Friday, September 01, 2006

Death to all bugs! ( in four difficult steps)

I still haven't heard back from the place where I interviewed on Monday. No news is good news, right? But what is good news? That I got the job? Or that I didn't? I still can't decide. I probably should email or call someone today...but ignorance, in this case, really is bliss. I'm terrible, I know. Everything is worse on the other side of Labor Day. I'll postpone the knowledge of good or evil until then.

Brad called me from work the other day and told me a most disgusting story which I now feel compelled to share with you. He was walking into the store when he noticed that something felt strange in his shoe. He thought perhaps there was a quarter in his shoe. He forgot about it as he started opening the store, but later, he took off his shoe, and there, smeared all over the bottom of his sock and the inside of his shoe, was the mangled, smashed corpse of a giant cockroach. Oh my word. Limbs, fluids and all. AAUGH!!!

As I talked to him on the phone, I checked the inside of the shoes I was about to put on. You can never be too careful.

We've had quite a few bug sightings recently and I have been mastering the art of How to Get Your Husband to Kill Something For You, each time learning a bit more about the valuable skill of manipulation.

First, don't scream. Use all your willpower to clamp down on this feminine instinct. It will simply scare him within an inch of his life because he does not know what horrible evil has caused you to let out such a bloodcurdling noise. Then he will get really annoyed because it was "just a bug" and he will be mad at you for scaring him. Instead, speak in a slow, calm tone. You should force yourself to sound almost bored with the fact that there is a hideous, frightening creature threatening you. And "threatening you" can mean anything from crawling in your general direction to just existing in your bathroom.

Second, don't walk away from the bug to go find your husband who may be in another room because when you come back with your husband, the bug will most certainly be gone. And your husband will be annoyed that he made the trip down the hall for nothing. Then you will stay up half the night searching the bedroom, stripping the sheets off the bed, and crawling around on hands and knees, to try and find the bug and make sure that it's not going to come back and hop on you whilst you sleep ( a fate worse than the worst fate) ...and your husband will get annoyed at you because you won't turn out the light to go to sleep.

Third, as soon as your husband is in the room, and you have calmly implored him to rescue you from this horrible menace, and he has actually agreed to do so ( instead of saying something like, " You can do this yourself. What would you do if I wasn't here?" which is a silly question, because hypotheticals do not apply right now: You ARE here! And therefore, by all the rules of nature, I should be spared this trauma...), LEAVE. Don't walk- run. Don't stay around and listen to the crunch of death, and the yells of, "Die, Commie bug! Die!" This will only distress you further.

Fourth, after he has emerged victorious from his encounter with the beast, thank him profusely, turning on the grateful tears if necessary, to let him know how much you appreciate him taking the time to squish your foe. This is the time to dust off all the helpless/damsel in distress/"Fascinating Womanhood" charm and employ it with as much power as you can muster. Bat the eyelashes and all that, if you feel it is needed.

Bugs, and other household pests, can pose major problems in relationships. There are just so many pitfalls to negotiate. So many opportunities for your husband to get annoyed. It's tricky and dangerous, but if you follow these steps closely, you should be successful. If your husband is away when you find vermin, or you don't have a husband, or you ARE a husband, well...good luck to you. You can be brave and then go write your own blog post about your experience.

And, P.S., if your husband refuses to kill a bug for you, and the bug is on the ceiling, don't get on top of a stool and jump up at the ceiling brandishing a weapon while screaming ...and miss the bug...because the bug will just fall down into your bureau drawer, which you stupidly left open, and it will be amongst all your clothes and then you're REALLY in trouble.

17 comments:

Aaron S. said...

Ha! Great post Claire! I enjoyed it quite thoroughly! Much as I hate to admit it, I know what it's like to search one's bedroom after dark, changing sheets and whatnot. I once found an unidentified bug or mite or something at like 12:30, and I was so freaked out I didn't get to bed for at least an hour. I'm ok with bugs I can identify, though (spiders, ladybugs, etc.), and although I kill them anyway, I don't have trouble falling asleep. :)

ljmax said...

Claire! You just succeeded in undoing the work of the last one hundred years of the women's suffrage movement...but, still, I'm with you on getting a man to kill bugs for me... or wash dishes or change diapers or anything else I can beg for.

Anonymous said...

jYou could just go to Home Depot and buy some Rid-a-bug and have your husband spray around your house (under sinks and in a few corners) and if you do it regularly like every couple months, all you'll see are a few dead ones, and then after awhile you'll hardly ever see any.

DJ said...

Hurray!!! for women being women and for manipulation :-) good job with the explanations :-)

Sojourning said...

Great job, Claire! Although, I have two things to add. One of the couples who lives in my house (there are three!) also suffers from cricknaphobia (as I do), and she got her hubby to kill a Jiminy the other night in a much different manner.

We heard the beast chirping, and she calmly (following your #1 rule) approached him and said, "Your choices are to stop watching TV right now and come kill this Jiminy, or to get up at 2am and kill it when it wakes me in the middle of the night." He opted for choice #1.

I had to sleep with earplugs in last night because there was yet another dreaded Jiminy somewhere in my vacinity (I killed one two nights before at 5 in the morning). I have no husband. Earplugs had to do.

