DID you see the full moon on Tuesday night?
It came up behind the casino, the size of a soccer ball and red as a navel orange, which actually isn’t orange at all. It looked good enough to pluck, but it isn’t.
It’s pollution, you know, that redness. You might want to remember that next time you’re cuddling your loved one on the beach and enjoying the romance of the moment.
If you don’t believe me then consider why it isn’t red when it’s directly overhead. It’s only red when it’s low on the horizon and we view it through a thick segment of the earth’s atmosphere. Its polluted atmosphere.
Also, it’s got a rabbit in it. You may think this is hardly worth commenting on, but where I come from in the northern hemisphere, we have a moon with a man in it. I’m not kidding. If you get binoculars and study it over London you can clearly see his smile and his nose. Over Townsville the ears have grown and the nose twitches.
I realise it’s the same moon, so somewhere over the equator I suppose they do a sudden switch. Must be interesting for people living in places like Borneo, where it would happen pretty much directly overhead.
Interesting thing, the moon. If it wasn’t for the moon we wouldn’t have tides. Well, only small ones because it’s the moon’s gravitational pull that sucks the water up in the middle of the ocean and drags it away from the coast. The sun helps, but not much.
Do you remember when we landed on the moon, almost 33 years ago? Somehow the magic went out of it after that. You couldn’t pretend to your kids that it was made of cheese after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin had been hobnailing across it.
It was going to revolutionise our lives, landing on the moon; enable us to travel to the far-flung reaches of the galaxy and pollute other atmospheres besides our own.
Instead it’s become just another deserted place littered with wrecked vehicles and holes in the ground.
A bit like Cairns really.
People with better technological brains than mine tell me we have benefited from valuable research that was done in pursuit of the moon landing. Things like… crockery that’s microwave oven-proof. Important, that. We would never have managed without it.
You may wonder why I am suddenly feeling sentimental about the moon. Especially when it is so often associated with Dracula, werewolves, and highwaymen.
I suppose it’s because I don’t get to see it very often. Not when it’s just cleared the horizon and is balancing there like a giant maraschino cherry. I mean, I’ve seen an ordinary moon pretty often, but not one that’s low in the sky, surrounded by carbon monoxide and methane? Probably not more than a couple of dozen times in a lifetime. If I were to count the number of times I’ll see it again before I die I could probably use my fingers.
My wife says the ocean is not the only water the moon is fooling about with. She says it’s obviously creating mayhem with the fluid in my brain, too. I’ve heard of that. But it can’t be right. If that happened you’d expect me to be prattling on about something entirely ridiculous that was of no importance or consequence to anyone. Wouldn’t you?