Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Plans of Attack

Further along on the housesitting front and the bug infestation has become a bit more manageable. However, in my predictable fashion, once one problem is solved, my mind immediately creates a new problem to obsess over. Therefore, I have now become completely convinced that someone is going to break in. Somewhere between the hours of midnight and dawn, to be exact. So I spend all night watching cable TV with the volume extremely low, and being overly concerned by any tiny noises I will inevitably hear throughout the night.

The house is located at the end of a dead end street, and the only other house on the block is vacant right now, of course, so it's not an option to go banging on their door in the middle of the night, begging for help. Also the house I am in is an older home and situated right next to a centuries-old graveyard, so I really have to give myself a modicum of credit for not being afraid of ghosts. In fact I currently believe that ghosts would be the only entities on my side in this self-styled ordeal. (A side note: I have noticed that all of the people I have met who claim to have seen a ghost at some point or other in their lives, always have very similar personality traits. I'm starting to wonder if this is coincidence.)

Because I don't own any weapons,  I have decided to come up with a few escape routes and surprise attacks of my own should any evil-meaning burglar decide to make this house his next mark.  I keep my keys and cell phone on my person at all times. When I manage to sleep, I sleep in my clothes, just to make sure I am always prepared. It's the Boy Scouts' motto, after all, Be Prepared, and it's lasted this long, so I feel it's a pretty wise bit of advice.

In the event I am on the second floor when the burglar arrives, I have planned a more generic escape out the back bedroom window and out onto the roof, where I will then hang-drop to safety. A second option: Chemical Warfare. I have placed a spray bottle of Raid in one of the bedroom closets. Once I hear the tell-tale sounds of breaking and entering, I will stealthily make my way to said closet and close the door behind me. I will then arm myself with the Raid, and stand ready to attack. Once the door is opened I will immediately unleash a toxic stream squarely in the direction of the thug's eyes. This will give me ample time to barrel past him and down the steps to safety as he is still wondering what the heck hit him.  The third option: Monster Mask. I keep the above-pictured monster mask next to the bed in the room where I am sleeping (well, trying to sleep), and if there is absolutely no time for me to escape before I am about to be face-to-face with the stranger, then I will simply don the mask and confront him head on. I believe the shock of being met by a ghoul in the dark will catch him completely off-guard and make him understand that now he is on my playing field - the playing field of the demented - and he is no match for that.  The sad part is, my brother-in-law told me that if I startled an intruder in that manner, then I'd probably just get shot.  Ah welly.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

An Intrusion of Cockroaches...

I'm housesitting right now. Something always goes wrong when I housesit, but then again, something always goes wrong when I do anything...

I moved to the Peninsula a few months back. I don't recommend it to anyone. The move was for a job that I love, but I have come to find that this Florida living is absolutely NOT for me. AT ALL. Especially in the summer time. The main reason? I'm terrified of all the bugs that I encounter on a daily, and even worse, nightly basis. Particularly, the Palmetto bug. "Palmetto" is a fancy moniker given to the mouse-sized cockroaches inhabiting the south. I think this name is some sort of attempt to fool you into thinking that it is not a roach at all but is in fact some delightful Disney-themed critter that, just like all the other residents of Florida, enjoys palm trees, a tropical climate, and close proximity to water.

I first encountered this evil insect at my sister's house. In my bedroom at my sister's house. I thought I saw something rush by out of the corner of my eye.  With much trepidation I started slowly shifting around articles of clothing that were in a pile that I was readying for Goodwill. I didn't find anything but was still suspicious so I turned off the light and left the room for a few minutes. When I returned, I switched on the light, and there it was, standing in the middle of the room like some primeval sentry, the largest and creepiest bug I had ever seen. I went after it with intent to kill, but no dice, it somehow scurried right under a wooden box - which I now suspect to be some kind of disappearing cabinet - because when I moved the box, of course the roach was gone.  Out of sheer paranoia, I had to sleep in the guest room that night figuring it had to be a safer bet. Luckily, it was.

A few nights later I returned to my own room. As I sat on the bed watching Saturday Night Live, I detected the same eerie blur of movement from my peripheral vision.  There is no way, I thought.  I mean, it's late, I must be seeing things, right?  Wrong. I moved the pillows around just to assuage my fears, and lo and behold, another Palmetto bug was scampering around right in my bed. After texting my disgust and several photos of the intruder to friends, I packed up and headed back over to the guest room where I attempted to sleep, with all of the lights on, of course.

Cut to a few days later and I am housesitting for a friend who sympathizes with my Palmetto plight and has assured me that he NEVER EVER sees any bugs in his house whatsoever. Perfect, I think. Two weeks of a bug-free existence in a quaint little historic Florida town. Sounds ideal. Well yeah, it would be ideal, except for all the bugs. Not only are there Palmetto bugs about - one of which I killed using the tested trifecta of terror: whacking it repeatedly with a broom (it still marched on), spraying it profusely with Windex, (it still ambled about, and I started to feel bad that it seemed addled and stunned), and finally wailing on it with a combat boot (this finally did the trick) - but there are also small wood roaches milling about the entire first floor, and tonight, I awoke at 1 a.m. to enjoy a sighting of four 1-to-1.5-inch FLYING brown cockroaches.  Just soaring about in the hallway outside the bedroom door.  Up to that moment, I had heard of, but had never come in contact with, the dreaded roach that could fly. It was right about that moment that I decided to bail.  I put on a hoodie and armed myself with Windex in an attempt to dodge the little kamikaze pilots, as I headed for the front door.  I made sure the cat, who oddly enough enjoys the bugs, had enough food and water for the night and then I ran to my car, threw it in first, and peeled away from this latest house of horrors.

These above situations are not my only encounters with bugs, but I'll go into detail about the bed bug scare and the baffling flea infestation later. And I also don't believe in that fake-o supposed law of attraction mumbo-jumbo known as The Secret, or at least i thought I didn't, but when things I fear the most keep consistently manifesting their existence in my life, I have to wonder if somehow I'm not putting out some bizarre energy vibe that is drawing it all to me.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Only Thing We Have to Fear is...Everything

Is there a phobia for the fear of everything?  I pretty much live in fear of any situation I find myself in. Lately I've noticed that as the years wear on, this fear only becomes more and more acute. In a way, it's kind of entertaining, the habit I have of allowing myself to dwell on any frightening scenario my mind conjures up; but mostly fear has just been the bane of my existence. In this 'blog I will attempt to detail my latest and greatest fears with the hope that if I get it all out of my system here, then I won't have to shell out major Johnny Ca$h for psychiatrist's visits and anti-anxiety medication.  We shall see...