Bogong moths live in caves in the mountains for most of the year. They’re small and dark brown and apparently are chock full of protein with a delicate nutty flavour. Now and then you see them braving it in the big city and dashing themselves against car headlights or street lamps.
One year they all went absolutely apeshit and every single Bogong Moth in the Known Universe came to Sydney.
Like some sort of evil entomological Schoolies’ Week, they came, they fucked themselves stupid and they made a big bloody pest of themselves.
One particular evening they started flying in through the window of my flat.
I closed the windows and they started crawling in through the ventilation shafts. There were hundreds of them.
At first I tried to scoop them up and throw them out the back door but soon the whirring noises and the furry wings and the way their feelers poked through the slats first closely followed by their brown Bogongish head began to freak me out and I turned on the vacuum cleaner and started sucking them straight off the wall.
Vaccuuming up live Bogong Moths is not something I’m proud of and would never have happened if C had been home because he is like St Francis of Assissi to invertebrates and what he can’t catch with an empty yoghurt pot and a piece of cardboard isn’t worth catching. In fact it’s probably not an insect at all, it’s probably a piece of cheese or a raisin or something.
The joy at learning that I had finally been struck over the head with the Preggers Stick lasted for 48 hours and then the Niggling Doubts started creeping in.
I tried to shut them out, I tried to say to myself…feel the queasiness….witness the extreme fatigue… but eventually they won.
Why should you be pregnant? The beta was wrong. It’s like last time when you were pregnant for a minute and a half. This time you’ll be pregnant for an hour and a half but it’ll still end the same way...ooh, what's that? Your period??
On the weekend I gave in and called the House Of Groovy IVF Love.
I’d like to come in for another blood test, I told them. I got my beta last week and it all sounded very good but now…
The Fertility Sister was calm. Of course, she said, you want to make sure it’s all progressing the right way.
That’s it, I said. Because the thing is I have Niggling Doubts.
I could hear the scratch of her pen as she wrote Nutter Incoming beside my name, but her voice was soothing.
If you want to come in and check that’s fine, she said, we understand. You want to put your mind at rest.
The problem with vacuuming up Bogong Moths is of course that you don’t actually kill them. Instead they rustle about inside the vacuum cleaner. Eventually you start to catch one or two, horribly mutilated, crawling out the nozzle.
Niggling Doubts are much harder to kill. Another beta will help, for now, but there’s no vacuum cleaner on Earth big enough to suck them all up.
And it’s not as if I could fry them up and eat them. Unlike Bogongs, Niggling Doubts have zero nutritional value.
And of course, as everyone knows, Niggling Doubts taste like shit.
5 Fiction Books for Christmas 2017
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