WILL-O’-THE-WISP (OR SWAMP GHOSTS)

When traveling at night near a swamp or a marsh or a bog (or through Florida, let’s say), you’ll see strange luminiscent beings, like fireflies but the size of Shakille O’Neal. However, you shouldn’t get scared. There’s no use to panic, no need to cut and run. (Although, all things considered, it’s not such a bad idea.) They’re just swamp ghosts dancing on the wetland, but not to the sound of music, because they don’t actually dance: they flail. (It’s funny: this is exactly what my wife tells me: “you don’t dance, you flail and kick”. This being true, it’s not my fault if any sort of danceable music gives me epileptic seizures.) Usually, Swamp ghosts are not dangerous unless provoked. Ephraim Perusini, the famous opera singer, gave them a little opera, and naturally the ghosts forthwith fell upon him and not even the bones were left. But what did he expect? Encore requests? It seems incredible that people are so irresponsible.

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