As I hurtle across the sitting room sofa, tissue in hand, to splat yet another moth, it occurs to me that there are several things I am currently doing wrong. One is, undoubtedly, approaching the moth from this angle. It can end only in the escape of the insect, or a broken leg for me. The trouble is that I don’t really like killing things – either the moths currently leading me such a merry dance, or my marriage.
You might say, of course, that I’ve left this discovery a bit late. The moth is now wise to my semi-homicidal impulses, and has taken refuge on the very top of the curtain pole. The decree absolute is in my filing cabinet, in black and white, and stamped by the court. Official.
It is not as though I want to have moths, or be married. But I just can’t quite bring myself to be the one responsible for terminating either state.
Besides, aren’t these moths mothers, just like me? All they want is a quiet corner to lay their vile, disgusting eggs, and propagate their truly repulsive larvae. Now that the kitchen cupboards are permanently dripping with bleach, and empty of all but the most ghastly cereals (surely even moths won’t eat True Love’s Grape Nuts?) they are searching farther afield, venturing into the virgin territory of the coat corner and the sitting room. Normally, there would be slim pickings here – we have a strict no-eating-except-in-the-kitchen policy in force, and pantry moths don’t appear to go for wool like their jumper-noshing chums. Alas, I have been so busy OCD-ing the kitchen, that I have taken my eye off the rest of the house. The treasures had their little friends round on Monday for Movie Night, which involves eating shedloads of normally banned foodstuffs like crisps and pizza in front of the telly – and I haven’t hoovered! The pesky moths have tied napkins round their little chins and have chowed down too.
And, all this time when I’ve pounced on a moth with my tissue, I’ve thrown it straight in the bin, averting my eyes from the mangled little corpse. Big mistake. Yesterday, out of the corner of my eye, I saw one gather itself up, Lazarus-like, and fly off. This led me to suspect, in a madly optimistic moment, that I might just have one moth, that I keep chasing, attempting to squish, and inadvertently freeing. Then I saw two hanging out together and – yuk – possibly mating. How could they? That’s it. I absolutely draw the line at free love in my sitting room. What if the treasures saw? We’ve only just got over the Growing Up science topic. We really do not need demonstrations from the natural world on the rug in front of us. The marriage is already toast – now those moths really do have to go.