Friday, June 16, 2006

My Night of Terror

I have a harrowing story to share with you, a story which I initially considered not sharing before deciding that it may be therapeutic. But before I begin, let me preface this by saying that I am not generally a fearful person when it comes to animals. I think nothing of catching snakes with my bare hands - for fun. I’ve been known to enter thickets to retrieve large, injured hawks while wildlife officers stand aside with sheepish expressions. I’ve broken up terrible dog fights and have kept my cool on runaway horses.

But I’m not above being scared senseless, which is exactly what happened last night.

It was late, and after a tiresome night of writing headlines at the newspaper I was ready to relax. Larry, who had to get up early, was already in bed . But I wasn’t sleepy so I sat down on the couch to enjoy a stiff, post-work drink and read a bit.

When I felt something tickly on my head I didn’t think much about it. I thought at first it was the cat playing with my hair. I brushed it away and when I didn’t feel a paw I looked around and there, on the back of the couch I saw it.

A cockroach.

Let me say at this point that nothing - nothing - creeps me out worse than cockroaches. So it’s an understatement to say I jumped off that couch. Flew is more like it, and it’s probably good I had a drink in my system or I probably would have had a heart attack right there if I’d not been a little tipsy.

My first instinct was to run and get Larry, but I was afraid if I left the roach alone it would scurry away and hide somewhere, and ambush me anew when I re-entered the room. So keeping my eye on it, I ran and grabbed the can of Raid.

I guess the roach sensed something bad was about to go down because it dived behind the couch. But I wasn’t going to let it get away. The can of Raid was about half full. I sprayed the entire contents behind the couch and then stood back, gasping from fumes and fear.

I was literally shaking, knowing that the cockroach had to eventually come out but not knowing where. My rational mind kept telling me it was already a Dead Roach Crawling, but my irrational mind kept butting in, telling me this might be some sort of Super Bug with a special Raid-resistant gene.

I decided I needed another drink, so I poured one and downed it in two gulps. I felt a little less shaky, which comforted me, so I poured another one and drank it, too.

Then the roach came out. It was crawling - well - staggering up the wall. It was huge - at least ten, maybe fifteen inches long. I tried to spray more Raid on it but the can was empty. So I threw it at the roach. I missed. So I picked up a chair and threw that. The vibration from the chair knocked the roach off the wall and it lay there on its back, kicking its ugly little legs.

I picked up a vase but even drunk I knew that probably wasn’t a good idea so I picked up the empty can of Raid and - mustering courage from some hidden reserve - beat the roach to death.
How my family slept through this I don’t know, and you’d think that with the roach dead I’d have felt better. But the shaking was back. So I had another drink, polishing off what was left in the bottle.

By now I was beyond drunk. I think a better term might be wasted, so forgive me if my recollection gets fuzzy here.

I vaguely remember putting the roach in a Zip-loc bag. I do remember writing the note to Larry. It wasn’t until this morning, when my husband - between fits of laughter - read the note, that I found out all I’d written. In a drunken scrawl, I’d said if he wanted to know why the furniture was overturned, the house smelled like Raid and all the liquor was gone he could just look at Exhibit A, neatly laid out in the plastic bag on the table. Overnight the roach seemed to have shrunk. It wasn't ten inches long. By the light of day it was more like two or three inches long. As for me, I was still on the couch, where I'd passed out clutching myempty can of Raid after sitting up for several hours with the lights on because roaches are supposed to fear light.

I can’t account for the profanity in the letter, either, except to say I was upset. Why else would I refer to the thing as a “cocksucker” instead of a “cockroach”?

At least the note ended politely. “P.S.” I’d written. “I’d feel a lot better if we could spray the house.”

Larry said he would have happily gotten up and killed the roach if I’d just asked him, which probably would have been the best thing for both of us. I wouldn’t still have a residual hangover and he would have no doubt gotten the best Gratitude Sex ever.

We've decided that the roach likely came in via a box of bulbs given to Larry by a local gardener. I can't be angry with him for not checking it. Who knew?

So that's my story. Words of support or virtual hugs of comfort are welcome. But please keep snide remarks to yourself. I’ve got a fresh can of Raid and I’m not afraid to use it.

58 comments:

Roland said...

Nice.
Read this one about ants. :)

jcw said...

Okay, this may count as snide and ban me if you must but it's a good thing you didn't call the exterminator in your drunken state. I can hear the phone call now,

Morgan, "You've got to come out right now to spray, we've got cocksuckers running all over the house. They're taking over. Get out here as soon as you can.

