CRAP!

The Sky: Home of fluffy white clouds, sunshine, and Superman.

But there is one thing that comes from the sky that I am not OK with. Something that happens millions of times a day all over the world, which you don’t think about it, until it affects you directly.

I speak of course, of pigeon poop.

I’m not sure if my mother actually believed this, or this was just something she made up to prevent us from crying, but she always used to say it was good luck.

I think the first time she said this was when my sister and I were really little and my sister got pooped on in the backyard. If you don’t know the feeling well, lucky you.

When you are a kid you don’t realize excrement can fall out of the sky. Rain, acorns, things like that yes. But poop? What precedent is there that a poop bomb is even a possibility?

I have been lucky enough to travel to different countries around the world and the one consistent thing that I come across in every single country is the effen pigeons. They are everywhere. I swear when the apocalypse comes and giant aliens eat all of the people on the planet, all that will be left are pigeons and cucarachas.

I can see those frigging cucarachas now, riding their pigeon planes through the sky.

Cucaracha: Dive Sebastian, dive! The skies and land are ours!
Pigeon: Victory is ours Benjamin!

Gross. I hate them all.

Pigeons hit their high note in terms of coolness the first time I was in Venice when I was in high school. This was back before the city of Venice changed the laws, and vendors were still allowed to sell bird food in the Piazza San Marco.

Tourists from all over the world would pay old men with bags full of bird food. And then you would dump it in your hands while pigeons molested you so your friends could take pictures of you looking like Lord of the Birds.

To be honest when I did it, I thought it was the funniest thing in the world. Even when that pigeon landed on my head and grabbed a…. um, claw, full of my hair.

Have you ever looked at a pigeon’s foot before? They are awful. They are so often mangled and dirty and tied up with dental floss and other trash they can’t get rid of because they don’t have hands.

Because they are pigeons.

Upon my return to Italy in college, that delight at the hilarity of pigeons quickly disappeared as being exposed to 40 million of them every day, every place, as they try to land on your pizza, and steal your gelato, quickly gets old.

As much as I hated them I tried not to piss them off. They outnumbered me. My roommates in Italy didn’t feel the same way. One of them, lets call him Rob, had what I can only describe as a karmic experience with pigeons.

We were visiting Sienna for a day trip, checking it out and exploring the sites when we had sat down outside a church to rest for a bit. It was there that Rob began an interesting interaction with a pigeon.

Rob: I really want to catch a pigeon.

10 Minutes later

Rob spits on a pigeon

20 Minutes later

Rob: Oh man I just got shit on by a pigeon.

It seemed like poetic justice to me, something that Rob deserved. The story I am about to relate to you though, has no justification in it whatsoever.

It was in June of this year, several weeks after I had started my new job. The weather for the summer hadn’t yet turned to unbearable. I was excited to be heading in to a job that I loved. I emerged from the E train out into midtown.

The sun was shining, the air was crisp, I was in the best possible mood. I took a look up at the sky and said aloud:

What a beautiful day!

And then I took about 10 steps before somebody threw an entire cup of soup on me.

At least, that’s what it felt like. I looked down on my arm and saw that was in fact PEA soup. Gross. Green pea soup all over my shirt, which thank god was a long sleeved one I had rolled down.

I looked up in shock. Who had thrown this soup on me?  Surely somebody had seen the culprit. But nobody seemed to care. How could nobody have seen the… oh I get it.

It quickly dawned on me that it must have been a pigeon, a pigeon that had eaten a bean burrito for dinner.

Great, my arm now covered in bird shit I couldn’t tolerate it, I had to find a fix and quick. Lucky for me, midtown is chockablock with bodegas trying to sell tourists t-shirts that New Yorkers wouldn’t be caught dead wearing, unless of course, that New Yorker had been shit on to start his day.

So I bought the only shirt that seemed appropriate after being pooped on coming out of the subway.


I then walked into an alley and took my shirt off because I couldn’t have the poop sleeve touching my skin anymore, I was starting to go mental. I put on my new t-shirt and then walked directly into a Dry Cleaners and told the nice lady at the counter my story as she began to touch my shirt. (This brought me an instant flashback to an early blog.)

I was pooped on.

“What?” she said.

A bird pooped on me, just now, outside.

Needless to say she slowed the pace at which she was folding up my shirt. She asked me to spell my name about 7 times before giving me a receipt for my shirt and telling me I could pick it up in a week.

Well, we are going on 3 months now and I still haven’t picked my shirt up. Maybe it is because I am so grossed out by that shirt that I can’t wear it in good conscience any more.

