Six impossible things before breakfast.

A library science student's perspective on life, the universe, and everything.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Into Battle

I'm going to stray a bit from the purpose of this blog... Purpose... And what was that, exactly? Maybe I should say I'm going to stray a bit from the purpose of this blog again. But, I really must put this somewhere, and I don't really have anywhere else right now.

Tonight was the night I vanquished a monster. Appropriately, it was a dark and stormy night (no kidding, it actually was). Thursday evening progressed the way it usually does. I ate reheated pizza and browsed free CSS templates online, caught up on some websites I follow and tried to keep the cats from chewing a hole in the blinds. Sometime after eight I walked into my room--I do not even remember the reason, for a moment later all coherent thoughts were driven out of my head in terror. For I had what every small child fears when the sun goes down and the house starts to creak: a monster in my closet.

(This is a long one.)

The first sign of trouble was the cats (it usually is). All three of them were clustered near the door of the closet, as if there were something of great interest inside but they'd rather stay outside and observe it from here thank you very much. They fairly regularly alert me to the presence of small spiders, so when I saw them all together, staring towards the floor, my mind jumped to this conclusion, I grabbed a tissue, and walked over. I should have been paying more attention to the nervous excitement of the three cats near my feet.

I turned on the closet light and saw on the ground at my feet the biggest ****ing cockroach I have ever seen.

I'm usually not someone who makes a big deal out of bugs. Not that I have any aspirations of becoming an entomologist, but if I'm sitting outside and an ant happens to walk across my arm, I'll simply flick it off without a fuss. Inside I'm more likely to squish a little bug, but part of me figures that's actually probably more humane than leaving them to be tortured and eaten alive by a feisty feline. But cockroaches. Inside. Is. Not. Cool. Retrospectively I thought how glad I was my mother was a state away and so unable to witness my initial verbal reaction.

Unfortunately the cats took my advance as a cue to come investigate our unwanted visitor. The Thing looked like it was laying on its back and I hoped and prayed that somehow it might be dead. As I scrambled for a hard-soled shoe (some remaining shred of intelligence told me that ballet flats probably wouldn't be much good for killing nuclear-weapon-resistant insects) one of the cats sneaked forward and reached out a paw. I yelled at him to stop, worried he would wake it up or something. I still couldn't find a single shoe I could convert into a bug-killing machine. Something about the cat's movements or my raised voice suddenly reanimated the bug; with a flurry of long brown legs it righted itself and took off. The one positive thing I can say about this situation is that thankfully it didn't run towards me. Continuing to shout at the cat I scrambled for a boot, a heel, a machete, anything. I swear I only took my eyes off the monster for mere seconds, but when I emerged from the closest, hefty shoe in hand, it had completely disappeared.

Two of the cats seemed interested in my dresser so I commenced moving furniture, searching in every conceivable and inconceivable location, and I think there may have been some more cursing too. This thing was huge. Mammoth. There was no way I could just let it go and still be able to sleep at night. Even now, just thinking about it running across my carpet gives me goosebumps. After a time of frustration bordering on desperation, I finally caught up with the cockroach. It had slipped under the bathroom door, but now I had it cornered. Kind of. If you don't count the fact that had it run towards me I most likely would have turned and fled. I wasn't about to look away from it for an instant, but the shoe that I had been carrying around like a new appendage wasn't really going to be effective in the cramped quarters of a bathroom. My mind raced desperately trying to think of something I could use. My first thought: a sword. Maybe not the most realistic option, but something made my brain grasp frantically at the idea (too many Three Musketeers movies?) until I could convince it that we didn't have any swords in the house just at the moment. Finally I happened to notice the plunger, the kind with a thick wooden dowel for a handle; clutching it firmly and holding my breath at the same time I stabbed valiantly at the beast. It skittered further into the corner but I kept jabbing repeatedly until I caught the back half of it between the wooden handle and the linoleum. The monster continued trying to escape, dragging its mutilated body along the floor and leaving one leg behind, but it was sluggish in its damaged condition and I was able to make contact with it again.

And again.

And again.

I beat the poor insect until it was a sticky brown pulp smeared across the ground and part of the molding too. And then I gingerly sopped it up and flushed it down the toilet, just in case, you know, it might be able to come back from that. I do NOT want zombie cockroaches in my apartment.

That's pretty much the end of it. Written down, I'm sure it doesn't seem all that exciting, but believe me, in the moment it was epic and horror and high drama all in one. I better not find any more of those around anytime soon. I'm sorry Wall-E but cockroaches are NOT cute.

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