Exterminator, "Y'all have what runnin round the house?"

nicolaepadigone said...

hey, i know i would jump if i felt something crawling in my hair like that.

I actually remember when i was a little kid, i felt something tickle in my hair. not knowing what it was, i put my hand back there to find i had a caterpillar in my hair! i could feel it squirming around my hand and i flicked it off as fast as i could. yeah, out of the many memories of childhood, i still remember that.

Woozie said...

I remember that a place where my brother worked a couple years ago was literally infested with cockroaches, and since the floor was concrete and all the objects around were metal, my brother'd go around with a zippo lighter and a can or Raid and burn the cockroaches, all for my mother, who also worked there and shares the same intense feelings about cockroaches as you, Morgan.

Mia said...

GAH, you have my deepest sympathy, Morgan, those things give me the heebie jeebies. Living in the great, frozen north, I've never had cockroaches. I remember visiting friends in southern Florida and turning on the bedside lamp to find my way to the bathroom and OMG those huge armor-wearing Palmetto bugs had me surrounded. Sheesh, pure Hitchcock scenario.

Morgan said...

"Morgan, "You've got to come out right now to spray, we've got cocksuckers running all over the house. They're taking over. Get out here as soon as you can."

ROFL..I'm thanking God for small favors. That's probably exactly what would have happened. And they guy's reaction would have been just as you wrote it.

Morgan said...

Let me point out, jcw, lest anyone get the wrong impression, that I am *not* a big drinker. I'll have maybe a drink or two a week.
I think this proves that drinking and freelance extermination measures don't mix.
And it proves that I'm obviously unfit for combat, should the nation ever come under attack by cockroaches.

Morgan said...

Roland,
I'm glad I'm not the only one feeling "bugged in her own home."

Dan,
It's funny how we remember things like that. I don't remember any traumatic experience that could have made me so creeped out by roaches.

Woozie,
Your brother sounds like a good son. And your mother and I should go out for coffee sometimes.

Mia,
They *are* worse in Florida, where they grow to Biblical proportions on the heat and humidity. That's one of the reasons I'll never move any further south. Larry would love to live in Florida. I would rather move to Canada.

Are there roaches in Canada?

dlkjdfsa said...

Please don't take this as snide but I feel so bad the cocksuckers of the world get such a bad rap. I'm gonna be brave and stand up against Morgan and her can of cockkiller and say, I admire the roach! What a brilliantly adaptable animal. With the way wars are fought now, everyone trying to get there finger on the radioactive button, intelligent life may rely on cocksuckers for evolutionary proposes.

Morgan said...

Robert,

(People, I'm kidding about the snide remarks. Be as snide as you want to be.)

I actually have a cartoon I ripped from an old, old issue of Mother Earth News that you'd love.
It shows two cockroaches sitting on top of a cliff watching several mushroom cloud in the distance. One is saying to the other, "They used to make terrific chocolate chip cookies." The other is saying, "No kidding."

Yes, cockroaches are remarkably adapatble and even fascinating. But if they want to live to survive that mushroom blast they'd best stay out of my house. And my hair.

Doctor Phull said...

Are there Roaches in Canada? you ask.

When I was a kid we used to go to Dr. Roach.

Luckily we now have a real dentist.

When you began your story I thought your friend Boethius had stopped by for a late night bite.

dlkjdfsa said...

I must admit, living in the south for so many years I have had frightening encounters with giant cocksuckers. I was walking home one night from a Jazz Club. I heard a buzzing sound and looked up. It was a cocksucker flying to the earth. Run for cover, ahhhhh.... Apparently they can't fly up but they can fly down! Creepy!

I would suggest your next post be about the Nutria. For those of you who don't know what that is it is a rat bigger than most cats. God bless New Orleans.

thimscool said...

I once saw a cockroach grab a lit cigarette but that someone had discarded, and drag it into a crack in the brick wall.

And Morgan, easy on the RAID, eh... Why do you think those buggers were 15 inches long. That stuff is anerve toxin. It probably wasn't the booze. FYI.

dlkjdfsa said...

Smoking cocksuckers? Now I've heard everything! :)

JohnR said...

Morgan: I would pay money to have been witness to that.

By the way, aren't you guys organic?

What was a can of Raid doing in the house?

Southside: are you talking about
wood roaches? Those things are huge. They climb very well and then glide to the ground.

Morgan would be in a state of hysterical paralysis if one of those things crawled on her. They're about 2-3 inches long.

Creepy!!

JohnR

Morgan said...

"Apparently they can't fly up but they can fly down! Creepy!"

I agree. Something that ugly should not have the power of flight. It's just wrong.

