Winners Don't Use Drugs

Up until fairly recently, the greatest aspiration of my life had been: To be cool. Throughout elementary school, high school, and college, my goal had been to not only feel cool, but to also appear as such to my peers.

I put great effort into this by engaging in such activities as hanging around cool people, and wearing brand name clothing that others would recognize as "cool."

But it was a house of cards. And my coolness was always, at best, fleeting. It was almost as though the universe knew this and was going to make its best efforts to point this out to me. And on two very specific occasions, my ability to appear cool was squashed by an almost clairvoyant ability of others to point out deficiencies I wasn't even aware I had.

I was and still am, a scrawny white kid from the suburbs. My world awareness and cosmopolitan nature did not come along until much later in my life. As a kid, my music knowledge was limited to the radio station Z100 which played the top 20 pop songs in the country ad nauseum. I knew vaguely of the blazing Hip Hop and R&B of Hot 97.1, but I did not listen to it, nor did I understand it.

My childhood best friend however, was much more urban conscious than I ever was. He knew that radio station and its songs very well. It was his forte. He was much tougher than I was. And even though he lived but 2 miles from me, he was over the border and into Queens. Things were different there. He was hardened steel and I had all the street toughness as a bowl of wet spaghetti.

So one night my best bud and I went to the movies by ourselves. We didn't meet girls or get into any shenanigans, but in terms of independence and growing up, it was kind of a big deal. And I was feeling like I was really something.

So suffice to say when we got picked up from the movies by his mother, sister, and brother, all of us crammed in the car like a gang of teen sardines, and the Hot 97 came on, the coolness I had been feeling started to quiver a little bit.

And before I knew it, everyone (minus myself) was singing along to a Mary J. Blige song. And my best friend's sister, a very gregarious girl, turned to me out of the blue and in an accusatory manner that made my soul drop through my butt, said;

"Don't you know the words to this song?"

Of course I didn't. And admitting so was like admitting my status as a second class citizen. And all I could do was stare and make a constipated face. My coolness cover was blown.

But as I would find out, not knowing something, was way better than thinking you did.

Back before the D.A.R.E. program taught all of us prepubescent lumps of clay what drugs were, and exactly how to use them, we were limited to second hand knowledge from friends and older siblings.

Unfortunately, I did not pay close enough attention.

That became blatantly obvious when my sister and I were at a pool party of our parents' family friends one summer. At this party there were a lot of kids of outgoing personalities and considerable privilege. Kids who had done the coolest things, had the coolest toys, and clothing. Kids that I, of course, wanted to impress.

I was trying so hard to fit in that I was wearing my prized #9 Dan Majerle Olympic Dream Team basketball jersey. It was the crown jewel of my wardrobe.

We were sitting at the table eating hamburgers and hot dogs and pasta salad and dinner rolls. We ran the gamut from pre-pubescent to post, and we were all engaged in one large conversation of multiple topics.

The conversation shifted and the topic of drugs came up. Marijuana and smoking weed was mentioned. Somebody mentioned being stoned. And out of the blue, for no obvious reason, and like she had been clued into a major gap in my knowledge, one of the older girls turned to me and said, "You do know what being stoned means don't you?"

Of course I did. And I told them.

"It means to have rocks thrown at you."

I am hard pressed to find a time in my life when people laughed harder at me than they did that day.

My catholic upbringing had betrayed me. Never once did I think Jesus might have been a pothead. My knowledge was way too literal.

Everyone laughed and my poor sister was so embarrassed that I was essentially useless when it came to being cool. Especially since she too probably wanted acceptance from these kids. One particular boy that I did not like really pissed me off with his laughing and general existence.

I was so embarrassed from being made fun of, and in poor control of my emotions that I, in fact, stoned that boy.

I took a dinner roll from my plate and threw it at the boy's head.

Direct hit.

I believe that the boy I pelted with a carb grenade, responded in kind by throwing a limited amount of sprite on my jersey.

And me being completely embarrassed, and wanting to escape, I ran into the house to change my jersey. Not so much worried about the quality of my jersey, but that my own ignorance had turned into an assault on my most favorite article of clothing. Perhaps I was really throwing that bread at my own embarrassment.