Or it could just be that the shirt isn’t actually mine.


I don’t know who that Rich Poehncke is, but I wouldn’t want his shirt. I hear there’s poop on it.

You're In Trouble

It was a routine day at B3 for me. I was in the cleaning materials department looking for some supplies to maintain the impeccable level of sanitation I prefer in my apartment. I was holding a bottle of tile cleaner when I saw it.

I almost didn’t believe it at first as I caught it out of the corner of my eye. But I did a double take and there it was.


A bottle of Urine Gone.

But it wasn’t just a single solitary bottle of Urine Gone. No, there was a stock of Urine Gone. As to say not 1 but many people have the need to get rid of a large quantity of urine on a regular basis.

My mind instantly went into overload trying to rationalize the existence of this product on our planet. Surely it couldn’t be for human pee… right? I mean this has to be for animal owners… right? For a while I thought the “Beyond” in Bed Bath and Beyond stood for beyond good. Now I realized it stood for “Beyond human comprehension.”

Of all the places I would expect to find a 24 oz bottle of Urine gone, B3 was not on the list. For me, the B3 is a place of fluffy towels, spatula sets and electric toothbrushes, not… pee removal.

If anything I would expect to find a bottle of this product in a place like a gas station, the same place you can buy the malt liquor, red Solo cups, and ping pong balls that would cause one to get drunk enough to pee on a… well... anything.

And let’s also consider, outside of the bathroom, the bed is the place you are most likely to find pee. But that you can clean up immediately by just tossing your sheets and mattress pad in the washing machine.

So this product must be for removing pee from OTHER surfaces and locations.

I had questions that needed answers. Most pressing was this:

What human had decided there was an untapped need in the market for pee removal?

It did make sense that the product was housed on the bottom shelf where you have to kind of surreptitiously stoop down to get it. I can’t believe anybody would want to proudly display this product in his or her cart.

Hey, everybody! Look what I got!

Which also makes me think just what an awful moment it must be at the register when the associate has to ring you up. Even if they were ignoring you, you would think curiosity would get the better of them as they wondered who could need such a product.

I know there are some things that I have been embarrassed to buy, My Ped Egg to name one. And usually I can play it off with a silly comment or self-deprecating joke. But Urine Gone? What the hell are you supposed to say if somebody gives you a look?

Boy did I have a hell of a weekend!

And if you are buying it, it is probably not an emergency because you would have used whatever you had on hand to get rid of that stain ASAP. So that means you have an OLD urine stain you need to get rid of, OR you are anticipating an awful series of events in the near future. Either way, I don’t envy you. Not even a wee bit.

Ha-ha, get it? Wee? Ahh.

I was so dumbfounded when I came across Urine Gone that I forgot to read the label, but upon returning home my curiosity eventually got the better of me and I googled it.

Here is what I found.

Urine Gone effectively removes new or old stains and odors from carpets, mattresses, and furniture. Urine Gone works on just about any washable surface or fabric! Just darken the room and use the Urine Gone "stain detector" black light…

Wait a minute.

Stain detector? STAIN DETECTOR?



Here’s the thing, if you KNOW there is urine in your home, but you don’t know where, you don’t need Urine Gone. You need a home security system complete with motion sensors, HD cameras and a barbed wire fence.

Who is peeing in undisclosed locations in houses? Are there criminals regularly breaking into houses to deface the home and then leaving, doing the old “Pee and Flee?”

If you are using a black light you are no longer a regular person, you are a detective. You are a forensic scientist tracking down human detritus. You are the star of the new hit show P.S.I.

The description continues:

For Pet or People Accidents Non-Toxic Safe for Carpet Litter Boxes Wood & Tile Bathrooms Sofas & Beds...

So there is proof it is not just for pets, but people too. There are people with pee accidents in their home. Many people. PEEple.

I’m not sure what would cause such an accident. Perhaps you have white carpet in your home and you recently brought home an Eskimo child who immediately set about to write his name.

If you go on the Urine Gone site they say:

 If you loved the 24 ounce urine gone, you might like… the urine gone refill.

48 FRIGGING OUNCES OF URINE GONE!

Also on the website, in the “Product features” part, there is this great tidbit.

Don’t leave your house smelling like a litter box… Get Urine Gone.

Hmm OK. So what you are saying is, when faced with the choice of cleaning up pee or just leaving it, most people choose to just leave it? Is that the reason for the arrival of this product on the market? Laziness?

The only thing I found more outrageous were the actual customer reviews on the site.

