Tuesday, July 19, 2011

An Odd Dilemma

I had never expected to be caught in a Mexican standoff with a dead moth over a few slices of pizza, yet there I was on Sunday night in the grips of an odd dilemma.  I blame my wife.  She hates when I swat flies or moths in the house, so in deference to her I withheld my righteous smiting of it when it was fluttering in front of the flat screen earlier and I had a clear shot.  Had I known it was no casual flyby but a casing of the joint I surely would have acted.

An hour after that I was ziplocking not one, not two, but three slices of my favorite pizza under the little overhead oven light when he made his move –a power dive for the closing bag.  Though I wasn’t expecting it and I’m sure lesser men would have quailed, I beat him to the punch with my finely honed catlike reflexes and got that bag zipped just as he came crashing into the seal.  Though the pizza was safe (thanks to my speed and courage under fire) the moth was right there, wiggling frantically just outside the seal.  Was he trying to burrow in?  I felt I had no choice; innocent slices were at risk and the crazed assailant was still attacking.  Invoking my right of domestic defense, I squished him.

[Before anybody protests, yes I know I very recently wrote "all god's creatures great and small... " but this moth was clearly a menace headed for a bad end.  I'm sure the mothian authorities would approve his removal from their gene pool ...if indeed there were... um... mothian authorities to ask.  Anyway...]

Moths, apparently, are made of dust and soot.  That’s what came out and spread across the outside seal of the ziplock.  So the immediate threat was gone, but the pizza was still trapped inside.  It being a standoff, I stared him down.  Stubbornly, the dead moth would not budge.  Diabolical.

Why had he done this?  Could a moth really share my love of ham and onion pizza from Stefano's?  Unlikely.  Was it a foreign moth, coming here to attack our way of life starting with our comfort foods?  No way to know, and I had a bigger problem to solve anyway.

Clearly action was needed but if I opened the bag to retrieve the trapped slices there was a high risk of mothdust contamination.  If I flushed the outer seal with water and even a drop got in the bag somehow, I would still lose the 3 souls trapped inside.  -As a firefighter one must think of rescues in this way.  And now that my mind was in this mode I ran through all the training, tools and techniques I had learned at the academy.

jaws of life

hydraulic ram

the Irons; ax and
halligan bar

It's not that I wasn't willing to go to the firehouse for any of that equipment, it's just that they didn't fit the job.  The risk of crushing the bag's occupants was too great.  The full gamut of rescue equipment was in this instance, nothing more than an expensive pile of false hope.  What now?  If the equipment couldn't help, would rescue theory?  I thought back, what had they said about being trapped in a room where the doors and windows could not be used, but you had to GET OUT? -Make an exit!  That's what my training said.  In a structure fire that meant using the irons to punch through an interior wall.  But in this case... my daughter's safety scissors used to cut a hole in the back of the bag and free the trapped occupants.   Success!

                                  Sometimes it's the simplest of tools that saves the day.

Moth: 0
Me:    1

As always, If I Were God appreciates comments, ad-clicks and sharing of His articles.
AT LEAST CLICK THE +1 AT THE BOTTOM ! (for judgement day xtra cred)
He sees all; disappoint Him not.


  1. This may be your best post yet. Loved the opening sentence, along with "Invoking my right of domestic defense, I squished him."

    Squished was the perfect word, breaking up the more "serious" tone.

    And kudos for your brave rescue of the three victims.

  2. I don't care what anyone says, moths are scary and dangerous. If you watch them, they are obviously the inbred uncle/brothers or sister/aunts of the insect world. Turn on a light and they go right for it, throwing themselves against the burning glass like mental patients to a padded cell door. The difference? Mental patients can't go anywhere else. Moths can go anywhere else and they still choose the pain. Perhaps deep seeded inferiority complex caused by their jealousy of butterflies?

  3. Moths are creepy. I don't kill them but I do re-locate them outside of my house. Okay, I have killed them, but not really on purpose exactly. Well, yeah, actually, sometimes it's on purpose.

    Are you sure he was dead? One of my husband's uncles got squished a few years ago, and he's still alive.

    I don't think eating moth dust would kill anyone. But I'm glad you came up with a clean solution to retrieve your pizza slices. Thank goodness for your firefighter training! This could have been much worse. (Of course not for the moth since being dead is pretty much as bad as it gets.)

  4. Moths are a tasty snack, but I'm not sure how they go with pizza. You should have tried the combination and written a review.

  5. Ah, the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Especially when there's pizza involved, it would seem. Funny post, God. Made me chuckle.

  6. Chris,
    I'm not surprised you like it; halfway through I was thinking it reminds me of your work. It just felt like it was the best way to tell this true story.

    best comment today; even from those few lines anyone can tell you're a good writer

    that uncle of yours was only 'mostly squished', a-la Princess Bride

    HELL no! Moths don't go good with anything -other than flyswatters

    Nicky Magdalene,
    yeah, that's how we do

  7. Very funny.... And to think I was probably only a few feet away in another room when u had this fight of ur life! In this case, I understand! Stefanos really does make good pizza!

  8. Moths are such gentle precious loving creatures!

    for us to crush!

  9. Aw, you had me at Jaws of Life! And here I was expecting some horror story about how the moth died a long and torturous death. Not that I'm anti-moth. I'm just anti-anything going for MY food.

    I should've known.

    You, God, have been known to disappoint me.

    Just once in awhile.


  10. I like a deity who thinks on his feet.

    You do have feet, right? I haven't inadvertently insulted you, I hope.

  11. So the pizza is ok? Not too traumatized by the near-trash experience? Glad to hear it.

  12. If I Were God...July 21, 2011 at 7:36 AM

    You know I don't even like sharing my pizza with YOU, I'll be damned if I let a damned moth have any

    we does what we has to

    funny, I don't remember having you...

    none taken

    K the B,
    welcome back, been a while

  13. Our cat thinks moths are good eatin'. And you WASTED it!

  14. Honey, what's this business with a "Mexican" stand off. You know those are my people. We don't stand off anywhere.

  15. One of the happiest nights of my life was spent swatting hundreds and hundreds of moths out of the air with a cane in my best-friend's garage. We had a moth infestation that year -- they come along periodically for reasons unknown to me -- and his garage was filled with thousands of the little buggers. We killed so many of them that we covered in moth dust by the end of the night. I don't remember what we ate for dinner later, but it might have been pizza. Pizza is really good.

  16. Friller,
    Your cat's demented -mothdust poisoning no doubt

    not even in between siestas?

    your choice of weapon must have been for the fun of swinging it rather than efficiency. Hope you kept your mouth closed; you don't want to end up like Fred's cat!