By: Annna [2001-11-30]

I Hate Moths

too much like the flesh of men


Let me get this straight with you: I don't mind most insects. I'm a little annoyed by mosquitoes, sure, and swarms of fruit flies irritate me a tad. I have respect for bees, and I do not hate wasps, the alien automata, as much as I fear the pain-pricks they so often bring.

Other than that, I'm okay with the insect kingdom. I wouldn't keep an insect as a pet, but that's for the same reason I wouldn't keep a tarantula: too easy for my ham-hands to damage, too much of a closed system to repair. I would hate to have to watch my insect pet's tiny life bleed out its armor, the organ-mush oozing from its wounds.

I almost bought several dozen giant Madagascar hissing cockroaches for five dollars plus shipping on eBay, but before I placed the first and final bid, I realized: "If I place this bid, I will soon have several dozen giant Madagascar hissing cockroaches." That was not a particularly good idea, as I was living in the dorms and had a jumpy roommate who probably did not like cockroaches.

My point remains: I have no quarrel with most insects.

Except moths.

Fuzzy wads of meat that fly and squish, without the sleek chitin of the rest of their kin or the usefulness of the fuzzy bees, humming honey-givers. They have a solidness to their beings that other insects lack, and they use this to batter their bodies against the glass of Man, whether in lamps or in windows in front of lamps.

That's the other problem; they're very, very stupid. They beat and beat and beat until they are near the light, and then die of wounds or thirst, corpses collecting in the lamp's bowl.

The time between attack and death cannot be ignored; the moth's moving shadow darkens the room, its death-flutterings in the glass bowl are amplified. It can be saved, but it will take an hour to turn out all the lights and coax it out without squashing it accidentally in the cardboard used as a fan. To save every moth would take all one's time, yet it is disquieting to sit and read in light that passes through a dying moth. I look forward to its death, the end of motion, then catch myself in wishing it dead and feel guilt.

The moth corpses are also thick, too palpable to be wholesome in death. A dead crane fly is soon a skeleton, a thing to be barely noticed on the floor or under the vacuum. Even stuck to the bottom of a foot, it does not disturb one's sleep once scraped away.

A dead moth is something different, toe-wedged and terrible, something to be felt even by foot-skin. Reaching behind bureaus, between monitor and wall, the sense-memory springs again to mind. The long-dead moth still has weight, the new-dead moth smears.

Even a large beetle, heavy and wet, can shrink with death into its shiny shell and be pinned to a board or passed around with gentle hands. The moth is made of nothing, nothing hard and nothing lasting, yet it stays large with death and stays until it meets with human hands.

I do not much like moths.
you need a cat [2001-11-29 23:01:42] sally
my cat catches moths and eats them. no more corpsey mess to clean up, and its fun to watch him bang his head against furniture and walls trying to catch them.
MOTH ATTACK [2001-11-29 23:25:11] staniel
I actually find the flapping of a gypsy moth in a light calming. Not so much when I am reading, but I can sit back and watch them defy the laws of evolution and it's kind of nice.

The moths I can't deal with are the huge ones, the size of a big butterfly, that attach their sticky green bodies to the screen door, drying out for days with their territory staked out, casting the equivalent of a baleful glance for a creature with eyes so tiny as to be invisible from the distance I tend to keep between them and me. I was so afraid of them as a kid that I WOULD NOT use the screen door if one was roosting there, fearing that it might light off quickly and impale itself dartlike into my forehead, then commence digging into my brain.

They also make me think of the things the pervert kid in IT had in his dilapidated refrigerator, which I always thought were alien demon bugs. I read it when I was 10; they were probably actually animal penises or something.
Oh my God! [2001-11-29 23:55:33] Wakboth
Annna, your hatred of moths transcends the limits of a rant and edges into poetry.

"To save every moth would take all one's time, yet it is disquieting to sit and read in light that passes through a dying moth. I look forward to its death, the end of motion, then catch myself in wishing it dead and feel guilt."


Ps. I hate biting flies, those big ugly suckers that land on your arm, and bite like a miniature winged rottweiler.
Tom Leher [2001-11-30 01:11:46] Jacques Kitsch
Tom Leher had a song called "Moth" something like the whole thing was:
"M" is for the things she gave me
"O" is for the other things she gave me
"T" is for the things she gave me
"H" is for half the things she gave me
Put them all together, they spell Moth

I would imagine somewhere in the World there is an actual Pirate, or at least a sailor with an heart tattoo inscribed with "Moth"

My own dear moth-er has no especial fondness for moths. When I was young and pre-sexual, she would shoo me out of the house on a Summer's morning to walk around in the dewey grass barefoot, but admonish me to beware of the butterflies! She said that she'd once walked about in the early morning grass barefoot and stepped on a butterfly, then she'd wince and shudder telling me how it went squish between her toes. I think that adults like to plant ideas like this in young brains, much like a dung beetle lays its eggs in a ball of shit to hatch later. People who write on outhout walls roll their shit into little balls. Coming back from watching movies at the drive-in, Marjorie Morningstar it was, my mom was sitting on the back of a convertible and started hoiking and hacking; she'd swallowed a moth! Around here, there are two kinds of moths that I like: the big patterned brown ones with purple eye spots that are about the size of sparrows, and the luna weird lime-green ones with purple eye spots that have swallowtails making them about a foot long or more. The swallowtails are strange to me because I can't imagine anything so uselessly beautiful as a flying orchid.
EggKnog Review [2001-11-30 02:28:07] Jacques Kitsch

You've been reading "Beowulf" again, haven't you? [2001-11-30 02:49:42] Lou Duchez
One kenning for sure, and a bunch of other stylistic thingies whose names I don't know but they smell like the work of a ukulele-wielding skald. I approve!

