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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Midnight Adventures

It was nearly midnight. I was tired and shutting down the computer for the night. While I waited for it to finish, I started putting stuff away. And then I walked to the bathroom, flipped on the light, and saw it.

Big, brownish-maroon, and crawling around behind the toilet. Palmetto bug.

I panicked. I flipped off the light and shut the bathroom door. Then I glanced down and realized the gap between the door and floor was big enough for him to sneak out. A new surge of panic ricocheted through my body. I can't leave him in there and deal with it in the morning. I have to deal with it now or he might be ON THE BED WITH ME WHILE I'M SLEEPING!

I needed a plan. From earlier encounters, I knew that spraying them with the Clorox Cleanup bleach stuff didn't stop them. That darn hard shell on their bodies. I needed the vacuum cleaner.

The first thing I did was put shoes on--shoes with toes, not sandals. Then I plugged in the vacuum cleaner and positioned it so it would roll smoothly into the bathroom. I didn't want it to get hooked on something while I'm trying to battle the biggest damn bug I've ever had inside. Just to be extra prepared, I grabbed the spray bottle with rubbing alcohol that I use to kill bugs. As ready as I was ever going to be, I opened the door and flipped on the light.

He was gone.

There was no relief. He was somewhere, and if I didn't find him tonight, I'd have to deal with him later. That's bad enough, but if you noticed the use of cap lock a few paragraphs earlier, you know my biggest fear. I have to find him; there is no sleeping until I do.

Luckily--or unluckily, depending on how you want to look at it--he was too big to have many hiding places. My best guess was he was in the linen closet. Behind the open bathroom door. This required more positioning of the vacuum cleaner and put me into a position with no escape. Still, there was no choice.

I whipped open the linen closet door. There he was. He charged toward me, bent on attack. I screamed (good thing I have no upstairs neighbor right now) and fired with the rubbing alcohol. He retreated.

Now I go in with the vacuum cleaner. You know how close I had to get in order to suck him up. I get him and then I worried about him crawling out of the hose. I continue to vacuum half the house, but at last I have to chance turning it off.

Shaking, covered with sweat, I sit down. Any chance of sleeping is gone. I finally, nervously, climb into bed after 2am. I spent the day on Sunday flinching any time I thought I detected motion. I also made a thorough and careful check of the bathroom every time I had to go in there.