When I feel like being flippant about divorce, I like to say, “Being divorced isn’t actually any lonelier than being married, and it’s a lot less laundry.” It’s actually less lonely, but inconvenient in certain respects, such as when I suddenly realize I’m the one who has to deal with unwelcome guests.
Living in an apartment affords many luxuries, not the least of which was finding out that I didn’t even have to mop up my own kitchen when it flooded. They brought in this machine in at six in the morning and sucked all the water up for me, which was a lucky thing considering it was at that moment that I noticed I don’t actually own any scummy towels.
But while they will spray as often as one can stand to have one’s apartment covered in chemicals, they don’t actually offer a bug removal service. It took me a mere four days to dispose of our latest houseguest, a giant tree roach. These days I can actually walk past a giant tree roach in the parking lot without even taking a detour. Lucky for me, because they kind of come with the giant tree territory in the older parts of
Those guys are definitely tenacious. I think the turf war over the bathtub could have lasted well over four days if I hadn’t made the effort to be brave. At least I didn't run out to beg a security guard to dispose of the big guy for me. Yes, I've looked down the crater of an erupting volcano and asked a security guard to come save me from a bug.
I don’t recommend this method, ‘cause it’s way too cruel to the roach, but here’s how we got rid of our pal:
Jared comes running in to tell me that a roach has staked out his or her territory in the bathtub. I lollygag into his bathroom, figuring he’s panicked over nothing, not really having heard any of his specifics. I gasp at the size of the intruder. Panic for a few seconds. Try to remember that giant roaches are merely disgusting and not life threatening.
Yell to one of the kids to go get our cat, Sugar. Put Sugar into the bathtub & blow on the roach to get it moving around. Cheer Sugar on as he gains interest and paws at the poor creature. Plead with him to at least maim the dreaded thing if not swallow it whole. Groan as Sugar loses interest and exits the bathroom.
Spend another moment panicking as it looks like our new friend has bought himself a map and is looking for the first exit out of the bathtub. Wash him a little further into the tub with a cup of water while blowing on him.
Ask one of the kids to make sure he doesn’t escape while I go get a heavy clear glass pencil holder. Capture him or her under the glass. Ask one of the kids to get something heavy. Lay the two pound weight Jared brings me on top of the glass.
Check on our buddy. Decide he must have escaped. No, says Cassie, he’s on the side of the pencil holder. Decide since he’s had no air or food, he’s probably dead. See his antennae wiggle. Gasp and tell kids to take another bath in my tub.
Know he must be dead, but give him another day for good measure.
Certain he’s dead, remove weight, turn pencil holder over and tap it against toilet seat. Look into the pencil holder in surprise as he refuses to fall into the toilet. Notice the antennae waggle just enough to cause Cassie and me another gasp of horror. Panic for a moment.
Tell myself that if he were capable he would have escaped the cup already. Tell myself I can take my time, but then rush to fill the glass of water and flush all contents at lightening speed. Breathe a sigh of relief and wonder if I should ask the maintenance people to exterminate or if this takeover of our bathroom was a solo effort.
Back when I was married, a giant roach decided our garage looked like a great hang out spot. My ex-husband was trying to dispose of it when he accidentally let it into the house. You know those old pictures of women standing on a table while a rodent circles menacingly? You know how outdated those pictures seem?
The moment the roach ran into the house, Cassie, then maybe eight years old, hopped up on the coffee table exactly like one of those old fashioned pictures. And one thought and one thought only raced through my mind, (although to my credit I didn’t act on it): “What a GREAT IDEA!” Maybe those old pictures aren’t so outdated after all.