The only good moth story I have involves a five-inch moth who got himself stuck to a sticker on an ATM machine. I freed him, but I don't know whether he sustained significant damage to his wing. I hope not.
owl mask [2001-11-30 03:04:07] sally
when i was in between the ages of 5 and 7 the babysitter's kids and i found one of those giant moths with the eye spots in my yard. it was dead, which explains why it was out during the day. I thought some kid had been in my yard and left his mask in the grass. I picked it up and was instantly terrified by the texture of the wing (hideously slippery leather) and the horrible little moth face (full of teeth and whiskers, blech) that came into view as i lifted it. of course I screamed (i was a girl then!) and april, who was two years older than I and SENSIBLE, took it from me and buried it in the gravel pile by the driveway. I didn't know it was a moth until a year or so later when i saw a bug collection in a museum we went to on a school trip.
Moth Dust [2001-11-30 04:17:40] Jacques Kitsch
Yep, the texture of moth wings is something. It's a bit like velvet with the finest talc powder. I have caught moths and gotten a bit of the dust from their wings; there is Majik in that moth dust.
Tom Lehrer [2001-11-30 07:04:32] Graue
It's "Lehrer," not Leher.
If a moth could... [2001-11-30 09:58:28] btner
it would probably land on the back of your head and suck your brain out. It would be like night of the living dead moths. Good thing they are so stupid.

If there really is magick in them there wings, it should be harvested... this would be referred to by the moths as "the moth halocaust" or "the reckoning".
mofs [2001-11-30 15:06:21] noisia
personally i have no point of reference as to what you people are whining about. the only moths we have here are tiny little fluttery things about a centimeter or two long. hardly ever do i see the large ones smashing around the room madly.
It's a fair cop, Lou [2001-11-30 15:20:00] Annna
But actually, I was re-reading Lord of the Rings, which made me dig out Battle of Maldon.

The sad part is that I didn't realize until halfway through in what style I was kinda writing it.

Still don't like moths, though.
Again [2001-11-30 17:19:43] Pop
Anna raises the bar.
Medfordites beware ... [2001-11-30 19:15:40] Lou Duchez
... you need to watch the movie "Little Nicky", or at least the first five minutes of it. (I don't know whether it's worth watching any farther: I'm watching it for the first time even as we speak, and I'm about six minutes into it.)
Well, then! [2001-11-30 21:41:15] Jacques Kitsch
If Annna's tending bar, I wish she'd shake me up a Zombie!
fun projects with moths [2001-12-01 22:20:12] Anne
A couple years ago I wound up in the WORST DORM ON CAMPUS (I'm serious: no hot water, no laundry, loud parties all weekend. The place was filthy). People would prop the doors open, since there was no a/c, and moths would fly in and die on the floors. I was heavy into bookmaking at that time, and I made a book into which I pasted disembodied moth wings. It was really cool.

I don't know why people were so bothered by that. I kept my music down and didn't make a mess. "She seemed like such a nice quiet girl," they said after I left. Of course, I was slipping into psychosis due to lack of sleep and occasionally walked around muttering "fuck you fuck you fuck you" with an insane look on my face so I wouldn't have to talk to people, but that was all their fault for being assholes.

I never liked moths' furry little bat bodies, but the wing dust was always pretty cool. Kept the wings from sticking properly to the pages though. Now most of them have fallen off, leaving only a faint, shimmery wing shape on the paper.
Moth Rice Paper [2001-12-01 23:15:57] Jacques Kitsch
One of the art supply shops where I worked had lots of kinds of paper. Some of the paper was Japanese rice paper that had different flowers, ferns, and moths embedded in the translucent rice paper. Sometimes instead of curtains, I'd put this kind of paper and coloured paper on windows.
"They Might Be Giants"
glorious day [2001-12-02 11:36:32] casey
No one can deny, the bar has indeed been raised. This is definitely superb. And true!
Try moths as a snack [2001-12-02 13:09:40] Name Brand Aspirin
I agree that moths are not asthetically pleasing but the moist fleshiness is delightfully complemented by the powdery wing dust.
"humming honey-givers" [2001-12-02 16:44:34] alptraum
i've been trying to learn some old english lately, and i have to force myself to not alliterate when writing at work. speaking of honey and medieval anglo-saxon practices, i just had my first quaff of mead -- or meth as its apparently called in germany -- earlier this evening. tastes fine but of course i bought it mostly for the historic interest.
New Layout of Format [2001-12-02 20:28:18] Jacques Kitsch
The new format of the layout is very good, except for the colour; too much like a gawdam moth!
MEAD!!! [2001-12-02 20:52:40] sally
I love it. had it at new years last year. good buzz. great taste. all you could want in a booze. and HOT!
Not bad.. [2001-12-02 21:13:17] Danielle
I'm pretty impressed with the new layout. I love how it's all semi-professional looking, but, lo, there's still the flashing immortality rings banner. Love it.
Erm... [2001-12-02 23:52:04] Jacques Kitsch
Regarding the LeftMenu, if there were way to list it by date only,
or author-only chronologically, or title-only but compactly on one short line, anyway, what I'm trying to say is that the entire index could be listed; or not. Or have things all archive/indexed except what's current, which would free-up that side for penguin cartoons or Petey cartoons or stuff like that, and/or links to current ukulele, accordian, and theremin tunes.
mjöd is made from honung (in swedish) [2001-12-03 02:43:51] alptraum
i like the redesign, its similar but more mature, kind of like in final fantasy 1 when your characters go from being squat to all big and grown up.

