Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Of Moths and Men

There is a moth on my van's dashboard, nestled comfortably in a half-inch layer of dust. It's dead.

I hope you don't ask me why the moth is lying there dead in the dust. If you do, and I am more or less truthful in response, I will have to tell you it's because I'm too lazy to do anything about it. If I'm *slightly* less truthful, I will tell you that in order to dispose of the moth I will have to pick it up, and even with a tissue between me and the moth, that is a distasteful venture.

(Digression: I think the reason I hate moths so much is because of a close encounter I once had with one. I was a junior in college, taking a summer course at a university near my parents' house. It was nighttime. I was sitting at the kitchen table writing (longhand -- gasp!) a paper. My parents have this groovy seventies table -- in 1984 it was a little less vintage than it is now -- with a lamppost rising out of the middle of it. At the top of this lamppost is a round white globe that is also a light. A moth would love this, right?

So there I was, applying pen to paper and trying to ignore the moth fluttering around over my head, when I had a grisly thought. What if that moth got it into its non-existent brain to fly into my rather loose blouse? (I can't explain this blouse but it was the mid-eighties -- need I say more?) I was flapping around in the blouse, and it occurred to me that the moth could fly right in.

And then, Readers, It Did.

I screamed, did a little dance, swore eternal hatred for all lepidoptera of the moth variety (I am okay with butterflies. They have never offended me).

So that's why this moth is lying supine on my dashboard. It died there, I said, "GOOD!", and now I am too scared (or too lazy, take your pick) to clean it up. And this moth is of the Glenn Close-Fatal Attraction ilk. Saskia and I got into the car the other day, and I pointed it out.

"Oh, look," I said. "That moth finally died. About time."

"Ew," said Saskia.

We drove a block and all of a sudden that dead, supine moth staggered to its feet.

"Whoa!" I said, nearly losing control of the car. The moth ignored me and tottered directly toward Saskia. She screamed. So did I. We watched it make its way toward her and screamed some more. Then, nanoseconds before dropping onto Saskia's lap, the moth expired. For real.

I may get around to removing the corpse later this week. Or I may ask Benjy to do it.

He likes bugs.

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