…Into Shadow

“This is war, Peacock.” – Clue.

You know those old westerns, or those new space westerns, wherein the intrepid hero walks into a saloon or bar and all eyes turn to him? When everyone is waiting for the hero to do something stupid – such as order a glass of milk or fail to kiss the local gangster’s ass in a sufficiently enthusiastic fashion? Yeah, this is my life at the moment.

The cockroaches are waiting for me to do something stupid. Yesterday, they got their chance. I kept the light off in the hallway as I worked. I allowed myself to ignore a faint rustling noise. And I got a f*cking cockroach crawling up my leg.

I even suspect he was trying to hump it.

The only thing that saved my brain from overloading and powering off was the beer I had drunk half an hour before. Say what you want about alcohol, but it does have that certain dulling effect at times. Perhaps intrepid heroes everywhere should re-examine their relationship with it. I certainly have, in these last, dark weeks.

I’m not really sure what great lesson I am supposed to learn from this war of attrition. If it goes down in history books, it will be one of those wars that no one wants to learn about, featured heavily on essay questions in stuffy classrooms in the world over (Hundred Years’ War, Thirty Years’ War, the War of the Roses). For every strike, there is a measured counterstrike.

Perhaps the cockroaches don’t see it that way – perhaps killing roughly 100 by putting poison in the pipes between the garage and the stairs is seen, by them, as way, way worse than the single act of harassment last night. At least, I can only hope so. I want them to lament the terrors of my pesticide arsenal, goddamit. I want them to build remembrance museums. I want them to shoot documentaries about it, featuring the moody music of Phillip Glass and constant reminders that “viewer discretion is advised” between commercial breaks.

1,000 years from now, I want some pipe-smoking cockroach linguist to write an epic based in part on the legendary events of the stairwell. Half a century later, I want a blockbuster trilogy to be filmed, complete with stubble-chinned method actors.

What pesticide I spray in life – damn better echo in eternity. No just God could let all that stylized violence (*shriek* *flying shoe* *spurting pus* *another shriek*) go to waste.

13 thoughts on “…Into Shadow

  1. LMAO!

    I know how you feel, only my destined enemy was not cockroaches but a rat. He ate my Reeses peanut butter chocolate(R.IP) which was situated in my bed side drawer. By far the worst casualty of war I have suffered to date.

  2. These are some things I’ve done to keep roaches in their own area… I don’t know how large your roaches are but there are ways to limit where they go, like taking caulking and sealing any cracks along the baseboards and the ceiling mouldings. There are foam insulation products that, when sprayed into a hole or crack, expand to seal the crack.

    Make sure to caulk the seal between the wall and any pipes coming into your apartment (sinks, bathtub, laundry), and especially around window sills and door frames. I’ve found that closets need extra attention, so do any outlets (including the ones behind the stove and fridge).

    Technically they’ll probably end up eating the caulking, but it’ll keep them occupied for a while.

    If your bed frame has legs put each leg in something like a margarine or tupperware container that’s full of water, or pesticide that’s heavily (!) diluted with water, and keep your bed away from the walls. This will keep them out of your bed. Unless they fall from the ceiling.

    If you have linoleum tiles anywhere make sure they’re all tightly glued to the floor. Carpets are a bad idea, but if you can’t get rid of them make sure the space between the carpet and the wall is secure.

    Keep your dressers, clothes hampers etc. away from walls. If your dresser has legs put them into containers filled with water as well. While you’re at it, do the same with the couch, chairs, and dining room table as well.

    Most store pesticides have zero effect on roaches. The ones that do might kill a few of them but there are thousands more running around, and then the eggs will hatch later on anyway. The best way to get rid of them that I’ve found is move, abandon the furniture somewhere and wash all of your clothes in hot water. But you can manage them somewhat. Or at least create safe-zones.

  3. This house is old, it needs major repair work. Especially our bathroom. We’ve managed to seal some cracks with gypsum, but let’s face it, there just needs to be an overhaul, a professional one. That’s what it comes down to.

    What I’m doing right now is just spraying and dusting every threshold, so I can limit their movement at night.

    It doesn’t help that they live in the garden and the pipes near the garden. Like, that’s their main base. And the minute the temperature drops a few degrees, they stream into the house. They’ve been getting bombed out there as well, and in here, and the population has been reduced, but keeping it down is going to be the real fight.


  4. The last three paragraphs in this post gave me my first reason to laugh today. Thanks for that. I’ve been playing Sid Meyer’s Civ series for years and I sometimes imagine my more enjoyable games in similar over the top terms.

  5. LMAO!

    I feel where you’re comming from Natalia. My enemy of destiny though, was a rat. The bugger ate my Reeses Peanut Butter Chocolate bar which was situated in my bedside drawer. Thats the worst casualy of war I’ve ever suffered.:(


  6. I think the solution is clear; you need to have David Hess come over and terrorize some roaches. 😉

  7. I *appear* to have gotten an exterminator, and he *appears* to be coming tomorrow (it’s harder to arrange these things here).

    Fingers firmly crossed.

  8. “The cockroaches are waiting for me to do something stupid.”

    Just make sure it’s not a setup… this could all be part of some devious roach master plan.

  9. Having Arab friends has made me dread the word “inshallah”. It basically means, at least with Levant Arabs I know “Man, I might show up when I say I will, or I might not. Guess you’ll find out.” I’d have to imagine it’s more prevalent when you’re actually there. My grandparents lived in Amman for a few years and my granddad had nothing but good things to say about Jordanians except when it came to two things; driving and keeping commitments.

  10. You need to employ psychological warfare. Staple pictures of roach-eating birds everywhere. Capture a roach, force him to watch an entire season of America’s Next Top Model, and then release him so he can tell his friends, “Listen guys, it’s just not worth it. Something’s wrong with that girl. Bad wrong.” (This is how cockroaches talk.) Finally, wear some pipe cleaner antenna and try to infiltrate their hierarchy. War from within. It might be the only way.

  11. My half brother suggested sprinkling boric acid powder down as a kind of moat that cockroaches won’t cross. I did that in all my dorm rooms and my shittier apartments, and I’ve never seen a roach, but those two things might not be related.

    But, boric acid powder is pretty cheap, if you can find it there.

  12. Yeah, I’ve been making barriers every night since the leg-humping incident happened.

    The exterminator came, he seemed really great. But that was only a consultation and we need to take things to the next level. And that’s going to take some convincing on my part.

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