Mind you these are actual reviews.

I have ten cats, and one of the former-ferals sometimes sprays in the house…

I’m not even going to show the rest of that review because it doesn’t get any better. Ya know what helps get rid of the smell of 10 cats? Not having 10 cats.

I have literally bought dozens of urine removers on the market…

Really? If you have bought DOZENS of urine removers, don’t you think it’s time for a lifestyle change? If you cannot get your animals to stop relieving themselves around the house shouldn’t you be thinking of getting a barn or something? I mean jeez at least buy a tarp.

I have 9 cats and 8 dogs in my house and somebody is always doing something somewhere that they shouldn’t!

17 animals? I’m not even, I mean I just… I can’t…

I think my favorite part of the product is how they don’t specifically advertise but more subtly mention that this can be used in the removal of feces as well. I really think it’s only a matter of time before Urine Gone gets a companion product called, “Damn it, Go Away Poop.”

And I bet you won’t need a black light to find that mess.

The Heat!

New York City is a fiesta for your senses. Be it your nose, your ears, or your eyes, there is always something potent to be aware of. It all varies by season, but summer is by far the most intense experience. The heat multiplies everything by a factor of 100, bringing about an attack on your senses so profound it is almost unbearable.

During June, July, and August the heat in New York City starts climbing, threatening people's mental health and changing them for the worse. On some days, the temperature and the humidity rise to heights previously thought impossible. And once subtle smells become unavoidable. It is on these days that the whole island seems to reek of rotting milk and hot pee. And no matter where you are or where you go, you cannot escape that scent.

These heat waves almost always peak on garbage day, when thousands of denizens throughout the city have taken their decomposing filth and trash from inside their home and deposited on the curb for pickup. Heat, Trash, Milk, and Pee, I mean, that's like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse right there. On these most magical of days I am almost hoping for the meteor to hit earth and put us all out of our misery.

The heat is nearly inescapable. Breezes don't exist and shade is a joke. And in effort to draw people into their establishments, many stores will leave their doors wide open using thousands of dollars of electricity to blast their air conditioning onto the street as if to say, "Not only are we cold inside, but we also hate the earth!"

But it works. It doesn't matter if it is a lingerie store or a fruit market, people like myself walk in without paying attention to the sign outside just because the arctic blast is so refreshing it is damn near impossible to think of anything else.

It reminds me of the time I was walking around St. Kilda in Australia. My bag with the good sun block had been stolen, so on this particular morning I had to buy a new one. Unfortunately I couldn't find the one I liked, and the one I purchased was apparently made from corn starch and paste.

Not only did it go on thick, but it completely clogged my pores. So when I began to sweat, and sweat profusely at that, my whole body took a whitish tint. And with not even a stitch of cloth to dry myself off, I very much resembled a lanky German geisha.

I sought refuge. Coolness, where art thou? This is summer in Australia; surely they must have "Air Con" everywhere, right? But there were no such places around. After much searching, this clothing store was the best I could do.


















Under the guise of being a paying customer, I actually took a couple of shirts into the dressing room. But really, once I closed the door I just stripped, sat down, and hoped to cool off for a bit.

I probably was in there too long because after a bit I heard;

Is everything OK in there sir?

Uh... yea. Just um... checking the stitching on this shirt.

I actually did end up buying a shirt with no sleeves which I still own. Which makes sense for me and not just because I have huge biceps. I sweat a lot in all seasons. this probably isn't going to win me any female fans but it is a fact.

And even though I sweat, I still maintain a high standard of hygiene. Through the use of soap and modern deodorant, while I may sweat, I certainly don't stink.

This is not the case for some of the people in my city.

Scantily clad shower haters are all up in your business. Especially when you are on the train. I don't want to touch anybody else's skin to begin with . But your sweaty, smelly skin?

Oh my god gross.

And as a side note, I will never understand that if hot air rises, and cold air sinks, how come when I am 50+ feet underground in the subway, I feel like I am on a conveyor belt going through the oven at Quiznos?

The other day I was on a train that a couple of kids ran for. Lucky for them they made it. Unlucky for me they smelled like fart. A pair of farts. A pair of farts sitting next to me on the train.

Awesome.

Part of me thinks we, as a train car, should be allowed to vote people out of the car if we have a majority. But I think a power like that is kind of dangerous. And also, thinking back, I probably would have been kicked off that day I had to ride the train drenched and topless. (Story for another time.)

