Tip for the day

Isn't it strange that evolution would give us a sense of humor? When you think about it, it's weird that we have a physiological response to absurdity. We laugh at nonsense. We like it. We think it's funny. Don't you think it odd that we appreciate absurdity? Why would we develop that way? How does that benefit us? I suppose if we couldn't laugh at things that don't make sense we couldn't react to a lot of life. I can't tell if that's funny or really scary. Calvin

Don’t struggle to change. Struggle strengthens what you are trying to change.
- Cheri Huber

A day without laughter is a day wasted.
- Charlie Chaplin

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Miller Time

Miller Time

When ever I write an article, I look at it the next day and wonder if I was drunk. This one was an example of that. I'll try to fix it. Sorry.
A week ago I was pleasantly sleeping, oblivious to the world, probably dreaming of a movie starlet feeding me grapes when all of a sudden I woke up gagging and choking.  If you have ever heard me snore, you might think, so what? This time I was gagging on a moth.  You haven't lived until you have had a moth beating his wings on that little boxing bag at the back of your throat trying to kill you. 

Why, you might ask, do moths hate us? My theory is that Moths (We call them millers here.) are mad because of the movie Mothra, starring Godzilla. I can't seem to make it clear to them that I had nothing to do with the making of Mothra. Only the radioactive twin girls in the movie can communicate with moths. The movie was so bad that the millers will probably be mad at humans forever. I know I was for a long time after seeing the movie.
Here in Colorado, every spring, there is an infestation of moths. I don't think they were this bad when I lived in Denver or other places. 
The  hordes of millers are huge, to the point of being surreal. It's like Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, only moths don't rip your face off or pluck out your eyeballs.  

Millers don't scare me like they used to. I've learned to accept the inevitable. As an ecologically minded human being, my first reaction to millers is to smack them with an unabridged dictionary.  When I was younger they helped me win the 'scream like a girl' contest at Molholm Elementary, mostly because they're gross and partly because your peripheral vision is always telling you to duck. If you're six and it's nighttime, there is no way of telling that it's not Dracula trying to sneak up on you.
Millers are attracted by light. In the morning you let the millers out and in the evening you let them in. Whenever I open the door, the door jamb is completely invisible except for the covering of millers.  When I open the door at night at least fifty moths come fluttering in. The millers dive and twirl around each other like unpleasant gray, umm...fluttery things. If I turn off all the lights in the kitchen except the one with a fan on it they try to get to the light. The fan whacks them in mid-flight and they just float to the wall and quit moving. It's like little kamikaze planes getting shot down in mid air. That normally takes care of about half of them. I then put a lamp on the kitchen table over a big bowl of soapy water and they fall in  and can't get out. Their agitating wings make them look like little vibrating motor boats as they travel on the water. You can't pay for entertainment like that.

Never hit one against the wall or a curtain because you will incur the miller curse of grey and brown dusty streaks, not to mention the wrath of your wife. 

As you can see, Millers are not exactly candidates for the bug world's chapter of MENSA, bugs, being defined as pretty much anything in your house that dies when you stomp on it. Millers are more like the Forest Gumps of nature.

My cats spend their entire day ripping around the house, knocking things over, climbing curtains and running into furniture. The only time they're not chasing millers is when they are throwing up little piles of  millers on the rug. It's not bad enough I have millers hitting my head and pooping on it, the cats have to jump on my head too. All night they thunder around the house and over our bed. The millers aren't impressed with them, they carry on with their normal business of annoying me. The cats don't even slow them down.
Nothing is quite so disconcerting as millers in the shower. They sit up above you and watch you like little perverts wiggling their antennae and slowly flapping their wings, then they drop and start fluttering around trying to give you butterfly kisses. When they get wet they stick to your skin. You end up stepping on them or picking them up and chucking them out.Yuk! They're too big for the drain, so you have to wipe out the ones stuck to the tub when your done.

When preparing to drive to work, I'll open my door and jump backwards to let the cloud of millers escape. I have to do it to the other door also. A few always stick around and try to make you go off the road by flapping in your face. You can often see drivers flailing around like an octopus on narcotics, trying to swat them out the window. They are almost as dangerous as idiots that use their cell phone when driving. When my engine starts, another cloud of millers come out from under the hood and wheel wells. Driving down the street, if I look in my rear view mirror, I can see a cloud of them coming out of the bed of my truck, trailing me down the street. 

At intersections birds go nuts. The confluence of cars fraught with millers provide them snacks all day. The birds have a heyday snapping them up. It's like one of those aerial dog fights you see on TV only with birds. The birds swoop down and grab a moth out of the air then pull up for another dive. Unfortunately, even they can't make a dent in the miller population. Just like at the intersections the millers attract birds to the trees that are over my truck. I end up with excessive bird poop, tree sap, and dead millers all over the place. Car detailers are thrilled at this turn of events.

All the frenzy lasts just a couple of weeks. The millers will eventually migrate or die. Their legacy is windowsills full of dead moths and moth pee, or some type of secretion on your walls. The house looks like it had a huge battle. There's moth corpses everywhere. I've found millers in my freezer months after they're gone.
If some stay unnoticed in your bedroom your clothes will develop a type of clothes leprosy. Usually it's not the same type of moth that you've been battling and a few cedar hangars can take care of them, but still. I've been upset more than once by wool coats and sweaters being ruined. Moths get a bad rap for that.

Well, I suppose I've ranted enough about millers, so laters.

Curmudgeon Out

Hey! Is that a miller in my beer? How did it get in there!?

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