Friday, October 10, 2008

Harry Potter and the Dismal Canyons

We had some folks over for dinner tonight. They are from Texas, so naturally I asked if they had seen the Marfa Lights. "No," said one of these nice people, "but I have seen the glowing slugs of Alabama." You can imagine how excited I got! I fancy myself an authority on Alabama - my home state - but I had never heard about our glowing slugs. "They're in the Dismal Canyons," she said, or that's how I heard it. The weird sound of this place thrilled me even more. "Isn't that a Harry Potter novel?" I quipped meagerly, to no acclaim. (It also put me in mind of John Bunyan and the Slough of Despond.) Anyway, a little "googling" taught me that the place is actually called Dismals Canyon, and they call these glowworms "Dismalites." That sounds like a sad sect. Here is a picture of a Dismalite! And now I know everything about Alabama.