An Old Fashioned Turf War

For those of you who have been reading for some time, you will remember a certain fateful evening in July involving a mouse and a bathtub (required reading: Raton Muerto). Of late we have found ourselves saddled with a house guest of a different kind. Little roach-like bugs have taken a liking to our kitchen sink, counter, and even dishwasher.

Yes, I said dishwasher.

Imagine opening the door, after a wash load mind you, to see little brown orbs of living filth and utter putrescence crawling greedily on your virginally white, formerly clean plates. You would have felt my outrage to discover their little Hansel and Gretel-like trails of excrement (yes, roaches leave “trails”, which they later use for navigation) soiling the clean white caulk lines where wall meets counter. We would have raged together as we watched their little social gatherings disperse in the light of a midnight trip to the fridge, their beady eyes and jittery antennae saying mockingly “Do you mind pal? We’re in the middle of something.”

It was in this climate of unrest that my campaign against home invaders began in earnest. My mission was simple, its design elegantly brutal: Double Covert Guerrilla Offensive. I began with an unprecedented attack on the rats.

Everyone knows that rats are a commonplace nuisance in just about every New York apartment, save those wealthy few whose toilet paper comes in denominations of $50 and $100. People know this and deal with these creatures accordingly by setting out traps and various other devices which are each commonly flawed in their defensive nature. My strategy was much more cunning.

Posing as an unsuspecting subway rider I began to observe the rats in their natural element, running carefree on the subway tracks. I watched as they frolicked among discarded soda bottles and caked subway grime, callous to the presence of humans above. Spurred by this weakness in their defenses, I began to carry rubber bands in my brief case. Unsure of how other riders would interpret my vigilante justice, I started by shooting at only one rat per subway ride, coyly like a true sniper. My boldness grew in proportion to my accuracy, until finally the day when my rubber band struck its target. I think I almost fell onto the subway tracks- I was laughing that hard. True Joy.

On the bug front, we went the traditional route. I bought some chemicals from a very nice Pakistani gentlemen who assured my of his discretion. Something about undetectable residues, untraceable bank accounts in Switzerland, my social security number, and could I store 500 pounds of it…but at least it was cheap. Bandanna strapped around my head, I “treated” underneath the sink, behind the oven & dishwasher, and along the baseboards. I even took the dishwasher door apart to check for a nest. In my prewar intelligence gathering, I read of many people who had to throw away their dishwashers because they had become roach nests. Ours thankfully wasn’t, but I did break up a little dinner in the space between the machine and the counter. Spray in hand, I attacked the gathering with a ferocity that would have made Chuck Norris, and by association Mike Huckabee (Click this link if you don’t get the reference:), proud. At one point I caught a medium sized bug and rolled him around in my melange of poisons just to see him suffer. He just rolled over and squirmed melodramatically until he expired in a toxic puddle of my happiness. I enjoyed it excessively.

Considering that my wife left the room early on to avoid the spine tinglingly noxious fumes, I can only hope that my deadly cocktail maintains its potency for some time and that my children have only one head.