Möthley Crüe, Chicks = Trouble

25 May

 Here is this week’s submission for Madison Woods’ FridayFictioneers. Her story and the place for commenting, reading other stories and posting your own is here. (The photo prompt is below.) This is a cautionary tale, the soundtrack of which can be heard in the background, probably being played by the custodial staff of the McDonald’s in the picture. You can hear it here. Yes, it’s a hard life. Don’t make it harder by failing to take note of the lessons Mother Nature leaves around for us to learn from. Aloha, D.

”So why’d you stop here?” asked Polyphemus politely.
The two male moths were resting after a night of battering themselves senseless against an obdurate pair of golden arches. They were haggard and exhausted at the end of their lives and neither had found a mate. (Moth pheromones are potent but any in their vicinity were neutralized by the miasma of vegetable oil that surrounded the restaurant.) Snared by a false moon and chemically isolated from the lure of love, they contemplated their fate with the stoicism that is the trademark of moths in general.
“Don’t know,” Luna replied listlessly, “…the light was on.”

58 Responses to “Möthley Crüe, Chicks = Trouble”

  1. Carlos Repuesto de la Tabla May 25, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    Ha! The stoicism of moths… I like that. I wondered about moth names, mine were Jack and Molly, much less exotic than yours, but mine may not have been actual moths. I wrote two stories, the first one had some [probably bad] science in it, unlike yours, with proper science. Very good, Doug; the damage we do without even knowing, bulls in china shops we are. My two are at http://repuestodelatabla.wordpress.com/

    • dmmacilroy May 25, 2012 at 11:15 am #

      Dear Carlos,

      Thank you very much for dropping by on your way through the drive in. As always, I appreciate your comments.



  2. rochellewisoff May 25, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    I love the last line. Hahahahaha. Why else? Fun story. Here’s mine:www.rochelle-wisoff.blogspot.com/2012/05/rendezvous.html

    • Sandra May 25, 2012 at 10:23 am #

      Terrific! A great tongue-in-cheek response to the prompt. I think most pheromones must be neutralised by the miasma of vegetable oil. Certainly turns me off. 🙂 Nice one Doug.

      • dmmacilroy May 25, 2012 at 11:28 am #

        Dear Sandra,

        Thank you for reading and commenting. Do the moths along French waterways swarm the lights of your evening lounging spot on the stern?



        (Running off to find your story.)

    • dmmacilroy May 25, 2012 at 11:17 am #

      Dear Rochelle,

      Glad you enjoyed it. Those moths were hard to craft a story for. Drop by anytime. I’ll leave the light on.



    • dmmacilroy May 25, 2012 at 11:30 am #

      Thank you Rochelle,

      Off to find yours now.



    • rochellewisoff August 13, 2015 at 12:32 pm #

      Dear Doug,

      Three years later…still a good one as talking moth stories go. The miasma of vegetable oil at McDonald’s is enough to neutralize anyone and raise their gorge in the process.
      Kia Ora,


      • dmmacilroy August 13, 2015 at 3:16 pm #

        Dear Rochelle,

        Nice of you to visit this museum piece. It’s been gathering dust for a while.



      • rochellewisoff August 13, 2015 at 3:20 pm #

        Dear Doug,

        A good archeological dig is good for the soul.



  3. joannalazuliportals May 25, 2012 at 10:50 am #

    Cleverly done, Doug – I can’t really isolate any one thing because it all fits together so well! Love the choice of name for ‘Luna’, too.