Either way, I learned a lot about being cool that day. I learned I wasn't. No matter how hard I try, no matter who I think I am, some things never change. And I learned another lesson. Whether it is right or not...

Sometimes it feels good to throw bread at people.

Fear Thy Neighbor

Do you really know your neighbors?

I postulate that the further you live from your neighbors the more you know about them. Case and point, when I lived in suburbia I knew a decent amount about people who lived throughout my neighborhood.

Now I live in an apartment on a floor with 6 other apartments that take up roughly the same amount of space as my old house. I know almost nothing about the people I live next to and across from, except what I can glean from observation.

I walked out of my apartment not too long ago to find a Houdini sized chest sitting in the hallway next to one of my neighbors doors. It looked like it was straight out of the 1920s. Upon closer inspection it appeared that this chest was in fact extremely old, and also, it was from Holland.

I’m not sure how this 5 foot tall chest ended up in America, or more specifically, my hallway. I imagine something that size is tough to move around one’s apartment so it probably made sense that it had to be temporarily relocated out into the hall for a bit to allow some space.

Did this mean someone on my floor was a magician? Or even better, a Dutch magician? I was so curious to see what was inside the chest. A sawed in half lady? A whole bunch of shackles and chains? But I didn’t touch it for fear that it was also a trick, and a dozen springy snakes would shoot out of it and scare the crap out of me. So I left it untouched.

The next day I come home to another surprise in the hallway. In addition to the Dutch chest, there was also a grody looking four story carpeted cat condo. (That is some awesome alliteration, OH there it is again!) So now I have Houdini’s chest and a cat condo in my hall. Two very large but very different items.

Granted it really doesn’t bother me because the area outside my elevator is more of a rectangle so they don’t block anything. But I did find the pairing of items quite bizarre.

Especially the fact that on this cat condo there was a yellow note taped to it that said “Please Don’t Move This.”

As though someone would be in the elevator up to the 6th floor talking to their spouse just as the door opened;

“Yea honey I was thinking if we could just find some sort of used really smelly shelving unit with a built in rug we could…. Oh my god its FATE!”

Don’t move this? I imagine the only possible move would be to chuck it down the stairs, or if you were feeling ambitious, bring it up to the roof and chuck from there. But either way I feel that note on a smelly carpeted cat condo just isn’t necessary. The hideousness of this object speaks for itself.

Stay away, I am a cat condo.

Aside from the stuff your neighbors leave outside their doors, sometimes we are given a glimpse into what goes on inside their apartment.

The exterminator comes to my apartment every other month or so. This is always a welcome visit, because as you may know, I have had some experiences with his clientele.

He comes in, sprays some stuff in the kitchen, puts some goo down in the bathroom and then leaves. He is in my apartment 2 minutes tops. Upon leaving I sign his sheet to say that he visited my apartment and I accept his services

On his sheet I can also see whose apartments he has already visited. Once, upon signing his sheet, I saw that someone had refused preventative bug measures.

REFUSED!

What would you think if you found out that someone had refused fumigation service from the exterminator? Wouldn’t that make you wonder just the tiniest bit? Living amongst a kingdom of bugs and disgusting may be your prerogative but I live on this floor too.

I can only imagine 2 possible reasons you would not want the exterminator to come into your apartment and spray for bugs.

1. You run a Meth lab out of your bathroom
2. You are gross.

I envision one who does not use preventative bug measures also leaves open jars of maple syrup lying around and pieces of shredded Mexi-chicken on their floor.

It shouldn’t be up to you whether or not your apartment gets fumigated. It should be up to me. I want you to be fumigated. I need you to be fumigated and that should be enough for all of us.

For all I know it was probably the same guy with the cat condo and the Houdini chest, which I now know is either filled with dead cats or Crystal Meth.

So is it better to know your neighbors? Perhaps. But if your neighbor is the Meth addicted Dutch Cat Magician… perhaps not.

