A Monday night. We had spent the evening with planning a trip to Europe in May and it was still early. So we decided to get ready for bed and maybe get an hour more of sleep for once. Lamia went to her bathroom and I to mine.
I am there, and all of a sudden I see something crawling on the floor.
Ah, shit! – a cockroach. King size.
Boy, do I hate cockroaches. I also have this mix of being scared and disgusted at the same time by these critters, which mutes my ability to act fast.
So I look at him (yes, I assume a “he”… a pregnant one is not what I want to have in my home).
He looks back at me. And then escapes under the sink. Shitshitshit! Okay, let me remove the little step and the balance. There he is, at the far back. Shit! He’s really quite big.
Then I was considering what I could use as a weapon, because there is no way on earth I am going to touch this fucker. I cannot leave the bathroom, of course, because if I do and I lose sight of him, this is going to be an uneasy night. Eventually I decided that the Kleenex box would do. I emptied it of all the Kleenex I would need later for wiping up the mess and started to poke at the beast and get him to come towards me. And then he did!
The thing with cockroaches is that they are quite quick and they run in this erratic, hectic way. Not easy to catch.
So he’s rushing past me and out of the bathroom. Now he’s in the little walk-in closet we have there which is also directly connected to our bed room. He stops dead in front of the wardrobe.
I look at him.
He looks back at me.
God, I hate cockroaches!
I slowly lift the Kleenex box for maximum impact… and he’s on the run again, now sitting under the sliding door of the wardrobe. Shitshitshit! I cannot get there with the Kleenex box. But he also cannot go anywhere from there, right? So I get in pouncing position, rip a piece of carton from the Kleenex box and try to convince him to come out there with some more poking. He moves to the left. And a bit more to the left. Now he’s at the far left of the wardrobe. He can only move to the right or to the front. To the right is my carton piece that has made him walk to the left, so he likely won’t go there. He can only go to the front. Right?
I am getting ready for the attack.
And then the damn asshole is climbing up! What the…?!
As it turns out a aluminum beam at the bottom of the sliding mechanism that looked like it’s flush with the bottom of the lower outer wall of the wardrobe has a big clearance and has space for a cockroach double the size of the one I was hunting.
Thing is: now I cannot see him anymore. And I have no good way to get to him either. I check at a different part of the wardrobe and the gap behind that beam is actually L-shaped. Lots of space to hide. Shitshitshit!
So, I am sitting there on the floor, on all fours, stupidly tapping against the outside of the beam, next to me a ripped Kleenex box and a handful dozen Kleenex tissues. This is when Lamia enters the bed room. And she knows immediately what’s going on.
Lamia: Is there a bug?
See, she says “bug” but what she means is “fucking cockroach”.
Leo: Hum. Erg. Yep.
I am not sure I will be able to get the beast out and kill it tonight, so my mind is racing what to tell Lamia, so she will be able to sleep in that situation. I don’t like cockroaches. But I am nothing compared to Lamia. Of course she’s faster than me…
Lamia: Is it big?
Leo: Well, it’s big enough that I do not want it to sit here.
Lamia: So it’s big!
In the attempt to avoid further discussion how big the cockroach is I ask Lamia to get some Tupperware (so we can trap the bug if it comes out) and build an L-shaped carton piece from parts of the Kleenex box. I then ran that carton piece up and down the full length of the beam in the hope something would show (hoping it’s not going to drop on my hand).
I try again.
Time passes and Lamia asks whether the cockroach will stay where it is if we leave the lights on.
Leo: Yes, it will.
My best answer tonight, because, really, I have no idea.
We also have no bug spray in the house to exterminate the little shit through chemical warfare. This is when Lamia suggest to use the Air Freshener I have in my bathroom. Hm. This won’t kill the beast, but the mere push of the spray might force it out of its hiding. The problem: I do not know where he sits on the whole length of the beam. And for reasons I do not want to get into right now, spraying with an aerosol like this one upside down will very quickly deplete the propellant and the pack will stop working (I can explain why if you need to know, otherwise just take it as a fact).
I tried nevertheless, of course. And as the scent of the Air Freshener bloomed in our little walk-in closet, no cockroach showed up. Sure enough the aerosol stopped working after a few seconds. In a last desperate attempt I sprayed some more on the left side of the wardrobe. Foam came out and that was pretty much it.
Lamia and I looked at each other. I was ready to give up when…
* plop *
… the cockroach dropped out of it’s hiding place, which was exactly at the same position where it had climbed up before.
Funny enough, it had some foam on it’s back. Looks like it does not like the Febreze “Spring & Renewal” scent. Before I could ponder a move, it started to run towards the bed room door. This time I was faster and I caught it in one of the Tupperware that Lamia had brought (in the smaller one… the bigger one would have been good enough to catch a Golden Retriever).
The cockroach was speeding crazily back and forth and up and down within its trap. I asked for a book. Lamia handed me some tome from Asimov which she had earmarked to donate anyway. I waited till the roach was running in the right direction, jerked up the Tupperware and finally smashed our visitor with the book.
Scraping off the floor with tissues.
Power cleaner spray on the killing field.
Kleenex tissue wipe up.
It’s 45 minutes later.
But now we can sleep…