I know this is mean, but often when I am on the train and I see somebody running for it, I kind of hope they don't make it. I know it's not nice, but from experience, 9 times out of 10 the person running for the train isn't gorgeous, jolly, or smell like a peach cobbler. No, in my experience the person running for the train contributes one or all of the following.

1. Stink
2. Sweat
3. Frigging Crazy

Just please sit down, relax, cool off, have a mountain dew, and catch the next train.

When I lived in Arizona, the summer would get up to 115 degrees regularly. And I swear to god if you even say something dumb like "But it's a dry heat" I will karate your face right off of your head. Because you know what? Dry or wet, heat is heat. And when people die of exhaustion, nobody ever asks;

Well was it a wet or a dry heat exhaustion?

Dry heat. You want a dry heat? Put your head in your oven for a half hour and see how that feels.

But what made AZ tolerable was the fact that every building had air conditioning blasting at gale force levels. So on a day full of classes, I would walk outside where the temperature was 108 and then walk into a room where the temperature was like ... 8.

And despite how hot it got out there, sometimes I kind of miss Arizona. maybe it's the reliability of the AZ air conditioning. or it could be that even thought it got up to a million degrees out there... it never smelled like pee.

Yea, maybe that's it.

I Quit the Gym

Several years ago I read a fantastic book called "Letters from a Nut." The premise was this gentlemen would send letters to establishments and services of all kinds stating he needed special accommodations for his "14th century sword" or his "giant butter costume."
The letters were hilarious. I decided to channel him while writing the official letter I needed to write to get out of my gym membership. I get tired of the same old communication so I decided to take some... creative license with the truth. The following letter will be mailed tomorrow.
Dear ***** Fitness,
I am writing to cancel my membership to your facility at ************* that expires on June 30, 2009. I believe I am supposed to reference this number ******, I am not sure what it means but I hope you do.
I am also not sure why I am supposed to send this letter to you by certified mail. Why can't I just quit the gym... AT the gym. Are they not competent enough to handle such transactions?
Or better yet why can't I quit over the phone? I can open and close credit cards, check my bank balance, and pay the mortgage on my APARTMENT all over the phone, so how come I can't just tell you I don't want to get fitness at your establishment via telephone? Frankly it seems a bit 19th century.
I must say that while I was happy with the gym when I first started there (those full length windows are great) I believe the quality of the facility has decreased dramatically over the last 6 months. I understand that tough times require cut backs and certain sacrifices must be made, but I felt some of those made at ***** were unwarranted and saddening.
My first complaint is the lack of Zen grass in the bathroom. All of the promotional pictures and advertisements for ***** show a delightful tuft of Zen grass next to the sink. I have been thinking about becoming a practicing 2nd Tier Zen Buddhist for some time now, and I was excited at the opportunity for a moment of Zen before and after my workout.
I never saw said grass. You have towel dispensers and toilet paper that must be constantly refilled. Why not a palate of Zen grass that you can leave and let flourish? I believe this is false advertising.
My second complaint is the removal of the Q-Tips. While I understand that you cannot provide your patrons with all the necessary toiletries, and the medical research on the effectiveness of cotton swabs is divided, I believe the Q-Tip to be the most important toiletry, and I was bemused as to why I wasn’t even given notice of its impending removal.
My third complaint is the “day” lockers. These are supposed to be for use only during your workout, yet there are very few that are ever available. There are dozens of lockers and yet I have been in the gym with a handful of other people and there was nary a free locker in sight. This means that you are not enforcing your own policy. I say shame to you!
I have a better chance of getting swine flu than I do of getting a locker in your gym. This makes me sad. I am in great need of a locker during my workout as I wear several supportive undergarments during my work day which I am really not comfortable discussing here.
My fourth complaint is your towels. As an aspiring practicing 2nd Tier Zen Buddhist I maintain a hygiene of the highest order, the robes I am supposed to wear would never be dirty or soiled. I would dry clean them weekly, and my home is the picture of immaculate cleanliness.
I recently acquired a rather unsightly rash after using one of your towels. I am positive it was due to the towel because the rash appeared immediately following use. Thankfully it was treatable and no permanent damage occurred to my lily white skin. But who is to know what other diseases have manifested themselves on your towels?
My fifth complaint is about the dress code. While you maintain a code of apparel for what people may wear while they work out, it seems some of your trainers decide to ignore this dress code. While I understand dungarees provide a comfortable style of panting, they have no place in a place of fitness.
And also this same trainer consistently changes the workout music to a station that nobody likes. I've even heard people in the gym say, "Hey, this is a station nobody likes!"
My sixth point is actually not a complaint. Your desk attendant George is a citizen of the highest moral fortitude. He is both kind and friendly, never anything but professional and I appreciate his contribution to the ***** brand. When I think ****, I think George.
For all my misgivings, my time at ***** has been worth it. I have been able to lose weight, gain muscle, and when I finally start wearing my robes, I know they will fit in a way that is appropriate and calming. I actually will probably need a smaller rope belt!
I do hope that you will make the necessary changes to provide the kind of excellent customer satisfaction that your promotional materials say you strive for. I hope one day to return to your gym and be pleasantly surprised (as well as possibly a 3rd tier Zen Buddhist).
Sincerely,
Richard Boehmcke