    Ours is here: http://www.lazuli-portals.com/flash-fiction/a-moment-s-pause

  4. unspywriter May 25, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    Gotta love those moth conversations. 😉

    Here’s mine: http://unspywriter.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/friday-fictioneers-fun/

  5. readinpleasure May 25, 2012 at 11:47 am #

    Ow, poor moths! Tired from an unsuccessful hunt for a female. Perhaps they should meet the ‘Preying Mantis.’ Ha ha ha. Thanks for the comments. Mine is here for others: http://readinpleasure.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/fridayfictioneers-preying-mantis/

  6. TheOthers1 May 25, 2012 at 11:52 am #

    Lol. Poor guys. Lured in by the golden arches like a schmuck. Their short lives and potent pheromones were wasted on McDonald. Sad. 🙂

    My attempt: http://unduecreativity.wordpress.com/2012/05/24/chasing-the-divine/

    • dmmacilroy May 25, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

      Dear CC,

      Yes, it’s a hard life. Reminds me of me. Thanks for dropping by and reading.



    • dmmacilroy May 25, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

      Thanks for checking in and commenting.



  7. Craig Towsley May 25, 2012 at 12:37 pm #


    You cram so much information into that piece without seeming like it’s crammed in. You could turn a math lesson into a poem, sir.

    and the last line is perfect.

    • TheOthers1 May 25, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

      I’d love to see him do that!

      • dmmacilroy May 25, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

        Mmmmmm, CC, you’re sweet. 😀

    • dmmacilroy May 25, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

      Dear Craig,

      You just made my night. Seriously. A compliment like that is wonderful compensation for the constant rewriting that went on during the hours leading up to ‘post time.’

      Thank you, thank you, thank you.



  8. Carol Deminski May 25, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    I swear to you, I’ve never seen moths that large ever. I mean EVER. I wonder if that photo is real (I’m guessing it is..?)

    Also Doug, I love how your mind works. I don’t know how many people would have thought to anthropomorphize the moth… great job.

    • dmmacilroy May 25, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

      Dear Carol,

      My father and I used to go out into the fields bordering the Swimming River in New Shrewsbury and catch these types of moths. A net, a container and some cotton balls soaked in ether, and voila’, instant moth exhibit. Ah, memories.

      Thanks for reading and commenting. It is a pleasure seeing you here.



      • Carol Deminski May 26, 2012 at 11:19 am #

        Wow…that’s fascinating Doug! It’s funny, there is always so much nature all around us, if we’d only look at it!

        Again, great job. 🙂

  9. JKBradley May 25, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

    Great read, Doug. I so enjoyed how these moths just couldn’t help but batter themselves against the golden arches, so very much like boys blinded and vying for the attention of a beautiful girl.

    Here’s mine: http://thebradleychronicles.wordpress.com/

    • dmmacilroy May 25, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

      Dear JK,

      We are each slaves to pheromones and light. Loved, loved, loved your dark dream of a story. Thanks for visiting mine.



  10. elmowrites May 25, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

    So many lessons here, Doug. You either know your subject very well, or make an excellent pretence of it! I’d love to see you turn a maths lesson into a poem as per Craig’s comment. Go!

    • dmmacilroy May 25, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

      Dear Elmo,

      My father and I used to catch those types of moths when I was but a boy. I know a bit about the subject. (Overstated the effect of vegetable oil on pheromones for effect.) Working on my math lesson poem now.

      Thanks for visiting.

      Off to find yours now.



  11. Jeffrey Hollar May 25, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

    What a sad and unsatisfying end to their days. I loved the tongue-in-cheek seriousness of this piece. Who would have imagined Polyphemus as a moth name? Very inventive.

    My offering: http://www.jeffreyhollar.com/2012/05/of-moths-and-mcnuggets.html

  12. tollykit May 25, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    Poor moths. But such is life. Loved the last line. Thanks for sharing.

    For any of your readers interest in mine here’s the link

  13. Kaitlin May 25, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    Somehow, that’s so, SO sad. Love it. http://kaitlinandmichaelbranch.com/2012/05/25/angel-in-a-polyester-uniform/

  14. flyoverhere May 25, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

    Wow you actually penetrated the mind of a moth! We have been battling the little critters for a month or more. I hate it when there is one on my computer screen early in the AM….

