A plastic stick with a flat, plastic grate on the end that's used to kill flies.

But why not simply use a tissue like when killing other bugs? Why do flies need a special weapon all to themselves?
Because flies are fast little buggers and most people aren't as nimble as Mr. Miyagi.

You can purchase designer fly swatters at your local dollar store that come with nifty shit on the end like a hand, a fly or a dick.

Try not to touch the end of your fly swatter. It probably has nasty bug bits all over it.

See also:
Electric Fly Swatter

For alternate spelling, see flyswatter.

Fly swatters are, or at least I thought they were, invariably made with plastic handles and a stiff molded plastic grate. However, my last purchase of this useful murder weapon (and my first in the US) involved one that had a stiff wire handle attached to a thin, floppy grate.

I see the theoretical advantage of a floppy grate. The whiplash effect of it coming down with speed and greater flexibility ought to make it more effective. This doesn't seen to be the case though. It may help when you're aiming at an angle but not so when you (as you well should) aim for a vertical kill. When you swat a fly from a low height, its lack of momentum makes it flop weakly against the target surface, with the intended victim often buzzing off in annoyance. A stiff grate would have spelled instant doom for the winged pest.

But that wasn't what impressed me. This swatter is a mass-produced, accurately made item so I don't think the finished item varies from the design. Its wire handle flares at the holding end for a better grip.

I recently was idly wafting it around--idly due to the fact that my lazy posture gave me little hope of smacking the unwelcome flying objects in the surrounding airspace but at least it discouraged them from buzzing in the immediate proximity of my ear and using my bare knee as a landing strip. At one point a fly appeared on my left side and I took the swatter into my left hand. Being right-handed, I don't often do that.

While waving the swatter around, I noticed that it didn't feel quite right in my hand and the grate wasn't parallel to the floor I was swatting. So I took a closer look. The closer inspection revealed that the holding end was angled in regard to the grate. It sloped up from right to left when you held the grate level with the floor. So I took it into my right hand again and discovered that the grate was indeed level when I held it. When I took it in my left hand again, it felt awkward.

At that moment I had an epiphany--one of those where you stand amazed at the complexity people introduce into life trying to accommodate the few or the many who think they have a special need. I'm used to flat swatter handles, straight as a flat mold will produce them, useable by anyone under any circumstances, in any posture and for any kind of house fly. Not so in this case. I now stare at my fly swatter in wonder and think to myself:

Holy shit! I have a right-handed fly swatter!

Of all the things made right-handed, this has to be the most useless one I've ever encountered.

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