Sunday, December 18, 2011


PolackPappy brought home some Mexican jumping beans once. He kept them in his desk, and I used to pull them out and look at them. I don't remember anything hatching. But that's what happened with one of the beans in a jar on my desk at the lab. I came in after a long weekend of life and death to find a small moth had pushed open the trap door it had made when it chewed its way in as a larva.

The beans were given to me by a post-doc who's studying m on the sly - though her secret came out one afternoon when a couple of her officemates starting wondering why the envelope on her desk was rattling. I emailed her and asked her what to do; she said I could see if there were any moths in the jar of beans on her desk - there weren't - and so I went to the magical interwebs for advice.

Of course there wasn't much to be done for the moth. From what I gathered, it didn't need to eat - it would live for a few days searching for a mate, followed by mating, egg-laying, and death. Since I'm nowhere near Mexico the moth was going to fly around in the jar until its number was up. This depressed me. Surprisingly, some of my fellow lab members also felt sad about the moth. At one point we had a decent estrogen-fueled circle of maudlin going, with the moth at the center, but I was able to be the voice of reason.

This was thanks in part to experience and in part to the woman from the ornithology department I ran into by the elevator while getting the mail. She, too, felt depressed that the moth wasn't going to fulfill its life's purpose and suggested I bring it to the departmental holiday party. A fine idea if ever there was one.

And so, late that afternoon, I tucked the bottle with bean and moth into the pocket of the Lily Pulitzer pants I found at the thrift store and headed over to the natural history museum, where the party was being held. One of the finance guy's girlfriend is a professional photographer and she had a white sheet, a stool, and props. I had my photo taken with the moth and a sign that said Feliz Navidad.


Blogger laughingatus said...

You are perhaps the sweetest person I know still living. While also having an evil sense of humor so I can like you.

Does it mena something that the word to post is "creation?"

8:15 PM, January 09, 2012

Blogger McPolack said...

Thanks, Lydia! It certainly makes evolutionary sense to be a little bit Pollyanna and a little bit Margaret Cho, because then people are less likely to kill you. I am grateful you are my friend, for many reasons, including your post-apocalyptic skill set.

11:20 AM, January 16, 2012


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