September 21, 2009


When I was a little girl I really enjoyed living in the "country". For the first six years of my life my family called Richmond, Rhode Island home. We had it all: the poison ivy, the blueberry patch, the gypsy moths, the neighbors who made moonshine and conned people out of money with a cleaning products scheme. Ahhh, it was bliss. Being young and carefree, I didn't mind the snakes or the bugs ... or even the constantly flooded basement (my parents hogged up all the "minding" on that one). But for some reason, as I grew older I grew less fond of things that slither, buzz, crawl and creep.

One of the first insects I learned to LOATHE was the almighty cricket. These terror-evoking creatures would ninja around our basement and plant themselves somewhere super scary so that when my guard was down they could scare the shit out of me. I would be "studying" for school exams (listening to my headphones and reading Teen Beat) and see one sitting on the end table. Heart attack. I carried aerosol cans of Lemon Pledge with me so that I could spray the last breath out of them. It caused them to turn white and slide off the table. And I will never, ever, ever, EVER forget 'bare-footly' slipping on my little, white Chuck Taylor's to find that horrifyingly unpleasant, squishy surprise. I ran, like my life depended on it, straight to the toilet and gagged my guts out. In fact, just writing that now forced a full body shiver and facial expressions that should probably be mocked on You Tube.

There were dozens if not hundreds of times that I called for my mother to kill a spider or a bee. She would take off that classic "mom slipper" and smack them dead for me. One night, or more like early morning, I woke my father to kill a moth that was aimlessly zipping around my bedroom. He couldn't find it and groggily assured me that it was gone. Well that was clearly unsatisfying to me. There was no way in hell I was getting any rest. So there I sat, on my bed with a can of Lysol in one hand and the vacuum attachment in the other. I waited him out. He never showed. I ended up finding him months later, dead, behind my bookcase. Why I almost never cleaned my room is a story for another time.

The glistening cherry on top of my paranoia sundae came when I had the joy of experiencing the House Centipede. I won't even attach the link - just Google it if you've never seen one. Vomit town. The horror took place in our first apartment and we had lived there only a few weeks when I saw the first dirtbag. I had just put my yoga mat on the floor for some Pilates when out of the corner of my eye I saw something scurrying like it's ass was on fire. The shape and color  petrified me. A jillion-legged, antennae-clad, beer colored demon bug. It came out from under the television and sprinted across the room. My heart stopped. I had NEVER seen anything move that quickly. Frozen, I called Gregg's work - begging for them to put him on the phone. I called my upstairs neighbor leaving a message so tragically hilarious she played it for everyone at work the next day (and weekly for years after). I called my mother pretty much insisting that she should take the twenty-five minute drive and save me from this sinister creature. But I was left alone on this one. Grabbing my trusty can of green apple Lysol, I inched my way back into the depths of hell. Roughly twenty minutes passed before I mustered the courage to start spraying him. I DRAINED that can leaving a puddle about the size of a Papasan chair cushion in the center of the living room. This was the first of MANY standoffs. It got to the point where I became so terrified of them that I wouldn't enter a room without scanning the walls and floors first, clutching Hot Shot Kitchen Bug Killer (which didn't repel them but would inevitably kill them when sprayed directly on their nasty asses). I also wore shoes all the time, refusing to walk barefoot. This horrific time in my life actually caused some permanent damage. If I notice so much as a tiny piece of a leaf or even lint on the floor I immediately assume it's a scary bug. A simple hole left by a nail or tack, a scuff mark or ANYTHING out of place on the wall triggers instant panic. And just yesterday, happily picking apples with the family, I was a flailing, yelping mess as "things" buzzed by my cranium in the orchard. I'm a broken woman.

Final thought - Please note that I do realize that not only am I a rotten human being for killing off scores of innocent, disgusting creatures but I also know that I am single-handedly ruining the environment with chemicals and aerosol death spray. You're welcome, everyone.


  1. When Eric and I lived by the bay in Warwick, I kept a broom and a can of raid outside the door. We had water spiders, which you don't even want to google. When we'd get home at night, they would have built huge webs covering the door, which I'd sweep down after spraying all 4-18 happy spiders to their twitchy deaths. Next day, their children and neighbors would rebuild. They were persistent little fuckers. Now, don't even get me started on the spiders we had in Germany!

  2. I have chills and shudders and I'm making all kinds of grimacey faces right now. Now that's good writing, Bloggins!

    Next time, maybe you could use your powers for good instead of insecty evil. (shudder)

  3. Ohhhhhh Jo Jo I can't even bring myself to google the spiders you had in Germany. And there is NO way I could have entered any doorway covered in a web of any kind. You are one brave girl to have used that broom!! My ass woulda been in the next town over. Easily.

    Kell - I just re-read it and twitched again.

    ANNNNND I will have you all know - I screamed last night at a FRUIT FLY. a FRUUUUUUIT fly scared me. Gregg was DYIN. hahaha

  4. Oh my! I can actually see you in my head taking vengeance on those centipedes...or were they millipedes? Are you sure which they were?

    With all of this, have you run across cockroaches yet? You think centipedes are bad... :)

    Thanks for making me laugh. It made my night.

    1. Hahaha! So glad you enjoyed! I have NEVER seen a cockroach in person. Never. I've seen them in movies and on TV and that is as far as I'm willing to go. I can't do "swarms" or "clusters" of anything. I'll die.

      My horror was due to the "house centipede". I had to actually google their color and description to find it out and when all of the images came up on the screen I nearly fell over. SO SO GROSS!

      Thanks for reading!

  5. Lemon Pledge? I am stocking up to get rid of some "Ninja Crickets!" Loved your writing!

    1. I'm tellin you, it worked! haha!

      Funny thing, today I was at my mother's house and she was out on the porch spraying a huge flying bug with hairspray - the apple doesn't fall far ...

      :) thanks for reading!

  6. I am SO there with you! A spider the size of Rhode Island recently sauntered (I mean..the dude strolled) across our breakfast nook and...I sprayed every last bit of Lysol Fabric Refresher at the bugger.

    I think he liked it.

    Sadly, I ran out of spray before he ran out of life so....I just whacked him with the empty can.

    It's a Virgo thing. What can I say?

  7. hahaha he probably DID like it! dirty little scumbag.

    guess it's a Taurus thing too ;)

    thanks for reading!


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