Fly lands on Mike Pence’s head during US election vice-presidential debate
You know your focus should be elsewhere. You know the potential significance of the words being spoken. You know how close the two people onstage are from living in the White House themselves.
It’s just that it’s very difficult to ignore a fly on someone’s head, particularly when it chooses to stay there for several minutes.
To catch you up, in case you hadn’t figured it out, a stray housefly attracted global attention when it perched on Mike Pence’s cropped white hair today during his vice-presidential debate with US senator Kamala Harris.
It hung on as the Republican incumbent shook his head and argued with his Democratic rival, appearing secure in the knowledge that the candidate was not in a position to shoo it away. Mr Pence’s left eye was noticeably bloodshot.
A short time later, the fly was gone, but its legend was only growing.
On Twitter, an account named @MikePenceFly swiftly gained thousands of followers.
It wasn’t the only one.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden quickly got involved himself, posting a picture of himself with a fly swatter on Twitter and asking for donations.
His campaign set up a website, flywillvote.com, to register voters. Within the hour, it was selling a “Truth over Flies” fly swatter for $10.
Mr Pence’s staff chose not to capitalise on the uninvited guest. In a post-debate call, senior adviser Jason Miller had a different animal in mind.
“We had a deer-in-the-headlights look from Senator Harris tonight,” he said.
Some Democrats took the opportunity to bring up President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 infection.
But Republican senator Rand Paul had a different spin.
Meanwhile, Stephen Colbert, host of The Late Show, suggested that by remaining perched in Mr Pence’s hair for two minutes or so, the fly had a greater attention span than Mr Trump himself.
Finally, we know you’re probably only here for the fly thing, but you do also have the option of reading some genuine analysis and reaction about the actual debate.