The Moth Hunter

Originally published on SHUGGILIPPO in September 2010.

I am programmed to loathe bugs entirely. The flying kind, even more so. The flying wannabe, beautiful butterfly kind, the most.

We entertained friends for dinner last night and when 9pm rolled around and every. last. one. of us was shoving toothpicks into our eyelids, because, “When the hell did we get sooooooo oooooooold?!”, it was time to bid our guests a sweet farewell.

Dead bolt, undone. Door, unlocked. Hugs, distributed. Knucks, pounded. Then, right then, it happened…

The Mother Hunter via @hahasforhoohas

What appeared to be something Bastian Balthazar Bux would be clinging to for dear life in 1984, flew through the front door like it owned this joint. To which I naturally reacted with an, “OH DEAR LORD! THAT IS A MOTH!” Sparing the world of one more use of The Contraction, not to mention I was feeling extra intellectual since we had just entertained guests for dinner, I opted to emphasize the seriousness of the situation with a distinguished, “THAT IS”. P.S. Sorry to our guests for the door slamming closing gently on you after my fear cry.

At this point, the poor excuse for an insect, has situated himself (because really I’m certain all disgustingly, terrifying insects are A-sexual males. girl bugs would never be such crapheads) on the ceiling of our two-story high living room. How am I expected to enjoy trashy television or multiple, mind-numbing Sudoku puzzles when THERE IS A MOTH TWENTY FEET ABOVE MY HEAD?! I expressed an outward calm, as to not further frighten Dylan, nor feed into Steve's blackmail material that, at this point, was growing by the minute. That man has accumulated nothing short of an arsenal of material over the past six years. I can’t wait for the PowerPoint presentation at our eventual rehearsal dinner.

Slideshows are lazy. Fly from right is where it’s at, yo. Fade.

About fifteen minutes passes and, by George, Steve has a brilliant idea. Now seems about the perfect time to pop a cap in this moth’s backend. I suppose he was pretty gangster, what with the whole breaking and entering business. Tisk, tisk. The weapons of choice: ball pit ball and Nerf dart, sans gun. Oh right, there was a dish towel hanging out of The Moth Hunter's back pocket, just in case our tiny convict was in close enough proximity for the age old “Towel Snap” method. I must have missed the part where we were all drunk on spring break at a wet t-shirt contest, or that it was an ordinary Tuesday afternoon.

While the Nerf-dart-sans-gun was remarkably unsuccessful at reaching the culprit cause of my increasing heart rate, the ball pit ball was a success…until the moth flew down to about the eight foot level of the room. I’m shrieking, SHRIEKING, in a pitch I didn’t even know was humanly possible while taking cover in the most nonsensical fashion on the floor, Dylan is now crying, “Night-night,” with streaming tears and the most pouty bottom lip. Steve, you ask? He thinks he has killed the moth. THINKS, people! While all of this thinking-I-am-moth-hunter-hear-me-roar is carrying on, his little brain brews up an ingenious prank that involves a gasp, a toss of a pillow, and the subsequent horrified/angry/hilarious scream laugh that made him fear for his life. If just for one tiny moment in time. That man was sure that very day would be his last. Needless to say, I am still tending the side-split of the guffaws.

I’m going to attribute my mottephobia to that one time my dad towel-snapped a “hummingbird”, trapped it under the mop bucket, slid said bucket to the front door, lifted the bucket to free the bird, and…