The Iceland Cometh

One of the things Buenos Aires also had to offer was a man from Iceland named Ragna. When I met Ragna the first night he was nice enough for about 40 minutes. Then he started talking more... a lot more. So much more that I took to staring straight up into the sky to avoid participating in the conversation.
One hopes to meet cool interesting friendly travelers on the roof of a hostel, not people who lecture about how great Obama is and the quality of Bush's decisions and the world economy and the Icelandic sunset schedule and life in Oregon and how to bargain and blah blah blah.
I came close to leaping off the roof, but instead 4 of us, including Ragna went to dinner. Thank god I had somebody else to talk to.
The next night we are all sitting on the roof drinking chatting and eating empanadas at midnight when we decide its time to go out, because people don’t leave until after midnight. So a couple of Americans, Ragna from Iceland, a Polish chick, and an Israeli dude head out for some drinks. We are enjoying ourselves when Ragna starts getting a little strange.
He orders a Cubra Libra (because apparently its 1988) and then sends it back. He orders another and then sends that one back. I say something like, ¨Man I guess they make bad drinks here huh? ¨
What Ragna must have heard was,
¨I HATE YOUR COUNTRY AND BJORK AND ALL ELSE IT PRODUCES! ¨
Ragna starts saying to me, ¨Do you have a problem with that? Do you? Do you have a problem with me?¨
I do a double take with another American to see if Ragna is kidding but we are both not sure. It happens again and I kind of joke it off because I’m not sure what is going on.
We finally get our bill and he asks me if I want to pay for his drinks as a sign of friendship. I'm not sure what kind of crazy America-Iceland treaty exists in his world but the last thing I want to buy for this maniac is a drink. I attempt to politely decline which seems to put him off.
He then casually says, ¨Oh its nothing, I’m on coke.¨
WHAT?
Now my knowledge of drugs is equal to my knowledge of Spanish but ít didn’t look like he was on coke. Or so I thought. As it turns out, apparently as we were sitting at our table drinking Ragna had been not so discreetly giving me the finger the whole time, which I didn’t notice. So we all leave to go to another bar, and the other American and I hang back and just let Ragna and crew keep walking off into the night.
Peace out.
So the 4 of us are at a bar now where Poland and Israel are working on their international relations and the other American who speaks Spanish is sitting in a director’s type chair talking to some Argentinean women. I sit down next to him and since I don’t speak Spanish I just sit there like I’m Regis Philbin´s crappy fill in co-host.
We got home at 6 in the morning.

Fast forward to my last morning in Uruguay. I flee on another grey morning. I go through customs where the nice people ask me questions that go like this.
"Habla Espanol?"
"No"
"None?"
I'm not sure if they were expecting me to burst into Spanish here and say something like, "AHH Just kidding. I love messing around with South American customs officials. I really got you guys huh?"
I take the 3 hour boat back to Buenos Aires and check back into the same hostel. It is amazing how some hostels become these ever evolving families of people coming and going. I slide right back into the sway of things. Right away I make sure I book tickets to 2 events.
The first event is a Tango show. Tango has its roots in Buenos Aires when it was first danced by the immigrants, and there being not enough women it was danced man on man. (Can you imagine how different Dancing with the Stars would be if THAT didn't change.)
I go with a bunch of other folks from the hostel to a very dodgy neighborhood called Boca. The show is very Disney, there are characters that walk around, and even a town drunk. Though considering the show went on for close to 3 hours I began to wonder if he was in fact "acting."
We have a decent dinner where a tango couple come around and take pictures with people. One of the guys at my table refuses to take a picture with the tango woman. I can understand though. I too find it offensive when strange exotically dressed women who don't speak my language ask to take a picture with me while throwing their leg around me like a sash. Yea, what a turn off.
There is something about me folks. At large group gatherings there is something about me that makes the players in these events search the crowd, find my goofy face and pull me out to play along. It happened with the Big Foot show in Orlando, the Hula Dancers in Hawaii, and of course the Tango Show in Bs As.
So I get pulled out onto the floor to dance tango with this woman who keeps screaming "PASSION" at me and while she is leading I am trying desperately to keep up. She then jumps into my arms and has me spin her around while screaming, “DO YOU WANT TO BE MY BOYFRIEND?”
I was pretty sure I was going to get dizzy and fall down or accidentally drop her. Luckily I survived and so did she.
The next day I went to a traditional Gaucho ranch. These were the original lonely cowboys of Argentina. The place has horse rides, a huge Asado and a little show.
I had been really interested to go to this and kept asking the people at my hostel front desk to look up shows for me. But I kept mixing up the word for Gaucho Ranch with the word for Parking Lot. So I kept saying to the desk
"Can you book me a reservation for the parking lot? I really want to ride horses around the parking lot."
You can imagine the look they gave me. This happened at least 4 times.
So I go to the Estancia and ride horse. My horse is friendly and doesn't really follow directions. There is a photographer walking around taking pictures of us on the horses. My horse refuses to pose and walks away so this woman is screaming at me.
"STOP STOP, STAY RIGHT THERE!"
Are you kidding me? I am not a centaur. Contrary to what you may think, this horse is not just an extension of me, it is its own animal and I do not speak horse. He just ignores her. I do too.
I also quickly realize why nobody wears shorts while riding a horse. If I could pick any word to describe riding a horse in shorts that word would be Chafe.

