Spotted in Manhattan, at dusk one fine July evening: a firefly! Maybe that's not so incredible, but I haven't told you where in Manhattan... When was the last time you saw a firefly in a Thai restaurant? A heavily air-conditioned Thai restaurant, at that. Don't know how he got in, but there he was, suddenly, hovering near our table, flashing his little SOS. Eventually he buzzed too close to a woman at a nearby table, who reached behind her head and batted the poor thing to the floor, where he was squashed underfoot by the restaurant's manager. I think they both mistook it for an ordinary fly, rather than a fascinating miracle of nature. Of course, if it had been some other kind of bug -- say, a roach, or a spider -- I wouldn't have been rooting for its survival. But fireflies rank above even ladybugs on the "Admire, Don't Execute" scale of insect life. So I was sad to see him go.
The fiance and I were still talking about it hours later; I said something about "That awesome firefly," and he said, with palpable relief, "I'm so glad you call them 'fireflies' too." Up to that point I'd been saying "lightning bug" exclusively, without realizing it (I'm spontaneous like that). Apparently that sounded foreign to him, so he was glad to discover I'm not completely weird. What about you: is it a "firefly" or a "lightning bug"? Or either, depending on your mood? And have you seen one anywhere unexpected?