Scene: 3:00am Sunday August 26, 2007. Brianna and Amy have just returned from an evening of comparatively sedate bachelorette partying, neither is particularly drunk nor debauched so their assessment of the following facts (including relative bug size) should be completely accurate. Each is clad in heels, blisters, and cleavage accenting tops; hardly the uniform that would be required for the impending species on species conflict that is about to ensue.
Thank god I have a paranoid habit of flipping on the light before entering a room. For, in the wee hours of Sunday morning, had I followed unlocking the door with stepping over the threshold into my apartment I’d have likely been eaten by the most gigantic bug in the world, the king of the Waterbugs* (See here but only if you are very brave). Those of you lucky enough to live in places where bugs have the good sense to remain small enough to shop in the junior’s department (Dear California, I MISS YOU!) probably did not know that the original Volkswagen Beetle was the hollowed out exoskeleton of a waterbug with a lawn mower engine under the wings. The specimen that greeted Amy and I yesterday morning had grander ambitions having recently applied as a contestant on
Amy and I stood outside my door in the alcove between the outside world and the place where I keep my bed, secret stash of Jacques Torres Wicked bars and access to the internet; needless to say I was fairly motivated to end this stalemate. Sadly, I was not motivate enough to touch the bug, nor motivated enough to touch the bug with something that was also touching me and could, perhaps, result in bug cooties crawling through the object and onto my skin. This removed a lot of our options including stomping on the bug, hitting the bug with the snow shovel and (obviously) picking up the bug and humanly letting him back outside to live free (for 5 seconds before laughing out loud while stomping on him until his bug guts covered my porch serving as a warning to others of his kind). In a solo battle held on the same sight a year ago I solved this problem by dropping a copy of the New York City yellow pages on the bug and then jumping up and down on it for a few minutes (the phonebook and shoes combination serving as just enough protection from bug cooties), sadly, no 50lb phone books had been delivered in the past week.
Having ruled out hand to antenna combat I tried reasoning with the King. I pointed out that the light was on and his kind was notoriously light sensitive and that, for the sake of his own health, he should perhaps run away to someplace dark like inside the walls of my building or (EVEN BETTER) outside (Here, I’ll hold the door for you!). When this didn’t work Amy suggested giving the King a chance to think about things alone, perhaps we could go down the street to some other late night haunt while he chilled out and (hopefully) went back home to his sterile (again, hopefully) wife. Always a fan of “ignore the problem until it goes away” I might have implemented this plan if it weren’t 3am and I wasn’t tired and old -- hypothesizing that the King didn’t seem like a stair climber I suggested that we just jump over him and close the bedroom door particularly tight. An entire 8-10 hours in dreamland should give his highness plenty of cooling off time. Sadly, both Amy and I quickly realized that jumping over the huge bug was way too scary (especially after Amy recounted a story about seeing a similar bug FLY a few weeks before). I began to wonder if real estate brokers were typically available for new apartment searches at 3:00am.
It is at this point in the story that God reveals his deep love for either me or Amy (cue Amy taking full credit just because I openly mock god on a daily basis while she occasionally sees fit to half ass her way through lent.). As we’re hemming and hawing and considering sleeping on the porch the phone in my neighbor’s apartment (located on the first floor, right next to the stairs where Lord Insectious has taken up residence) rings and we hear him answer it. Downstairs neighbor is awake and because he’s a boy is legally bound to pretend that his favorite pastime ever is the killing of large bugs! I have never been more grateful to society for unrealistic gender stereotypes! Just when we’re devising plans to lure him outside with feminine whiles (“I CAN’T FIND MY PANTS AND THE DOOR IS LOCKED! HELP!) his door knob turns and out he comes. This neighbor is someone whom I have occasionally wished would move so that I could be rid of his late night drunken Cold Play sing-a-longs but no more! With nary a trace of knee shaking Mr. Neighbor donned a gardening glove, picked up the King and whisked him outside (I did not hear the happy music of bug guts being ground into concrete but I assume Mr. Neighbor fully executed his manly duties).
Yesterday, the kind lefties at NPR informed me that the common rumor about cockroaches taking over our post apocalyptic cities is, at least when it comes to
*Thank you to Kajal’s husband Brett for pointing out that “waterbug” is NYC code for “huge ass huge cockroach.” Goodbye denial, I’ll miss you.