We have a massive lunch where I eat blood sausage. It tastes exactly how it sounds.

So we finally get out of there and head back to the hostel. I change my clothes and head to a 9 course tasting dinner with another American.

We had some ceviche, some goat cheese foam, some caramel apple and lots of other things but there are 2 that really kind of stuck out in my head.

The first was the lamb. It was 2 small pieces. I have only had lamb a handful of times. But this lamb was unlike any I had ever had. It was tender, and the texture was incredible. The taste was outrageously good. I was in love with it.

I tell the waiter it was my favorite. And he asks me if I know what part of the lamb it was, which I don' t. So he tells me.

It was tongue. Lamb tongue. And it was goooood.

The other dish that figured prominently in the meal was the octopus with tomato air. The tomato air was essentially bubbles that tasted not so awesome and the octopus well... I am not a squid or octopus fan.

And this octopus isn't even deep fried. I don't so much look at it I just pop a large pink piece into my mouth and start to chew... and chew... and chew. And then I look down in my bowl to actually examine my meal. And I see the suction cups. And I realize why I don't like it.

It tastes like I am eating a rubber bathtub mat. I feel like one should not eat anything found in a bathroom.
Luckily my last 2 meals in Buenos Aires were steak, and lots of it. Seeing as I am back in New York now I am already going through withdrawal. I crave to feel the feelings I felt in Buenos Aires.
Maybe I will go out and buy a steak... or maybe I'll just go chew on my bathtub mat.

