Posted by bob on Mar 4, 2012in Tall Tales With Jack
Bugs bug me, and bugs buzzing around as I try and sleep bug me even more.A buzzing Pyractomena borealis, better known as the firefly, really gets myattention; the flashing light, on and off and on and off, drives me crazy. My pupilsopen and close and open and close with every blink, making this Chihuahua mad.
I haven’t mastered use of the fly swatter so I’m forced to snap my jaws, withunimaginable cunning to catch and render an irritating fly ineffective. The BigGuy and I have never had a misunderstanding about eliminating noisy and peskyflies as we sleep.
By eliminating the pests, I’ve kept my colleague from knocking his brainsout, while he tries to nail the pest as it lights on his head or enters his ear cavity. Ifhe only knew how silly he looks beating himself upside of the head. He does havean excuse…he played pro-hockey too long without a helmet.
The blinking of the tail assembly was irritating me. I consider using thepocket sized fire extinguisher to snuff the flickering flame, but couldn’t break theseal on the bottle.
Little did I know the chemical reaction when Luciferin combines withLuciferase and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and oxygen creates the light? It’snot a burning fire it a fringing glow lite!
Chemistry isn’t my forte; I flunked it in obedience school. It’s not the BigGuy’s either; he flunked it in high school. Therefore, I knew I had the green light(no pun intended) to put an end to my misery, or so I thought.
Apparently two scientists, Lloyd (1971) and Sivinski (1981), determined theflashing tail light signaled danger; the greater the danger the brighter the light. DidI mention those guys call the light aposematism?
Apparently, the light in the tail is supposed to let an attacker, me, know thatthe bug tastes bad. Hell, I wasn’t going to eat the thing I just wanted to create apower surge to blow his fuse.
By now I figured the Big Guy was asleep, at least it sounded like he was.The RV was rock’n and roll’n, just like it does when he’s comatose in a deep REMstate. I freed myself from under the comforter, readied myself for my assault onthe next fly-by, then snapped and missed.
My actions startled the Big Guy. He sat bolt upright, banging his headon the overhead reading lantern, his eyes wide-open like Dansk Crystal platters,pointing toward the front of the RV. “See that?” he exclaimed. “See that?”
See what, I thought.
“Jack, Jack,” he said with delight, “We have a new power source forreading, and it’s free!”
I figured the bang on the head had loosened scar tissue in his brainfrom the seven concussions he had while playing hockey without a helmet.
Light for reading what, I wondered?
With that he jumped from the bed and chased the firefly, trapped it in hismassive hand and watched with delight as it flashed on and off and on and off.
He’s mad, I thought! He was grinning from ear to ear as he walked towardme. “Jack, we have to capture a mason jar full of these critters. What, I thought?
“We can use them as a light when we read,” he said.
Now I know he has lost it, I thought.
“Stuff them in a mason jar and shake the bottle whenever we want to read.If they’re frightened, they’ll glow all night long,” he said .
Without hesitation he slipped into his pants, opened the door, grabbed atropical fish net hanging on the wall (he used it for catching crustations for macroshots) and off he went. I was close behind.
I’ve watched him do crazy things, but watching him chase fireflies in themiddle of the night with a tropical fish net topped everything. Light after lighted
bug was snared and dropped into the Mason jar.
After an hour or so we returned to the RV, exhausted from the thrill of ourpursuit, and watched with amazement as the jar lit-up like a 60 watt bulb.
Call me crazy, or better yet call him crazy, but enterprising has got to be theBig Guy’s middle name.
He amused himself sitting quietly with his book, shake the jar, and read bythe light of the fireflies. When he was done reading he’d place the jar on the tablebeside the bed, fall asleep, and the lights within the jar would dim and eventuallygo out.
Each morning the jar was opened, the bugs released and, the next night theprocess began again.
I don’t want to say the Big Guy is cheap but his attempt to save a penny hadbeen taken to a new level.