  15. Sheila May 25, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

    Hi Doug,
    We were on the same wave length, sort of. Liked yours a lot. Here’s mine. http://cowpasturechronicles.blogspot.com/2012/05/hungry-faries.html

  16. erinleary May 25, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

    Lights and golden arches. We hit a couple of the same themes.

    Mine is here: http://erinleary.wordpress.com/2012/05/24/flight-path/

  17. rgayer55 May 25, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

    I think you’re on to something here, Doug. I’m going to apply for a grant to study the miasma of vegetable oil on human libido. No wonder Ronald’s fries are limp.

    thanks for compliment on mine. I always look forward to reading yours too. http://russellgayer.blogspot.com/

  18. Stacey May 25, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

    I enjoyed it. There was some great word usage—”obdurate pair of arches,” “neutralized by the miasma of vegetable oil,” “false moon,” ”chemically isolated.” “In general,” felt redundant and I think that the piece would be stronger if it was omitted. It was also a little odd to me that a moth who had spent the evening battering itself against a light source would stop doing that to wait patiently/stop moving near a different light source, but I loved the final line, “the light was on.” Great job!

  19. bridgesareforburning May 25, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

    Don’t go toward the light! When I can’t mate, I usually end up at MCD’s and console myself with fast food. Your moths don’t even get that consolation prize. Rock on!
    My story is here: http://bridgesareforburning.wordpress.com/

  20. Janet May 25, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

    You had me at the title! I loved this one Doug. You conveyed so much in such few words and it flowed beautifully. I went a different direction and focused on the dark window and sign. http://postcardfiction.com/2012/05/25/despite-your-intentions/

  21. Linda May 25, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

    As with Janet, the title caught my attention – are you a latent rocker by any chance? And of course the stoicism we see all around is in the animal kingdom as they all seem to accept what fate has in store for them. It worked really well and I particularly liked the politeness of it all despite the anticipated outcome of the protagonists.

    thanks for visiting mine too.

  22. Susan Wenzel (@SusanWenzel) May 25, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

    Ok no, Doug…I find your post funny for a particular reason. I also write a small food blog and focus on basic, nutritious food. So many people are drawn in by the lure of grease and worship the false moon of fast food in lieu of eating real food, good food…

    Good stuff!


    • dmmacilroy May 25, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

      Dear Susan,

      I just got down home to Waimea after five days on the summit. Wind and cloud and rain abound but lots of oxygen, too. I’m going to eat breakfast and then go to bed and sleep for the entire day, then rise and shine and find your story.

      Thanks for visiting. i’ll write a more cogent thank you when I regain consciousness.



  23. littlewonder2 May 25, 2012 at 5:33 pm #

    I liked the inventive names of your moths. Although, I had thought Luna was a girl’s name. Maybe that’s just the impression from Harry Potter…

    Great story. A cautionary tale, indeed. That smell just lures you in, though, doesn’t it?


  24. teschoenborn May 25, 2012 at 6:05 pm #

    The last line is just classic. Loved it! Sometimes I think we’re all like those moths, battering ourselves against those golden arches of saturated fat….

    Here’s mine:http://teschoenborn.com/2012/05/25/friday-fictioneer-perspective/

  25. oni1138 May 25, 2012 at 6:10 pm #

    seems to be a week of great last lines 🙂

  26. siobhanmuir May 25, 2012 at 6:50 pm #

    It sounds like those golden arches are perilous for all species, lol. Fun tale, Doug.

    Here’s mine: http://siobhanmuir.blogspot.com/2012/05/moths-date-100words-for.html


  27. Charles Oyeleke Williams May 25, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

    It feels pleasant to be here again…I can see you are still one of the cutest around despite of the new inductees. Well Done, Doug!

  28. The Lime May 25, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

    LOVE IT. Doug, the rhythm of the dialogue with the complex sentence structure in the narrative paragraph is really lovely.

    Yay 🙂 I’m back this week, btw.