Dr. Mother Nature

I got sick this summer. This is something I do on a semi-regular basis. I'm kind of a collector of diseases. I won't list them for you here, but it is safe to say I pretty much have had most of the terrible/awful/disgusting/embarrassing diseases. I've warded off the really bad ones as of late, but this year I got this nasty head cold that wouldn't leave.
If your anything like me (and god help you if you are) you probably wait too long to go to the doctor. Nobody wants to go to the doctor on the first day they are feeling sick only to have the doctor make fun of you for being a hypochondriac. But on the same token I tend to wait until the disease has almost completed its course and prescription drugs are pretty much not needed.
This happened with my head cold. It was a head cold, that became a neck cold, and then a chest cold. I finally went to the doctor and he asked a couple of questions. (What color is your phlegm? I don't know doc, Magenta?) Then he prescribed me the beloved Z-Pac. This is the equivalent of the baby Jesus of the antibiotic world. It is the savior of all.
Except for the fact that Z-Pac is kind of like carpet bombing your system. It's like if you are trying to find an escaped felon in Disney World, but instead of just targeting him, you blow up the whole theme park.
In this scenario the felon is the disease, and my body is Disney World. Don't ask me why, it just is damn it.
Anyway, doc gives me Z-Pac, and the cold goes away. Not really totally but most of the way leaving me with a little cough that lingers.
A couple months pass before the same cold comes back. This time the doc doesn't even ask any questions before giving me a Z-Pac prescription again. He literally asked me no questions. It made me kind of nervous. I mean I could have been some kind of antibiotic junkee looking for my fix of germ killing drugs. Maybe that's the kind of sick thing that gave me the thrills. I don't know.
But doc gives it to me again. I blow up Disney again. The disease goes away again. But not totally, it came back last week. By this time I had had it with the "doctor" as his diplomas refer to him. So I said screw it. I'm going native.
I don't really know what that means but I figured it meant natural. I thought I would try out mother natures cures at the Natural Store. I used to think that Natural Cure stores are for stinky hippies and people without health insurance. People who can't afford to pay 185 dollars to have a doctor write them a prescription for a 10 dollar medication that makes zero dollars of difference.
Anyway I go in, and I'm just as baffled as being in the regular pharmacy. So I go up to the "pharmacist" (as his name tag calls him, where did this Natural pharmacist go to school, The Academy of Leaves and Moss?) and I tell him I have magenta phlegm and ask for a recommendation. He hands me a bottle that looks like a speakeasy flask full of something with elderberry (older wiser berries?) and some other crap in it.
I tell him my friend (who is not a "pharmacist") recommended Osha root. I don't know what that is but she said it would clear me out. He thinks this is a good idea. I'm not sure why he didn't recommend it right of the bat but hey, as long as I get healthy.
So I buy the berry juice and the Osha root from some hippy looking woman who walks like she'd been riding a horse for 8 days straight.
I take them home and give them a shot. The berry juice is surprisingly sweet, and I find myself taking more than just a teaspoon. I take a swig from the bottle. Kind of like when I used to eat 3 or 4 Flintstones vitamins at one time. If I was only supposed to eat 1 you shouldn't have made them so damn tasty Flintstones folk!
The berry juice needs to be kept in the fridge after opening. So twice a day I'm sneaking off to the office fridge to take swigs of what looks like moonshine. I even felt like I was doing something wrong.
The Osha root on the other hand... is awful. It smells like bad scotch. I dilute a spoonful in a glass of water and take a sip. It tastes like old dirty socks boiled in ass. It defies foul. But because I want to get better, I take more than the recommended dosage.
Each time I take it I use less and less water until I am just pouring it directly into the back of my throat with an eyedropper. I try to follow it with the elderberry juice but the only appropriate chaser would be a box of jelly donuts. After I swallow it, I cough like a cat trying to cough up... another cat.
It is now a couple of days after I finished consuming my plant and berry medicine. Do I feel better? Yes. Do I still have a cough? Yes. Am I able to see any discernible difference between drinking boiled sock water and antibiotics? No.
So what the hell did I figure out?
Well, I figured that that Osha root is probably an awful drink mixer, while elderberry juice would taste wonderful if mixed with Vodka. And as for what I'll do the next time I get sick? Considering it will probably be in a couple of weeks, I'll have to figure out something soon.
I'm thinking a combination of Oreos, Nutella, and Milk. It may not seem effective to you Medical Pharmacists, or you Natural Pharmacists. But I am a cookie Pharmacist, and if I'm just going to get better anyway, I might as well enjoy the process.

