And outside, the college kids wail

Over the aeons, the human race has devised some highly efficacious means of torturing the fair beasts with whom we cohabit this Earth. Our output in the last century alone has been phenomenal.

For our winged victims, one of the more subtle and ingenious devices—and also comparatively ancient—is the window pane.

Just a moment ago, though it is not yet dusk outside, a giant moth flew in my open window. Its hirsute body is almost the size of my thumb; its wide dusty wings are decorated with striking black-blue eyes. It soared through the room in wild arcs, passing only a few centimetres from my right ear—startling me into ducking for cover.

It is presently trapped between my other (jammed) window and the venetian blinds, and has been thumping against that glassy torture implement for a few minutes now, obstinately refusing to be coaxed out.

I will call him Thumpy.

Thumpy update, 1 hr later

Thumpy has a penchant for bright red. He eventually crawled meekly out from behind the blinds, and alighted on a large crimson painting Kelly did years ago. About fifteen minutes ago he braved the dark cave beneath my desk, but ultimately decided that the human feet therein presented too great a risk for long-term settlement. Thus he fluttered under a shelf on my vermillion bookcase, where he remains.

Incidentally, moths fly like hummingbirds when attempting vertical motion. There's a lot of beating of wings, and not a whole lot of progress. It looks like awful hard work.

Six kids in togas just ambled past my window.

Thumpy update, 2 hrs later

My housemate has a novelty coffee mug, emblazoned with the message:

What part of don't you understand?

I find it deeply depressing, but more than that, I find it perplexing. Its bold black Comic Sans type taunts me; it won't take disinterest for an answer. Alright, inquisitorial mug, I will give you your answer.

  • http:// - This is the protocol acronym; it tells the user agent how to request and then interpret the data that is received after the URL is invoked. "http" stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol—at the other end is a html file of some kind.
  • www - this is the hostname; it identifies the web server at the relevant domain from which to request the data. "www" stands, somewhat unsurprisingly I suppose, for World Wide Web. Nice alliteration, but a bit too whimsical for my taste.
  • com - this part of the domain name identifies for humans the type of domain being accessed: what, roughly, its purpose is. "com" is an abbreviation of Commercial, meaning the domain in question is (theoretically) intended for purposes of commerce.
  • au - this is the top level domain; in general for a .com it is the country in which the business is located. Not all top level domains refer to countries, but this one does. "au" is an abbreviation of Australia, meaning that the domain name was registered by a registered Australian business.

There is actually just one part of the URL I don't understand, mug. Does it refer to female dogs? Or to having a whinge? Or to snide and nasty women? Or to snide and nasty men? Or to snide and nasty novelty mugs, perhaps? I'm too scared to look.

I have been doing the dishes, but as near as I can tell, Thumpy hasn't budged from his shady lair.

Thumpy update, 4 hrs later

fluorescent streetlights stand and moths stoop, ascend and plummet
I can hear some old acquaintance whispering of moths, of their endless quest to reach the moon, of Edison's great deception
I can hear whimsy breathing, 'the unattainable is your greatest desire'
I got so sick of her saying that, once upon a time...
I see her now, dancing her way across the baked yellow clay
her grey fire spreading out in tendrils to defy the wind
moths breaking off of the great dream to orbit above her head—a lunatic halo

from this is the shape of my name

I flicked off the light an hour ago, and turned on a lamp. Thumpy soon woke, drew a lazy circle around my head, and descended upon the aforementioned painting, where he reproduced his lengthy sojourn. A couple of minutes ago he must have realised I was typing up this latest of his misadventures, because he did one last agonising circuit of the room, leaving no wall untouched and no ceiling unthumped, before heading out for the bright lights of the big city.

Was nice to have a fellow refugee from O Week,* Thumpy. Good luck out there.

If I hear Tainted Love one more time tonight...

* The article linked is delightfully blinkered, at best. (Hopelessly wrong, at worst.)

Joseph | 26 Feb 2004

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