AMONG THE MANY AND VARIED ignominies of old age, I sadly discovered a new one today: my once unerring agility at swatting flies has eroded noticeably. I regard this as a physical diminishment equivalent to what a professional ballplayer suffers when he can no longer get around on a high hard fastball. It not only is embarrassing, it comes close to making life less worth living. I was thankful, when it happened, when I took several off-the-mark swings at a disgusting fly, I was thankful, as I say, that my wife was not in the room to witness my humiliation. The fly in question, a loud buzzer, managed to overtly add to my mortification by making several arrogant passes at my head before disappearing off somewhere behind me. I was left contenting myself with the fact that the life cycle of a housefly is just 15 – 30 days, so the obnoxious conceit of this particular pest won’t last the month. Homo sapiens ultimately is superior to the Musca domestica, even if I’m not.