The Scurge of My Life - Part 2

Back to the story.
This was not the first time that I had seen la cucaracha in my apartment. Unfortunately for me it was the second.
Flashback to 3 weeks after I’ve moved into my apartment. I have no furniture, very few possessions, but I am living in an apartment that I own. It is painted wonderful colors and I feel a comfort in it. I move through my apartment as master of my domain, king of the castle. I walk into the kitchen to the utter shock of seeing a cucaracha the size of a Hyundai on my kitchen counter. My arms instinctively shoot into my sides as though I just touched a scalding iron and I say aloud, “OOO GROSS!”
I am a statue of fear. If I were a sculpture my title would be “The Willies,” because that is what I have. I am frozen until la cucaracha makes a run for it. Then I REALLY lose my shit. I run for a weapon.
I grab my dust mop with the 5 foot retractable handle (macho right?) and by this time this son of a bitch has run behind a dish. I’ve never seen another creature run this fast. He is not a cucaracha, he is the Flash. If there were a cucaracholympics he would win all of the medals. He is a tremendous athlete. He is Usain Bolt. He is the Michael Phelps of gross.
I can’t see the hidden beast, so I smack the counter with my mop. He darts out and runs toward me. I almost fall down backwards over myself trying to get away. He is charging at me. I grab a new weapon because I can’t kill him with a dust mop, I can only… dust him. He runs onto the floor. I grab my slipper (also very macho) and I raise it above my head as I imagine Moses held the 10 commandments above his head. (In a lot of ways I am like Moses, here to bring the commandments to this creature. Commandment number 1, thou shall not crawl on my kitchen counter. Commandment number 2, DIE you sonovabitch!)
I bring the slipper of justice down like I’m trying to ring the bell with a sledgehammer at a carnival game. BAM! The cucaracha has died a gruesome death. I am victorious. But now it is a bitter sweet victory, I have a permanent case of paranoid schizophrenia.
Here is what it is like to have seen la cucaracha in your apartment. You don’t trust anything. You want to glue everything closed, shut, sealed up completely. Nowhere is safe. You open every door with an 8 foot stick. You don’t get down on your knees for any reason because that might bring you within striking distance of la cucaracha. And lord knows that based on the size of these things, they probably carry switch blades and pepper spray. You want to dress in full medieval renaissance jousting armor.
I deduce that my intruder entered through the pipes under my sink. Keep in mind the fact that my kitchen is the size of a phone booth. It is claustrophobic to begin with. Add in the threat of foreign beasts, and it becomes suffocating. The last thing I want to do is spend more than 3 consecutive seconds in this room.
So I go to Home Depot (which is its' own kind of hell) and buy an expanding foam to fill up the cracks. Before I can even enter my kitchen I smack the walls and shout to alert any unwanted guests that I am coming hoping they won’t jump out at me.
I am on my hands in the cabinets under my sink and knees filling cracks with expanding stuff and then covering that with 4 layers of duct tape. The whole time my heart is pounding and I am literally dripping sweat. My head is on a constant swivel. Where is he? Where does he come from? Is he close? Oh my god I want out of this kitchen, GET ME OUT OF THIS KITCHEN!
This security system I am creating just seems useless. He’s so tiny yet so large. I have no idea how to stop him.
In fact, I would rather see a tiger in my apartment. A fully grown Bengal tiger with teeth and claws. Even if I walked into my apartment wearing a suit made entirely of antelope meat, and there was a tiger perched on my couch I would be less afraid than seeing la cucaracha in the middle of my living room. Because a tiger, you know “oh ok, this tiger is going to kill me, that’s fine.” With la cucaracha, all you know is you will be creeped out for as long as you are alive. Oh la cucaracha is cunning.
So flash forward to present day. I am standing over my tub with a twitching Barry Bonds. I contemplate letting him just slowly die until morning. But then I imagine the god awful thought of waking up the next morning and finding the tub empty and the panic that would follow. I can’t even imagine what I’d do. Actually I do know, I would set my apartment on fire and leave the country.
So I must assassinate Barry Bonds. But no hand to hand combat. I go and get my swiffer mop. And from 4 feet away I precisely and violently attempt to sever him in half.
I do not sever him, I only crush him some.
And he twitches some more.
And I cry.
I stab him about… 39 more times. He never REALLY stops twitching. So I grab a dust pan and sweep him into it while swearing and shivering like the weenie that I am. It takes me another 4 minutes to get him into the dustpan because I don't want to accidentally fling him at myself and suffer a heart attack. After I succeed in corralling him, I walk with him at arms length to bedroom where I promptly throw him out my 6th story window. My pulse drops, my body relaxes. The scoreboard is Richard 2, Cucarachas 0.
And yet, I do not feel like I have won because this always happens just when you’re feeling safe. But now I can never feel safe. In my daily life, I am very paranoid of bugs. If a leaf lands on my neck, I freak out. Loose thread in my shirt? I shriek like a girl. My blood pressure has been permanently elevated to record setting heights.
Alas I can do nothing for now, so if you’ll excuse me I have to return to the fortress of solitude. Otherwise known as a thin jersey sheet hiding a very terrified 25 year old boy in a queen sized bed. God I wish I were a man.