"I would suggest your next post be about the Nutria. For those of you who don't know what that is it is a rat bigger than most cats."

Do you really think Nutria are scary? They're just muskrats on steroids. I know they can really be prolific, though. This one reptile park gets trappers to bring them in to feed the alligators and crocodiles.

Lord Omar said...

I ate a cockroach once on a bet. $20 in 1978 was nothing to sneeze at. Wasn't bad once he met death on my molars! Mmmmmm....

Morgan said...

"What was a can of Raid doing in the house?"

It's been kicking around in our cabinet unused for some time. It's one of those plant-based ones that's supposed to be better for the environment. I don't think it was that effective.
The chair would have been a better organic method if I had thrown it straighter.

"Southside: are you talking about
wood roaches? Those things are huge. They climb very well and then glide to the ground."

Now, see, there must be a regional difference. I don't know where you are, JohnR, but here what we call wood roaches are little red roaches that live outside. The big, creepy cockroaches which some people call waterbugs or Palmetto bugs --those are the ones that creep me out.

"Morgan: I would pay money to have been witness to that."

I didn't think the experience could have been any more humiliating, but I suppose it could have. At least there were no witnesses to this, unlike the Terrible Incident With the Monkey.

Morgan said...

"When you began your story I thought your friend Boethius had stopped by for a late night bite."

Old John, I would have probably handled it better, as irrational as that may seem.

JohnR said...

Morgan: I used to see them when we lived in Tyler, TX, now we live in Little Elm about 25 miles north of Dallas. Haven't seen any since then, I think they live in humid enviornments, humidity is much lower here than in East Texas.

JohnR

Roland said...

Old John - "When you began your story I thought your friend Boethius had stopped by for a late night bite."

Morgan - Old John, I would have probably handled it better, as irrational as that may seem.

I think the chair would have done much more damage to a guy than a cockroach. ;)
....
I can't believe you ate a cockroach, Omar. Even for $20. Blyech!
....
And you can get cockroaches up here in Minnesota. My parents had owned a motel, and they got into everything. Give 'em a little food and they move right into the roach motel.
So, they must be in Canada, too.

Hey, speaking of Canada, did you know that Oreo's are made up there?
Why those foreigners not only steal our jobs, but now our Oreo's! ;)

mitzibel said...

Thank you, Morgan, I feel *much* better now.
My husband makes fun of me for my fear of spiders, calling it "irrational".
"Honey, you've been stabbed, shot at, and beaten up. You fell off a cliff and went through chemo. I'd think you'd have a little more perspective on something like spiders by now."
To which I reply, "Spoken like a man who doesn't care too much about retaining his testicles."
And that's pretty much the end of *that* line of discussion.

prettylady said...

How very interesting. I believe that Thursday night was when I heard a quiet tap on my apartment door, as I sat watching "The White Countess." It was my lovely downstairs neighbor, in her bathrobe, appearing distraught.

I immediately leapt to the conclusion that she had had a fight with her boyfriend; perhaps that he had hit her, such was the expression on her face--although the dear boy is gentle and mild-mannered as Cream of Wheat.

She confessed, "I kill roach in bathtub. Will you pick it up? I cannot do it."

So brave Pretty Lady rose to the occasion, with a couple of paper towels, and threw the evil roach into the trash.

The lovely neighbor returned in twenty minutes, bearing flowers and a bottle of wine, and we watched "The White Countess" together. Bless her heart.

Something must have got into the roaches, worldwide, on Thursday evening. My neighbor's roach was larger than any I've ever seen in New York.

dlkjdfsa said...

Quite simply the roaches are responding to the toxins man is introducing into there environment. We give them lead and mercury and they counter by becoming three times as big with even more ferocious appetites. I used to be scared for our future, now I'm looking at it as entertainment.

Morgan said...

"Honey, you've been stabbed, shot at, and beaten up. You fell off a cliff and went through chemo. I'd think you'd have a little more perspective on something like spiders by now."
To which I reply, "Spoken like a man who doesn't care too much about retaining his testicles."

And spoken like a man who doesn't understand the irrationality of phobias. I've had some adventurous times (nothing that would touch yours, it seems) but still can't abide roaches.
I'm actually better than I was, though. I don't mind picking up Giant Madagascan Hissing Cockroaches; we used to use those in our educational program Creepy Creatures, which also featured owls, spiders, snakes, Mexican Beaded lizards, etc. But I think it's because the hissers are slow and flightless. The American Cockroaches scurry and fly and are way uglier.
Spiders, I *should* be more afraid of them, since we have black widows. I'm not, though, but certainly understand how someone could be.