  29. Lora Mitchell May 25, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

    Hi Doug: Love it. …”pheromones neutralized by veggie oil…” and the last line…make me chuckle. The size of these moths amazed me…was it trick photography or photoshop? I wrote Madison…I never saw such huge moths anywhere in NY or N. England. Anyhow, enjoyed your take on the prompt. Your stories never disappoint. Here’s mine:

  30. Atiya May 25, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

    I love how you describe the misleading lights and the over powered pheromones. A perfect example of how humans are bringing about not only their own destruction, but other species as well. I at the same time really feel bad for these two. Great story Doug. Here is my share: http://remakingme-atiyatownes.blogspot.com/2012/05/friday-flash-fiction-best-hubby-ever.html

  31. writingbothsides May 25, 2012 at 9:49 pm #

    Cleverly written Greek tragedy starring moths. Truly witty, yet sad.
    Here’s mine: http://wp.me/p1Tjpv-b6

  32. EmmaMc May 25, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

    This made me chuckle, but it’s also very sad aswell. Wonderful.

  33. Kathy McClure May 26, 2012 at 12:34 am #

    I hope you don’t mind, I shared this on FB. What I think most impresses me, if I take time to analyze, is how your words are like velvet daggers. They feel good going in, until they reach the sticking place, and then you understand.


  34. tedstrutz May 26, 2012 at 3:48 am #

    Good One! Loved the last line, Doug.

  35. Madison Woods May 26, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

    Very nice, Doug. So honest, heartfelt, and just plain sad ends to a couple of typical moths. And yet, it was also entertaining (and educational!). And thought provoking. I wonder, do modern odor miasmas really interfere with critter pheromes?

  36. prosingon May 26, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

    Very amusing Doug. I’m proud of myself for picking the right species in my offering. I’m not an expert like you. I was perplexed to find out that adult moths don’t have mouths. I couldn’t figure out how to make them talk when I was conceptualizing my story. I ended up writing a conversation between the two anyway. May I say, it’s refreshing to me that you shape your replies in the form of a personal letter. Nice touch. Here’s mine if you have the time to give it a read. http://prosingon.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/ant-poly-and-looney/

  37. bridgesareforburning May 26, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

    Hi Doug, just wanted to be your 51st comment. Just kidding. I’m actually on a moth ID quest. I’ve seen the brown moth called a cecopia, you called it a polyphemus, and I called it a catacola. And I’m not even close to having read all the stories, so it may have been called some other names. I tried to ID it, but I’m no expert and there are about a kazilllion different species of moths. It seemed to look most closely like an Ozark underwing moth, a side branch on the catacolas, but it was just a guess finally. So I’m wondering if you made an exact ID because I know you enjoy reserch, and I’m betting you nailed it. Am I right?
    Your landlocked friend,

    • Douglas MacIlroy May 27, 2012 at 9:34 am #

      Dear Ron,

      We used to have both of these moths in a cotton backed, framed and glassed in ‘dead moth’ exhibit that my father put together. I’ve always known the male Luna moth but had to rely on Google to come close to ID’ing the big brown one.The resolution on the photo prompt didn’t support an absolute certain match. One that came very, very close was called Polyphemus after the one eyed, sailor eating giant in Homer’s Odyssey so I went with that in the interest of time. Not an expert by any means but I wanted some level of authenticity to back up my moths dismal end. Your Catacola has a nice ring to it as well. Thanks for your confidence about me nailing the ID, but it is probably misplaced where big brown is concerned.



  38. justlyd May 27, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

    I always knew Mickey D’s was bad news for humans-now it’s affecting moths too? Really liked your take on the prompt!

  39. mysocalledDutchlife May 27, 2012 at 9:12 pm #

    Sounds like the end of many a night at the local disco – “chemically isolated from the lure of love…”, story of my life. I’m glad the moths are stoic 😉

    Great title, great names and, well, just great.
    Best, Mikaela

    I know you’ve been already, thanks: http://mysocalleddutchlife.wordpress.com/2012/05/24/moths-from-mars/

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