Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Arthropodal Visions

Where I work we have a Bug Man. He's a locally famous Bug Man who has his own Bug Man column in the paper and everything so the theory is he is highly qualified.

I have read his column, and every week it goes something like this:

Q1: Dear Bug Man. I have sent you a sample of unknown Bug for you to identify. Please tell me what it is, whether it is dangerous, and how I can get rid of it?

Ans: Dear Reader. Please do not send me bug samples in envelopes. It is very difficult to identify bugs when they are smashed into little bitty bug crumbs. Here as always is my instruction list for Sending Bugs Safely Through the Mail. Sincerely, Bug Man.

Q2: Dear Bug Man. I have an infestation of [heinous bug] and I want to get rid of them at once! Please advise.

Ans: Dear Reader. Isn't [heinous bug] a fascinating species? Here is a large amount of information on their history and personal habits so you can better appreciate your multi-legged guest. They are harmless and perfectly charming and will eat any number of things leaving behind only their small, buggy carcasses and a large amount of bug poop. What could be nicer? DO NOT USE CHEMICALS. Chemicals are vile, and will do the following disgusting things to you, your pets, and probably the ozone. If you absolutely must rid yourself of your delightful bug infestation you should use these non-invasive, non-effective methods.

It's not terribly surprising then that Bug Man's philosophies and methods have produced a large, thriving population of cockroaches around here. I can honestly say I have never seen such enormous, healthy specimens in my life. They know they have it made too because they don't bother to scuttle - they stroll calmly down the halls and barely flick an antenna when someone walks past.

There are many things I can face well. I look on spiders with appreciation and even mild interest (although our local black widows are best admired from a distance imho); I actually like snakes and lizards and other critters of the "creepy crawly" variety. Cockroaches though, cockroaches are where I draw the line.

I do have a method for dealing with them. First I jump back several feet because they are liable to leap at one, going for the eyes I think. Then I move forward again because it's necessary to ascertain that it is indeed a cockroach and not an unfortunately hairy piece of lint or something. Then I do my best imitation of cat-stepping-in-water combined with the yakking-a-hairball noise for a while. At that point it's necessary to find someone else to deal with the disgusting creature because me, I can't even step on 'em (they CRUNCH and OOZE and... sorry, I have to go shudder in the corner for a while).

Which is why I'm having just a bit of difficulty concentrating this morning since the first thing that greeted me on arrival was a particularly fat and juicy roach crawling happily down the hall toward my office.

There are two people around here who are willing to help out in the crisis. One will gather the cockroach up on a bed of tissue, carefully take it downstairs and outside and gently tuck it away somewhere safe with little murmurs of reassurance and affection. I'm all for loving all living creatures and that, but this to me seems a leetle excessive. Plus it makes me feel guilty for my bloodthirstiness. The other insists on a lot of eye rolling and for-heaven's-saking before she's willing to do the grisly deed. However, she does kill the insect dead which is, in my opinion, very important since it will not then crawl back somehow and seek its buggy revenge on me.

I think I'll go ask for her help. Just as soon as I climb back down off my desk.


Kellan Rhodes said...

I loved this post. I love your writing. And I am with you on roaches. I do the exact same "trip-over-myself-to-get-away-from-the-thing" ritual - you do. With the exception of the "hair-ball noise" you referenced. I scream like a little girl and I also climb or run. I loved this post - so glad I came by (I liked the whole "Bug Man" part too.

For Kirk said...

Thanks, and happy to see you. I would scream like a little girl but that might alert the roach to my presence, and then... well....

Anonymous said...

Have you seen Joe's Apartment? -- Sex, Bugs, and Rock-n-Roll

For Kirk said...

Ew! Ew! You squicked me at the first shot of that toilet!! [nb - I amuse my colleagues at work by routinely wiping down and tidying the cream cart when we go get coffee in the morning. This will make my mother and sister snort their morning milk out their noses since they remember me as a very untidy, nay disgustingly filthy child, but it's true - I wipe, I clean, I tidy and I CANNOT FACE THAT TOILET this early in the morning]

However, there was a certain fascination in the Esther Williams moment there...

child said...

actually, cockroaches are kinda at a time.

For Kirk said...

Child I will pretend you did not say that. However I will possibly be nagging you about your room rather a lot tonight.