Morgan said...

"I ate a cockroach once on a bet. $20 in 1978 was nothing to sneeze at. Wasn't bad once he met death on my molars! Mmmmmm...."

Oh....tell me this isn't true. I don't know whether to be afraid of you or in awe, because this means you are at least as tough as that guy on your avatar.
;-)

Morgan said...

"So brave Pretty Lady rose to the occasion, with a couple of paper towels, and threw the evil roach into the trash."

You deserve a Good Neighbor award for that, Pretty Lady. The biggest roach in New York probably needed a body bag.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with PrettyLady- us yankees don't typically get roaches all that big - most of the time. I haven't seen a roach in a number of years, and the last ones I had seen, couldn't have been more than at most an inch to an inch and a half.

I hope you scrubbed and used chlorine and all kinds of stuff on the roach splatter. I used to work in a supermarket, and we ended up getting a few roaches in the basement once in awhile. It's inevitable- they apparently come in, in the boxes- living on the cardboard glue.

One thing I remember being told, and will never forget- Don't Step On The Roach! In fact, if you can kill the buggers without smashing them- do so, and just get their corpse outside of the house.
I was told that, roaches carry their eggs somewhere in them, or on them, and if you smash them, their eggs can still be alive. Don't step on them, because you can end up tracking the eggs everywhere ya walk. Bleh! For that reason, I'm glad you missed it with the chair- I just hope you got that empty Raid bottle out of the house and in the trash real quick.

- MoGryph

thimscool said...

Mo! Where ya been?

Morgan said...

"Bleh! For that reason, I'm glad you missed it with the chair- I just hope you got that empty Raid bottle out of the house and in the trash real quick."

Perish the thought. Fortunately it's not an issue. We bombed the house and sprayed inside and out for good measure. Woe be unto any sex-legged creature that comes to call.
But thanks for renewing my heebie-jeebies.
And I second what thimscool said, Mo. It's good to see you back.

Lord Omar said...

I was told that, roaches carry their eggs somewhere in them, or on them, and if you smash them, their eggs can still be alive.

You mean I perhaps ate more than one? Merde.

Morgan said...

Omar, now you'll end up like Mr. Pratt in Creep Show. Did you ever see that? It did *nothing* to help lessen my fear of roaches. When the lights came back on and all the roaches burst out of his body I thought I was going to faint.
Watching "Joe's Apartment" was good therapy for me. The roaches did song and dance numbers. Maybe if I'd been more patient with mine...

MoGryph said...

Morgan & Thimscool, thanks for welcoming me back. Happy to know y'all remembered me in the month I've been away. :-)

I've been wanting to come back, but I've been just so busy lately- you know- between riding my new motorcycle, and riding my new motorcycle- there's just so much to do. :-) Nah, actually, work's been busy too, and my organization just had our 8th annual ParaCon (Paranormal Conference,) and it was my first, so, of course, I've been kinda one of the gophers. :-) It was well worth it, considering the people that we had come to speak and present.

I haven't forgotten my new-found friends though, and I'm hoping to hop on a bit more often now that we're done with this year's conference.

Morgan- Glad to hear ya bombed the place. I can't imagine what it would be like to have the small critters running around in my house, let alone the ones y'all go down there. My G.F. used to live down in FL, and has told me all about those palmetto bugs (sp?). It's a wonder the military hasn't performed more research on them. I've heard you can smash them with a shoe, and they'll lay there for a second, look up at ya, shake it off, and carry on.

Yes, Joe's Apartment was cute, but I don't need any roommates like that- no thanks! lol.

Woozie said...

In regards to your Jim Cantore rant earlier, they've already started calling the hockey team the Carolina Hurricanes 'canes.' It's begun...

Roland said...

So if the shorten it even more it could be the Carol 'Canes.

I loved watching Carol Kane as Billy Crystal's wife in "Princess Bride"

Bad pun, and stretch for a tangent all in one. Lucky you. ;)

Lord Omar said...

I loved watching Carol Kane as Billy Crystal's wife in "Princess Bride"

Back to your room Mr.Roland, both of you!

Dr.S.Omar MD,FRCP

Roland said...

What does "FRCP" stand for,
French Royal Canadian Police?

Anonymous said...

Us Mounties always get our man!

Lord Omar said...

FRCP-Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians.

Taylor said...

