Regarding the millers in Miller

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s been the invasion of the moths this last month. All at once, I went to the back door and found it covered in moths, all of them trying to gain entry to the house. This is a yearly occurrence but the yield of moths varies. This year, we have a bumper crop.

For those of you who are unaware, when I refer to millers, it is moths I’m talking about, not some hapless family named Miller. As a child, that is what we called them, but the wider world knows these dusty-winged little annoyances as moths.

It doesn’t really matter what you call them, millers or moths, everyone can agree that they are about as annoying as it comes. They fly everywhere, cover window and door screens looking for ways to get in and when they are in, they blindly blunder into the most inconvenient places at the worse possible times.

I  have heard from different people this year that they are finding moths, in abundance, everywhere. They are behind curtains, flying out of bookshelves and even following campers as they try to relax and get away. It is impossible to escape them.

My grandsons called them “gray butterflies” when they were small, but these nasty winged monsters do not resemble butterflies in any way outside of their ability for flight.  They love the lights, thus the phrase, “moth drawn to a flame,” but they have even worse obsessions.

I went to the garage the other morning and found a swarming army of them crawling over the window in the garage, blocking out the light and resembling something straight out of the outer circle of hell. Okay, I don’t really know what the outer circle of hell looks like, but I’m almost certain that if I were unlucky enough to be there, there would be moths crawling all over the windows.

For at least a week every year, the advent of the moths causes us to turn our house into a killing field. We chase them around with flyswatters, slamming them ruthlessly against lamps, windows, chairs and tables. By the end of any given evening our floors are littered with little gray bodies and we are stomping around like Godzilla in the streets of Tokyo, looking for more victims to feed our blood lust.

The worst moment came this week, when the vicious devil-monsters connived me into attacking myself. I was sitting under a reading lamp when I suddenly got the shadow of a moth flying across the page. I immediately jumped up and grabbed my fly swatter, ready to shoot that thing down like the Bloody Red Baron. The dog crammed herself under the sofa as usual.

I began swatting at the moth violently when I felt it fly into my chest. I immediately grabbed the front of my shirt to pull it out and look for the moth. It took the opportunity to fly down the open front of my shirt. When Roy stepped into the room a few seconds later, he was treated to the spectacle of my running around, trying to tear off my shirt while slapping myself repeatedly in the chest with the flyswatter.

“Moth,” I said, by way of explanation because of his incredulous look.

“I understand,” he said, “it’s miller time around here.”

Keep your heads down and your swatters handy!IMG_1860


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