May 2, 2012

Four Days' Battle

Being the only grown up in the house has always presented challenges.  I don't mean like I'm worried about slipping in the shower and hitting my head and then a cat eats my face off sort of thing.  I mean I've been hunting a cockroach for four days.  I first saw it in my pantry.  One of those huge flying, three inch long monsters. I saw it duck into a hole in the back wall.  One it had made with a tiny sawzall just before he set up his Jerry-Mouse-like apartment with thimble chairs and a spool of thread for a table, a matchbox bed and a tiny elevator that goes down to the cookie shelf in the pantry.  The first day I saw him I thought maybe I was imagining things, I haven't been getting much sleep and it was a very big thing I saw duck into the hole.  Later my fear and sanity was confirmed when I caught him running across the Frito bag with such haste it was noisy.  I immediately threw away anything that was open in the pantry imagining the roach rubbing his butt on everything in a hedonistic mambo of grocery shopping.  Then I slid a box of cereal in front of his hole and barricaded him in.  A day went by and I was hoping he'd move out. He did.  To my dismay he didn't move to Bermuda like I'd hoped, he moved out of the wall and into the laundry room, behind the pantry, where he chased me out yelling "And stay off my lawn!"

Later in the evening I saw him in the living room watching CNN.  I can't stand to squish these huge things as they make a terrible pop when stepped on so I grabbed a glass and chased him around the living room hoping to trap him and flush him... live... ew.  I couldn't get close so I found the most toxic spray I could to spray on him, which ended up being all organic orange shower spray.  But in my defense it does say you should absolutely try very hard not to get it in your eye as it will sting really really bad. I sprayed the roach with it and he laughed and ran into the fireplace.  I hoped again he was on his way to Bermuda but just in case I went out to the garage and located the really toxic kill-everything-spray, before realizing I probably didn't want to  lay a fine mist of it in my fireplace to be vaporized later and breathed in the next time I was trying to cozy up in front of the fire.  So I did nothing, well, actually I yelled obscenities in the direction of the fireplace and implored the dog to evict him should he venture out in the evening past her nose.

Today I saw him laying on his back sunning under the window next to the fireplace.  The all organic orange shower cleaner apparently gave him a mean hangover.  I knew it was my chance.  Get him while he was out of alka seltzer and pepto.  But how.  Now I realize this is just a bug, not a rat (Kiki), or a crazy stray dog whose mouth could fit over my kid's head (Jaime), or a dive bombing cardinal (Christine), just a bug.  But he'd been mocking me for days, eating out of my pantry, chasing me off his lawn, bribing my dog, drinking my orange spray supply, enjoying my cable and in general terrorizing my sleep.  He had to go.  I took a dozen paper towels and wrapped them with a plastic bag and got ready to grab him.  As I approached he started kicking and yelling "Dude! Dude... time out! wait a sec! time out! Dude! I'm really hung over, just a sec!" Then I got scared thinking as I put the paper towels down over him he would grab on and be able to right himself and start running up my arm, so I screamed and shivered and backed off to make a better plan.  One that didn't involve close hand to hand combat

All my noise alerted the children something exciting was going on and now I was working with an added layer of difficulty.  A curious group of small, uncoordinated, onlookers who wanted to touch things and help. I gave them the job of holding all the pillows on the couch while I went into battle.  Thankfully they accepted the mission and I went to the kitchen to give myself a pep talk.  I came back and sprayed him again this time with lemony Windex and then got the glass out.  I placed it over my free loading, now drunk tenant and slid a piece of paper under both the glass and his back and yes, sure enough, he flipped over in a drunken lemony frenzy and tried to bust out.  This is when I shrieked and considered calling someone to come help me.  I was sure it would take two of us to stand on the toilet seat holding it shut with all our weight while flushing.

I didn't call anyone, I just did it, I picked it all up and ran it to the bathroom without dropping anything or flicking him onto my leg.  Three flushes later and he was on his way to Bermuda via the sewer.  I want you to know, I'm not being overly dramatic, the second flush was because he swam back up with a bowie knife in his teeth and the third was to make sure he was gone.  I may or may not have gone back in for a few more flushes five minutes later... and possibly ten minutes later. But what's 50 gallons of water wasted in the middle of Texas when you need a little peace of mind.

9 comments:

Zombie Logic said...

I saw that same bug driving an Oldsmobile down Kilburn earlier.

Jenny said...

I'm sure you did. He said to tell you hello.

Kiki said...

Having had a similar experience, I know this whole story is true. Proud of you!!! :)

Jenny said...

Thanks Kiki, I don't know what I'll ever do if and when the midwestern field mice stop in.

Debbie said...

Loved your post! And now that the big guy is on his way to Bermuda, you can enjoy telling the story while sitting on his lawn.

We had those things in Vegas; thankfully, they didn't come in the house. They preferred to lounge out by the pool after dark. I stepped on one of them one hot summer night and will never forget the crunchy, slurpy sound it made as it oozed out from under the edge of my flip-flop. We called an exterminator the next day, but even so I was never brave enough to walk around barefoot after dark.

Christine the Hopeful said...

Great post! We could have traded off, I kill your roach for you and you do in my bird for me. You totally should get some sort of medal for surviving that trauma.

Jenny said...

Debbie - I was afraid I was going to step on him in the night! It was awful. He's the only one I've seen in the house for a while so I think I'm safe now. I think they congregate under the deck. I don't know and I'm not looking.

Christine - Believe me, you were first on the list of people I almost called.

Andrea R said...

That is not the story he told.

Jenny said...

Never believe a cockroach.