Oh, how I do sympathize with you over this traumatic encounter with the most godawful creature on the face of the earth! Here's a comment I posted at Blane's last month regarding such:

Most bugs don't bother me too much. Those huge flying waterbugs - cockroaches, though, send me into a panic. I called 911 once in college because one was sitting right over the only door out of the place blocking me from fleeing. Another time, I leapt like a scared cat, past the entire length of my bed and smashed myself up against the wall when I noticed one on my headboard. If one of those hideous things ever got on me, I'd probably freak out and have a heart attack. Not at all logical. Tarantulas do not evoke that fear in me.

So, you see, Morgan, you are not alone in this. I've done the Raid thing before and had to sleep with my head hanging out the window cause the smell of that stuff makes me ill. Yes, I've had my battles with those 'cocksuckers'!

And Tuti, my cat, is just as scared of them. I saw one once on the closet door and screamed, she turned around, saw it, screamed too and ran out the room! Big help she was!

As much as I sympathize though, your story cracked me up.

Woozie said...

I'm Spreading It!

whereismysupersuit.ytmnsfw.com

Not Safe For Work

Morgan said...

Woozie,
I went to the site you listed, but it has some sort of note about needing my cookies to be enabled, age verification for first time log-ins, etc.
Is it safe? I went through a bad crash a month back and I'm still a bit jumpy.

Morgan said...

"I called 911 once in college because one was sitting right over the only door out of the place blocking me from fleeing."

God, Taylor, I doubled up with laughter when I read this. I was leaving work the other night and there was a monster cockroach at the end of the hall, between me and the back door, so I went out through the distribution room. It would seem like the Media Giant that owns our newspaper would be able to afford an exterminator that could get rid of the giant cocksuckers in our building. ;-)

Taylor said...

Love your new gravatar, Morgan. And yes, those bastards could afford to keep the place free of giant cocksuckers! LOL! Aye, you're so funny, Morgan... I could just see us together, battling one of those giant cocksuckers...jumping around in a panic and laughing our heads off!

Woozie said...

It is safe, the age verification is only there because you've never been there before and they want to make sure you're over 18, because there's lots of profanity. The cookies, I don't know why they need to be turned on. I haven't had a problem with the website yet.

Morgan said...

Taylor, with enough Raid and a couple of bottles of Scotch we could take on an army of cocksuckers. I'm sure of it.
*ROFL*

Taylor said...

HAHA! True! Woe unto all cocksuckers who dare wiggle their antennae at the Scotch-drinking, Raid-wielding Morgan-Taylor duo!

Ayman said...

Wal-Mart is the devil

Morgan said...

Ayman, I completely agree. I hate Wal-mart. You are an insightful man, with an intense avatar.

Woozie said...

I can't stop-the Wal-Mart, the bargains, they're irresistable! See-I got this sheet of 20 stickers for 99 cents! And they have glitter! You want one? It's a...little...turtle. *death groan*

dlkjdfsa said...

People that shop at Wal-Mart support communism.

Woozie said...

I CAN"T RESIST IT! It's sucking me in like a black hole! The bargains, they're irresistable! Help me, please! I don't want to support communism-but where else can you get a 12 piece screwdriver set for $3.95?!?

Morgan said...

All hail Wal-Mart the Lord of Cheap Crap.

dlkjdfsa said...

Woosie the answer is China.

dlkjdfsa said...

mexichina?

hyperspace?

1947?

Woozie said...

What would happen if Mexico tried to invade China?

dlkjdfsa said...

We would have access to democratic cheap shit. I good idea! Bravo Woozie you have the answers.

MoGryph said...

Well, I don't mind Wal-Mart as long as I'm buying something like CDs, or food, or, well, just about anything that's not electrical.

In the past 6 years, I've bought 5 electronic devices from Wal-Mart. They've all had one problem or another.

One was a Car-refrigerator I got for my dad for fathers day a few years ago. The thing was missing the power cord when he opened it. I brought it back, and all they said to me was "Sorry, we don't have anymore, and we're not carrying them anymore."

I bought a DVD/VCR Combo there once. Got it home, opened the box, and it looked like someone had dropped a forklift on top of it- AND it didn't work. I brought it back- just an hour later, with the receipt, and the woman at the exchanges/returns desk took it out of the box, and directly looked at the Serial Number, compared it to the one on the box, and immediately accused me of trying to scam them, by returning an item that didn't have a matching serial number. I told her I certainly was not, and if anyone should be at blame for trying to scam someone illegally, it would be them, since I don't believe it's the customers responsibility to be ripping open their merchandise in line, and comparing serial numbers.
That's the last time I bought any electronics device there. I'll pay the extra $5-$6 somewhere else, to not have to put up with crappy broken items, and customer service that's worse than the D.M.V.