Why did God allow cockroaches and Jiminy's onto the Ark, is what I want to know?

bria said...

Your four steps sound like they might work on brothers, too. And I think you were very wise to add the fourth step. Many's the time that I've hung around and heard the crunching that I so badly wanted to avoid. Or as happened today--"Hey, want to see the fly's sucker thing?"

Claire said...

Soj, I have hunted crickets several times in the middle of the night. It's a desparate feeling and it makes me so mad that it's easier for me to kill them by myself...or at least it has been in years past. It's been a while since I've had to kill a Jiminy.

Bria- yes, I think the steps would work on most anybody, male or not. The point is- Someone Else Other Than Me- someone Braver.

KJ said...

Hehe... You're awesome Claire! :)

Lisa and I have a "game" of opening the garage door a crack to catch a glimpse of the cockroaches scurrying around there, and then quickly shutting the door tight so they can't come into the house. Just an adrenaline rush to see the big creatures, but knowing they're at a safe distance.

And when the occasional one enters the house, Linda gives it a good whack! Which kinda goes against your whole post about getting the guys to do it for you... but Linda is different... she's just as brave as a guy and those cockroaches better take her seriously in this aspect of their lives. What fun!

lis said...

Oh my WORD, Claire! Cleverness personified!

(And by the way, it was I that coined that title, not my dear bro. I was just absentmindedly still signed in with his name).

Oh yes, the other thing that works (if you are short on guys) is to rescue somebody else. It can, I discovered, provide just enough somethingorother to quell the scream reflex. Perhaps it was surprise. Our tough Air Force girl guest comes running meekly to me for help?

And about the screaming: isn't it important to express outrage against gross wrongs in the world? Shouldn't your soul revolt against the curse, and the wrongness of the cockroach's very existence?

Claire said...

KJ, I smiled when you talked about one entering the house because it brought to mind a sort of Far Side type image of a man sized bug walking in the front door. Now that WOULD be cause for screaming.

Lis, you're right. All that is within me revolts against the grossness and wrongness of the existence of bugs and the best way to express that is in screaming...It's just a simple cause and effect equation. Bug=scream. BUT when you know that there is a choice which consists of these two options: scream and have to deal with the bug yourself, or not scream and get someone else to kill it for you, you learn to repress the urge to express the outrage.

Kristi said...

I'm so glad we don't have cockroaches around here! I shivered at Brad's shoe story. Spiders are bad enough.

Shay Dawg said...

eww! Now for the rest of my life I will check my shoes first. Good thing I have my dad and bug spray always handy to do the killing.

ahappywife said...

Claire, as a baby newlywed I greatly appreciate your sage advice & have filed it away for future reference.

Today, I saw an iguana about 3 feet long in the courtyard today. But husbands are not nearly as much fun to get to kill iguanas as dogs. So I ran up to J&J's house and got Pepper (the resident dalmation). She came scurrying down the stairs after being alerted to the "iguana". She knows the word as well as dear old Woody (May he rest in peace) knew the word "squirrel". As soon as she saw the evil beast she chased it, cornered it & chomped it with her bare teeth. After a bit of shaking and playing with the ole iguana, it lay still and dead.

Amy said...

That post had me laughing more than once. :) We go through periodic periods of bug sightings. As it turns out, I use the same tactics you do! That's so crazy! :) But I have to be careful not to let Russell know I'm calling him in to kill something because he'll try to get out of it. He'll say something about equality, that it's my house too, that he doesn't like bugs either, or that he *knows* I'm more than capable of killing a bug since I have told him stories of the Great Bug Massacres that occur while he's gone...silly stuff like that. (I've been known to cut live bugs in half with scissors if they refuse to squish on the carpet.) So I muffle my screams and say in a very calm voice, "Russell? Would you come here for a minute?" Like I just want to show him something normal and inanimate. When he arrives like a slightly duped knight in shining armor, I explain that there is something living that should be dead, and then look at him with what I hope is an adoring look (rather than just manipulative). Lucky for me, he loves me. :D

John L said...

As a guy who grew up in Atlanta, I can testify to the size and ferociousness of the cockroaches in your neighborhood. Yet, some of my fondest memories growing up were when someone in the family would see one of these bugs and yell "Cockroach Alert!" My brother and I would come running from whatever corner of the house we were in, and we'd track the insect down like a wild animal until it was completely vanquished. Boy do those things ever splatter when you whack 'em good with the heel of your shoe!

Claire said...

Amy- yes, good point- you don't want to let on that a bug is involved on when you summon him...I should have included that in step one...

And Capt L., I guess I should have a couple of boys so I can have more cockroach killers at my beck and call...

redsoxwinthisyear said...

Ha ha ha! Great post. Looking in my shoes has on and off been something I do when in other parts of the country where it might be necessary, such as the south. I picked up this trick by reading a Hardy Boys book once in which Frank or Joe were told to do this, or didn't and almost got in trouble with a scorpion or some such deadly creature.

It's interesting how much cockroaches are practically universally despised by females, and how they often turn to males to solve the problem. I was called upon to try and deal with one of the creatures when working in VA this summer, and some of the girls were so terrified they didn't think they could sleep until it was killed.