Let me give a prologue… Imagine this day: Teenager. Home alone. Don’t remember why. Concerned about hygiene – I know, big surprise. So, having the freedom of being home alone in a family of 7, I proceed to walk around the house in the nude before going in the shower. I don’t even bother preparing any clothes or a towel for when I get out. Why? Because I don’t want to, and I’m free!
I hop in the shower, not so much concerned about hygiene as I am about enjoying a hot, relaxing spray.
*Intermission* Have any of you seen the movie Arachnophobia? Remember the shower scene? If you do, just keep that in mind. If you have never seen the movie, it’s a classic. Oh, and by the way, you’re uncultured.
You know that stage in the shower routine when you wash your face and your hair? Often, in my shower routine, during this stage my eyes can be closed for a good while. Well, when I opened my eyes on this particular dreadful day, during that particularly dreadful shower, what did I see dangling right in front of my face? A spider. Now, I wish I could tell you it was a big, hairy, ugly black-widow or something. That may have justified my subsequent actions. No. It was just one of those super small and super ugly, nearly see-through spiders.
Now, if any of you were in the house at that moment, you may have thought a 9 year old girl had just accidentally cut her arm off. Nope. That was me trying to scare the spider into submission with my shameful squeal. I proceeded to swipe at the dangling arachnid, all the while trying to climb/slip my way out of the shower. Out of the tub and onto the bathroom floor I continue to swat and slap every square inch of my skin as a safety precaution. After all, if there was one dangler, the chances are pretty high that there would be a thousand other spider friends all over my skin right?
Afraid that my squeal was heard by a newcomer to the house, I shamelessly run through my home making sure that nobody was present during my… episode. Only later did I remember that I was still naked.
There’s your prologue. The point is this: I’m not a bug person. There are plenty of things in my life that could prove my masculinity and MANness, but this is not one of them.
Last night’s story was similar to last decade’s story in a few aspects. Fear of bugs, check. Added shame of not being entirely clothed, check. Girly squeal, check. Anyway... back to last night... I strolled to the living room to grab my phone prior to retiring for the evening. Upon picking up my phone I decided that I was thirsty, naturally. I flip on the lights and took a few swigs of H2O from a glass. I go to slam down my cup on the counter and see the largest cockroach I have ever seen in my life. He had found his watering hole in the form of a tiny puddle of water next to the sink. He stopped -- I swear on my life he looked at me, and then he continued slurping.
A few emotions went through my head in a matter of 5.3 milliseconds. First, utter horror and fear at the sight of the abomination. Second, even more horror and fear that the thing looked at me with its nasty, glossy black eyes and looked away – like some zombie enjoying his meal and deciding to hunt me down later. Third, an unquenchable fury took over as I made the determination to put the roach in its rightful place – hell. Of course, that fury didn’t take me so far as to raise my courage all that much… I frantically look around the kitchen for a weapon. The butcher knife? Though appropriate for a zombie Apocalypse, maybe a little overkill for the roach. The cleaning spray? No, too much risk of the little sucker running away and escaping his doom. The fly-swatter? It will have to do.
As I dashed to grab the swatter my view of the devil-roach was obscured by the wall of the pantry. When I look back, the little bugger had nearly run across the entire length of the counter. In a matter of 2 seconds the thing had travelled 5 feet. Do the math. If it were the size of a human, that’s the equivalent of running 64 miles per hour! If that doesn’t strike terror in your heart… *Zach shivers at the thought* Not to mention the “rat-i-tat-tap” of each of its six, nasty little legs striking the counter at 64 miles per hour. A chainsaw running across my counter would have brought me comfort compared to that tap-dancing cockroach. Luckily, the thing stopped just as I looked at him – like some sick version of red-light-green-light (remember that game?). The red light was definitely on him as I crept toward the beastling. Down flew the fly swatter. Not so scary anymore. I won’t tell you about the stuff that came out of him. That’s just too gross to share. We’re going to try and keep this a PG post.
You think the story is over? Do zombies die by smacking the cream cheese out of ‘em? I didn’t realize that this really was a zombie roach. I grab a paper towel to transport it to its deep, dark grave. I go to grab the thing just as the hairs on the back of my neck finally relax. I just want you to imagine for a moment the absolute, supremely genuine terror that enveloped me as I felt the little hell-bug wiggle out from between my paper-towel protected fingers. Remember the 9 year old girl who accidentally cut her arm off? This time, the squeal was short-lived. I somehow manage to have enough sense not to make too much noise – for Sarah’s sake. The rage returned as I repeatedly slammed down the fly swatter over and over and over again. My ears were ringing with the noise of cheap plastic smacking against counter-top when I finished. Last I checked, zombies don’t reanimate if their head is separated from their bodies. Safe at last.
I’d like to say I won this battle. Don’t get me wrong, the hell-bug is resting in his eternal, bottomless, infernal, garbage-can grave. However, the emotional damage it inflicted may haunt me for the rest of my life. PTSD. If you don’t know what that is, look it up. Any encouragement in the form of flowers, a friendly phone call, or money to help me cope with my condition would be appreciated. Till next time folks… lock your doors and shake out your sheets.