Thursday, April 14, 2005

Now they want it back

This morning I turned to walk into the bathroom and saw a cockroach the size of a small dog scurry across the tile toward me. I lept out of its way as it knocked over the dining room chair and scampered behind the television where it sat, panting, looking at me and sinuously wavering its treebranchlong antennae. Eventually it attempted to burrow under the floorboards and I managed to subdue and ultimately suffocate it with WD-40.

I hate cockroaches. Hate them. I'm using the word "hate" here about cockroaches. Seeing this roach reminded me of the sheer horror I experienced when I saw a house centipede run across our bedroom wall several months ago. I had never seen such a thing, with its small sticklike body and dozens of legs of varying lengths, and I was certain that the little bugger had stepped into our room directly out of the paleozoic era. House centipedes aside, what was especially disconcerting about the appearance of "Tiny," as the cockroach affectionately and posthumously came to be known, is that it came on the heels of a rodent crisis in our apartment. On four occasions over the past three weeks, an unseen mouse has gotten into our various and sundry snack foods, torn through the packaging, and partaken of their snacky goodness.

I have combatted the mouse by sealing the foods in rubbermaid bins and placing traps around the kitchen. Yet he avoids capture. When I baited the trap with the very snack he'd stolen (oh sweet irony!), he came in the night and managed to swipe the bait off the trigger without springing the trap. Little sonofabitch. At least our food is now safeguarded. Without food, he'll go elsewhere. I found what I believe to be his hole, back in the wall in a tiny cranny behind our pantry shelves, so inaccessible that I could not seal it. What did I do? I sprayed it with WD-40.

Give me a can of WD-40 and a roll of duct tape and I'll solve all the problems of the world.

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