The Scurge of My Life - Part 1

There is an enemy among us. He is a patient and dangerous combatant. He knows not the meaning of the word quit. He will not cease. He will come forth with all the anger and the fury he can muster. He is deadly, he is terrifying. He is… La Cucaracha.
It was a slightly cooler than average summer night in Queens, NY. With windows open the breeze is relaxing and cleansing. I am mulling around my apartment shirtless and barefoot as any man is allowed to do in his own home. I watched some Olympic diving, listened to a record entitled “The Best of Bread” and I was feeling okay. I have nothing on my mind but the sheer fabulosity of my life. I walked from my living room into my bathroom and my heart stops because what do I see in the bathtub but a god damn tyrannosaurus rex.
And this isn’t some sort of petite dainty bug. This is a bug that has been to the gym. He is massive. This creeper is so big I swear he is on steroids. There is no way he got as big as he did eating trash and pipe mold. No, this bug has been juicing. In fact I started to refer to him as Barry Bonds.
I am frozen. I am petrified. I can’t think of a single good idea. Never mind the fact I am 37 times bigger than the Barry Bonds in my bathtub, and weigh a trillion times more, I am still terrified. And something about being without a shirt makes me feel even more vulnerable. Barry Bonds is lying on his back in my bathtub. He looks a little bit like he is relaxing, with his too many legs in the air. Like he’s saying “Ah yes, this tub will do.” But my better judgment tells me he is at least wounded, so I have a chance to defeat him.
My weapon of choice is not one of violence or physical force. No, this calls for chemical warfare. I go to my closet and grab a bottle full of borax, a known cucaracha killer… and I pour it on him. Not a spoon-full or a heaving spoon-full, I bury him. Die! Dehydrate! Suffocate!
And do you know how Barry Bonds responds? HE FRIGGING KICKS HIS LEGS! As if to say “Oo hehe that tickles you silly topless giant!” Every hair on my body stands up and I shiver. I am so far beyond grossed out I can’t even handle it.
I throw more borax on him. And then I do a lap around my apartment putting it everywhere. There is no crack or crevice I do not investigate. The way I was throwing borax around my apartment you would have thought I was fumigating for Jabberwockies.
I went from relaxed and mellow on a cool summer night to a constant state of alert. The casa of cool breezes had been infiltrated by the KGB. Killer Gross Bugs. They had sent forth a scout and he had reached the inner sanctum of my…sanctum. What was I going to do? How would I fend them off? They had found my favorite room to be naked in.
The whole scenario makes me so paranoid. I can never relax. Every piece of dust becomes an ant. Every fuzz becomes a baboon with a shotgun. Nothing makes sense. Everything is a bug. There is no thing in your apartment that could not be a bug. This is not the cold war. This is the Vietcong, the French and Indian war, Sparta. It is every horrible terrible gross bloody destructive epic battle in history taking place 1 soldier at a time… in my bathtub. It is hell.
The cucaracha does not fall for those tiny little “Raid” traps. When I first moved in I put down about… 92 as a preemptive strike. You know those commercials where the cartoon bugs see the traps and spontaneously explode? Not true. Barry Bonds is no cartoon. In fact Barry Bonds is so enormous that there is no way he could fit in those traps. He probably uses those traps as toilets before he goes to wreak havoc on the rest of my apartment. This makes me sad, I could have had put out 92 ham sandwiches in my apartment. Do you know why? Because those don’t kill the cucaracha either!
So there I am shirtless in the bathroom. I have no restitution. I have no power over this gross piece of grossness. All I can do is stare at it with as much hate and sweat as I can muster. That doesn’t make me feel any better. So I call Barry Bonds an asshole. That doesn’t make me feel any better either. I’m paralyzed. This upside down KGB agent is ruining my night.
Lord knows I’m not going to sleep now. I’m going to lay in bed with karate type alertness and the sheet pulled up to my nostrils, as though it is some impenetrable force field against the cucaracha. Like somehow, if no skin is exposed, I will be safe.
How can I be safe? This 12 legged trash eater has survived millions of years. MILLIONS. Some people think that dinosaurs turned to birds. I don’t think so. I think they just shrunk down infinitely until they became cucarachas and that’s why their still alive. They are highly evolved. Do you know they can live for a month without food? I can’t make it until noon without a snack, and this guy could have ruined lives all over the city by then.
I hate you cucaracha, do you know that? I HATE YOU!
To Be Continued…