Wednesday, August 26, 2009

If You Build It, He Will Come

So you've built your new house. Perhaps a new apartment. You move in, you're happy- all is well- but you have forgotten the prophecy of old. If you build it, he will come.

There are few creatures as loathesome, as terrifying, as downright disgusting as...the cockroach.

With its beady eyes and scurrying, quick way of moving, he frightens you. You weren't expecting his presence. All of a sudden, however, he comes out to greet you. Bleary-eyed, weary from lack of sleep, you reach, unwittingly, for a coffee mug. Then you jump back in fear, the mug clattering upon the counter. "Good morning, Chana," his diabolical scurry whispers, "I am here to act as your worst enemy." Perhaps it is an omen.

The problem with creatures like cockroaches is how quickly they move. They scurry. They come out of nowhere, scurry down the counter and beneath a cooking mitt, then disappear. You try to kill them, but by the time you do, they've scampered joyously away.

It used to be that a man would show his prowess through killing dragons for the one he loved. I would be happy with a man who killed cockroaches for me. I have a strange fascination with dead mice (and live mice, for that matter, although preferably not in my house), but cockroaches are not my thing. (Not, God, in case you are listening, that I would like to be suddenly blessed with prolific mice.)

The battle currently stands thus:

Cockroach: 1
Chana: 0

He's out there somewhere. And so, for the rest of the day, I walk in fear, my eyes on alert for the damned little bugger. Oh, to be in Chicago...where the roaches don't come. At least not in my house.

13 comments:

Scraps said...

I am actually rather adept at killing cockroaches (unfortunately, I used to get lots of practice, though b"H not anymore). If all else fails, buy a can of Raid or HotShot or something of that sort. However, I agree - cockroaches are truly loathsome creatures.

Anonymous said...

What an entertaining post! Well written,too. I hear the apartment buildings in the Heights are infested with roaches. You may have the cleanest apartment,but the roaches do travel to yours from the levels below and above. I feel for you. The mice ain't any better.Yak!

Critically Observant Jew said...

What worked for us, in our first Chicago rental was bohric acid (white powder form of it - bought in a dollar store) that was put in the popular cockroach hideouts (behind the stove, fridge, cabinets, along the baseboards). Worked for us.

yosef said...

Only one cockroach in your apartment Chana? I think that's a pretty good record. I just moved in to a new apartment, and the first night I realized that the entire place was infested. There were armies in the kitchen, and over a dozen in my bedroom. After getting poison traps and having the exterminator spray most of the apartment, most roaches are now dead, but apartments in our neighborhood can be pretty bad in this respect.

inkstainedhands said...

The roaches are pretty friendly once you get to know them, Chana. Introduce yourself, shake hands, feed them bread crumbs. They'll love you.

I haven't seen NY cockroaches in a long time, but I got to know the ones in Israel (as in the ones that are probably three times bigger than yours) and they were pretty cute.

harry-er than them all said...

in your neighborhood, its possible to find roach spray which is illegal in the US. it is legal in mexico, so those that are native to there bring it in. (somewhere on st. nick- i'll find out for you)

Anonymous said...

Chana watch your back, the freak job is hitting on you again.

Chana said...

Anon 2:47,

The freak job? I think a bit more compassion is due the guy from Kafka's Metamorphosis.

dman said...

There are critters in Chicago. We have had to put out mouse traps and ant traps, though I don't think we ever had roaches.

Anonymous said...

You'd be lucky if it was only the cockroaches. *hint* he has a famous blog.

Shoshana said...

Anything that can spray faster than the roaches can run, is good. It doesn't have to be bug spray. Certain hairsprays work well too. Just be advised that for every roach you see - there are nine more in hiding. My cat loved to chase and catch them and then bring me a gift to put on my bed. She really shouldn't have.

Anonymous said...

http://www.mahalo.com/how-to-get-rid-of-roaches

Everyone in your apartment should wisit the above captioned site and learn

EJB said...

LOL a cockroach fell from the ceiling of my room last night. My brave roomate trapped it in the untovelled free YU mugs given out at orientation and threw it (minus the mug) out the window. So, if anyone noticed a flying cockroach on 187th street, it probably came from my room.