I think we’ve all heard that expression at one time or another in our life. But…what does it mean?  I know…because my dad used to tell me this all the time!  He said it, and then would tell a little story to go along with it–an illustration.

When someone says, “Don’t fly off the handle…”, it simply means, don’t lose your temper, don’t do, or say something you will later regret; or as one of my friends tells her sassy kids…”Your mouth’s writing a check that your butt can’t cash!”  Learn to control your self!!

I was reminded of all this again this morning when my nine-year old woke up in a foul mood.  His class is going roller skating after school today, so he was all hyped up.  He couldn’t go to sleep last night; yet, at 5:15 this a.m. he was already up and had his TV going!

I of course made him turn it off, come downstairs, and get ready for school–although he’d gotten up an hour early.

Due to lack of sleep, and too much stimulation anticipating the skate trip, he was a bit mouthy.  I let him get away with it a few times, but then he got worse.  Finally, I said I’d like to tell you a story that my dad used to tell me when I was mouthy and couldn’t control my temper…  This got his attention, so I went on.

I share the story now with you…

There once live three flies.  They loved coming into the house through the small hole in the screen door…especially when the lady of the house was frying Bologna!  The smell would permeate the air, and waft through the house and out the open door.  The smell drew many flies to the door and they would cluster themselves on the screen, trying to get in…but only three of them knew about the small hole!

One day, these three flies caught that delicious smell, and went inside through that small convenient hole in the screen.  They flew over the pan of Bologna…and soon all three landed on a piece and began to feast.

When the first fly was full, he taxied out onto the handle of the skillet, and got ready to fly off.  But…he fell over dead.

The second fly didn’t see his friend lying dead there on the counter; he still was in rapture, thinking about the wonderful feast he’d just had.  As he taxied out onto the handle and was ready to fly away, he got to the end of the handle, flexed his wings a bit…and fell over dead.

The third fly was so full by now!  His tummy was bulging from all the Bologna he ate!  He was in a euphoric state as he jumped on the handle…walked out to the edge…flexed his wings, and got ready to fly.  But before he could…he fell over dead!


Good advice dad!  I need to remember this more often!