of zippers.
So anyway since that morning, when out and about at grocery store, et. cetera, I have had cause to softly say to my son "Venus flytrap". It always annoys him, he rolls his eyes, telling me again how it is not a good metaphor, or analogy, or anything, while he zipps up his pants. This morning, while I was dropping my son off at school, as he stood getting his binder out of the car, I saw silver, his fly was down. As other kids also getting dropped off for school were around I merely said "Don't forget to make sure the thing is up". "What?" He looked at me like I was crazy. "Venus flytrap" I said clearly and loud enough to carry. "Ooohh" he smiled and zipped up his fly. So silly saying or not, we were both pleased to have a code word for such a predicament.

(photo from


Paul said...

That's awesome. Venus Flytrap is perfect code.

My wife is from Pittsburgh and there they say "Kennywood's Open" if your fly is down. We use that one.


witnessing am i said...

What a wonderful post, Taffiny. I really loved this. Loved the simple nature of this, your relationship with your son, the progression of "venus flytrap" going from being somethig stupid a mother says to being quite useful.

You have a lucky son.

Taffiny said...



I can't help but wonder at the origin/meaning of "Kennywood's Open"..

I am now thinking he and I should brainstorm together to think of situations and codes that might be useful to us.


Thanks, I really appreciate your liking the post, and saying that.

There are ways he is lucky, and unlucky, with the mom he got. I hope when he is older he can look back and see clearly my love for him through both.