as for mead, i hear mead hangovers are the worst, although i didn't experience this myself. could explain why the vikings were so grumpy. that and the constant threat of grendel attacks.
moth smoke.. [2001-12-14 21:09:13] jmfields
all i could think about while reading this is mohsin hamid's "moth smoke.."

interesting novel.. give it a read..

- jeff
mottephobia [2003-06-27 23:42:00] *arvind!
I seriously hate moths. And I have a huge fear of moths (i think it's called mottephobia). I know that they can't hurt me, but i just get paralyzed when facing off against one. In fact, I would be asleep in my room right now but there is a moth in my room and i can't stand to face it. I don't know why I'm writting all this, but maybe someone else out there has had the same irrational fear and could give me any advice. thanks for reading
youre not the only one... [2003-09-22 08:03:00] Emma*
arvind, i have an absolutely uncontrollable fear of moths. i thought i was the only one! if one flies anywhere near me, all rational thoughts and movements excape my body and im left wimpering, crying and flustering about in histeria! its apparently one of the funniest things any of my mates have ever seen, but there is nothing worse for me. if i walk into my bedroom and theres a spider on my wall, i'll either catch it in a container or forget about it and go to sleep. if theres a moth on my wall, i back out of my room as slowly as i can manage, careful not to make any sudden movements that will disturb the moth causing it to fly on a wobbly yet direct path of dstruction to my face.
i really really hate moths. in a very big way.
mottephobia [2007-03-26 06:47:57] karri
I also am afraid of moths. I must admit, though, I am fearful of any kind of insect you wish to name. Although, most I just don't want to touch me. I am most afraid of moths, butterflies and waps. Wasps are understandable, they sting and it hurts. Moths and butterflies? Not so understandable. They are horrifying. I cannot stand to be anywhere near them, no matter what size, but most especially the large sort. They make me scream, run, cry, yell at people, shake, cringe, whimper and basically i become a raving lunatic. It is apparently quite amusing, but not for me. I just get scared :(
OMG! OMG! So true [2007-06-17 02:14:02] Shawn
I work outside and when nothings going on, i go into a rather small closed in area. The problem is, every once and a while, a moth gets in.

Its like, my brain goes into a bizarre fear of death. Like, the only reason im typing this is b-cos im at work and these moths are freaking me out.

Like three times while reading this, i saw this gigantic moth on the window, and i ran outside all three times while it seemingly waits and laughs at me.

The worst thing is i have no clue why im afraid of them.
Stupid dirty moths. [2007-07-01 08:40:19] Murph
"Fuzzy wads of meat that fly..." Hilarious!

The thing I hate most: When moths fly straight toward me and repeatedly hit my head. I don't get it.
I'm so afraid of Moths ;_; [2007-09-14 21:20:43] Mako
Well, I've read this through, I thought being afraid of moths was something stupid, because every person I know has made me feel that way, I just cry and shake, cannot stand being near one, or in the same room, not even try to kill them...

I wish I could know why I'm afraid of them, it's like a phobia, and I've had it since I was a little girl.

Now it's fall and my college is full of dark, horrible and huge moths ;_; sometimes I cannot get in the classroom because of this...
Bogong Moth Migration [2007-10-05 06:50:56] Kristen
You haven't lived, until you've lived through the Bogong Moth Migration in Sydney, Australia. I literally have 60-70 of those HUGE meaty Bogong Moths in my tiny 1 bedroom apartment EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. It's really really miserable. I'm not afraid of them but I truly truly HATE them!
Movs [2007-12-13 05:20:18] magnanimous
a friend and i used to stand on the deck at his dad's house and smoke various substances...anyway there were floodlights around which moths and various other winged insects would congregate. We always expelled huge clouds of smoke into the beam of light and usually by the end of the smoking session the moths and other insects would, one by one, begin spiraling like wwII fighter pilots on the losing end of a dogfight towards the deck-having either died or become temporarily asphyxiated
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