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…

Spoon Man

How much is too much? Is there such a thing as adequately prepared? Do we really need to be ready to handle all situations that may arise, or is that a completely unfathomable existence? I thought about all of these existential questions as I stood in my kitchen in my underwear looking in my utensil drawer.


I have too many spoons in my apartment, way too many. I actually don’t even know how many I have. It wasn’t my idea to have all of these spoons. I inherited all of my parent’s dishware and cutlery when they sold the house. I am grateful for this because I had no desire to spend any money on kitchen supplies. If it were up to me I’d probably be using plastic ware I stole from a McDonald’s.

However I come from a family of 4 people that entertained large groups quite regularly. We often needed spoons (and forks and knives) in great numbers. We owned a dishwasher and a set of formal silver. We had a dining room that held over a dozen people on more than one occasion. We used our flatware quite frequently.

But I live alone. I have no dishwasher. I barely have a kitchen. I most certainly don’t have a dining room table, and I actually don’t even have a kitchen table. And on top of that all I have like… four friends. My life is simple and quiet. There is no need for me to have an entire drawer full of spoons.

I can’t even hold onto them for an emergency. What emergency could possibly require a drawer full of spoons? Some sort of horrible oatmeal disaster that strikes my apartment? I don’t know any of my neighbors, so it’s unlikely any of them would come banging on my door in a time of need;

“I’m having a gazpacho party and I’m completely unprepared! Can I borrow 38 spoons?”

Not so much.

Aristotle once said, “Show me his spoons, and the man I shall know.” Okay actually I just made that up. If owning spoons was an indicator of some sort of social standing I should be beating the women off with a stick (or a serving spoon as it were). But this is not the case. My spoons contribute nothing to my social standing.

Seeing as my kitchen is smaller than most elevators, I really don’t know how I could find use for more than one cutting board, but alas, I have three. I don’t have that much to cut. And I may be revealing too much yet again, but sometimes if I make myself a piece of chicken for dinner, I don’t feel the need to slice it up on the cutting board. I just put it on the fork and take bites out of it like a chicken lollipop. Mmm chicken lollipop.

My parents also bestowed upon me 10 cereal bowls. Now I like cereal, I might even eat it every single day. But 10 bowls? I don’t even have a dishwasher. So I can only use so many cereal bowls without hand washing them before they start getting stacked up in my sink like the Leaning Tower of Gross.

And don’t even get me started on pots and pans. Pending I start getting really interested in pan art, or join the cast of STOMP I don’t think I’m going to use most of them. I have been in this apartment almost four months and I have used two different pans. I tried to use a third this past weekend and burnt four DIFFERENT pieces of chicken. I’m a two-pan man. That’s just the type of guy I am.

Come to think of it, and this isn’t even an exaggeration, I just counted and I have nearly 70 glasses in my apartment. That one I can’t even blame on my parents. That was my own doing. After bartending for over three years, I have acquired quite a diverse array of glassware, most of which I will never use.

If this writing thing doesn’t work out, I could always be one of those guys in Central Park who plays songs on glasses half-filled with water. Making glasses “sing” is what I believe the technical term is. But the market for glassware music these days is extremely competitive. And I’m just not that committed to it.

But what super cedes all of these eating implements as the most ridiculous thing, is that I am afraid to get rid of any of them. A fork saved is a fork earned? Maybe. But I think I hate the idea of throwing out something perfectly useful. I hate being wasteful, and as I am so spoiled as to have way too many eating tools, perhaps I should just be grateful. Ask not what your knife drawer can do for you; ask what you can do for your knife drawer.

If I tried to take 20 glasses to Goodwill, I’d probably smash them all before I got there. I just don’t care enough to put them on craigslist. I’ll most likely just develop the habit of being very careless so I get to use all of my glasses. And if I go to a Jewish wedding you can bet your ass I’m going to be prepared.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some spoons to wash.