The Poetry Question

Discovering the Relevance of Words

No Diving: Moths and Beavers and Why My Mind Wanders

Mine is the kind of brain that becomes bored very easily…

Sorry. I drifted off into my thoughts for a moment there. I know I should be focusing on writing right now, but did you know that a certain type of moth uses its sexual organs to confuse predators? Yup. The hawk moth, when it hears the telltale clicks and beeps of a hunting bat, begins to vibrate its bits. Scientists disagree on the exact reason for this behavior, but there seem to be a couple of clear possibilities. Either the insect wags its genitals in the cool night sky to confuse the sonar of its primary predator, or simply because the other moths find it really funny. Right now, I’m leaning toward the latter. Moths are notoriously susceptible to peer-pressure.

If my intellect could be compared to a body of water, it would be a large wading pool. It covers a good deal of ground, but at no point does it go very deep. I know a little bit about a lot of stuff, in other words, thanks in no small part to sweet lady Internet.

I can’t look at a computer screen without opening a browser and heading for a news site. I must see those headlines. I love headlines.

“Man Photographs Beaver, Beaver Kills Him.”

How do you resist a temptation like that? I must read that article. So I did. Apparently, this guy tried to get a close-up shot of the animal, which lunged at him and bit his leg, puncturing the femoral artery and killing him in minutes. This one of those stories with a funny headline that really isn’t funny at all, but I did learn something else about beavers. They can kill you. That puts them, in the rodent hierarchy of badassedness, somewhere between weasels and porcupines. Scarier than a muskrat but not as scary as a skunk.

Capybaras are weird, huh? World’s biggest rodent.

 Sorry. My mind went down a keyword rabbit-hole of rodent facts for a second. (Rabbit-hole of rodent facts? I didn’t even mean to do that. High five.)

Maybe my brain is starting to work like a computer. My stream of consciousness is erratic anymore, following link after link until the through line is completely lost. I try to focus on a complex idea, but these banner ads keep popping into my mind to distract me with headlines.

“Geology May Be Responsible for Myth of Loch Ness Monster”

In Madrid, Dog Poo Left in Public Places to be Mailed Back to Owners”

Magic Mushrooms Can Erase Fear in Mice

I don’t know if my mind has always worked like this, and the internet just gave me the vocabulary to describe it, or if the computers that surround me have actually changed my physiology. I’m not a scientist.

But I do know that real scientists are even now studying birds to find out why evolution eventually led to the overall disappearance of the bird penis.* I should read all about that.

*I will read almost any story involving animals. Especially if it sounds like it could inspire a good dick joke.


About Doran Simmons

I'm a writer and a camper and a keeper of fish. I was trained as a flight instructor and work day jobs and write nonsense for public consumption (hopefully).

One comment on “No Diving: Moths and Beavers and Why My Mind Wanders

  1. kiwiskan
    July 5, 2013

    there’s nothing as entertaining as an erratic mind… And I never knew that moths were susceptible to peer pressure 😀

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This entry was posted on July 5, 2013 by in COMMENTARY and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

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