The Land of Lost Brain Cells

April 9, 2008 at 12:22 pm (Cussed Dumbers, The Easy Chair)

Dead ant. Dead ant.

Dead ant, dead ant, dead ant.

<Sniff.> Smell that? I love the smell of pesticide in the morning.


I try to appreciate all living things, but when it comes to insects and pests I have a few rules. Foremost, stay where you belong, outside! We have four very large, very predatory cats, so rodents have kept their distance. (I’d love to see the dog react to a mouse, but the cats have secured our perimeters in that respect.) We left cockroaches behind at least three residences ago, (knock on wood) but I still panic when I see something crawling. Because when you see one…

Spiders? Love ’em! They hang out high in the corners, tend to eat what they kill and make little noise. (Although on Halloween I swear I can hear them partying.) Again, I have rules. If you are in my bed, you die. There seems to be little middle ground with spiders. If I catch you wandering around aimlessly, I will get a glass, capture you, and put you into the arachnid relocation program. Which either scores me points with the girls as sensitive (“Aww…”) or running to hide in the bathroom. (“EEK! Kill it! Kill it!”) Just don’t look in the corner of the shower. My little buddy has been living there for several months, and has caught twice his weight in fruit flies.

Which leads us to the mighty ant, which can lift eighty times its body weight. Socialist creatures, always working. It’s hard to build up animosity towards ants, right?

Not when they invade my sleeping space!

Yesterday morning, fresh out of bed, I reached for the phone and noticed a bunch of the little bastards roaming around on my nightstand. Grr… I am quite persistent about cleaning up any food, crumbs, etc… because I’ve been invaded by ants before. They didn’t seem to be coming out of the phone like last time. Gulp! Not my breathing machine! I moved it, phew. But its power source? I lifted it, and it looked like the mosh pit at a Rage Against the Machine concert.

They weren’t there when I went to bed, so this was a fresh birthing. I grabbed the economy-sized can of Raid (Kills Bugs Dead!) and hit the whole area. Motion ceased almost immediately. I sprayed the cracks, window sills, repeated outside, even sprayed the hole where the TV cable comes through the wall. After a thoroughly sickening mop-down, I was bug-free once again.

But I still had two hours before leaving for work, so I had to sit and marinate in the chemical aroma. I opened windows and fired up the turbo fan, but I still felt a bit weird when I got on the bus.

I’d put it out of my mind by the time I got to work, but when I walked in I was hit with the smell again. Kinda like airplane glue. WTF?

Grinder was standing by the register. “Did they bug spray today?” I asked.

“No, they are painting the restaurant next door. The smell is seeping through the wall.”


After about twenty minutes, I had a headache. It was hard to concentrate. I’d make mistakes counting money. One fellow, trying to fill out a Powerball playslip, had to go outside and sit on the sidewalk. I wandered out behind him, getting some much-needed fresh air. When I went back inside, I swear I could see the fumes hanging in the air.

Time for action! I called the other store, where my buddy Art East was working. It was almost rush hour, and I figured he’d appreciate an excuse to be paid to take a walk. I explained the situation, and he said he’d see what he could do.

A few minutes later, he rolled in with Boss Whitney. “Oh, Jeezus Christ!” he said, but not in the funny Mr Slave-voice he often uses. They had a large metal fan, and with the help of some empty wine crates and extension cords, we started pumping outdoor traffic smog inside, freshening up the store.

I got lots of funny looks. “Warm enough for ya?” (Since it was about 50 degrees outside, and we always have the A/C on, the fan seemed like overkill.) I suggested they go to the back of the store, where it still smelled like a model-car building contest.

I kept the fans on until after 10 PM, when there wasn’t a trace of the scent left, and it was too damn cold, even for me.

The headache is almost gone. I was told that yesterday was to be the only stinky day. I kept the fan, just in case.

Back home, I’ve seen one ant today. He met the unmerciful wrath of my thumb. I hope to get out the door before I see a bunch, because if I have to, I will bust out the big red can. But please, don’t make me bust out the big red can, or smell paint fumes. I like losing my brain cells the old-fashioned way: Puff, puff, pass. “Hey bartender!”

Hmm…Maybe that would kill the headache. It would certainly euthanize any cells still clinging to life.

Nah, I’d better keep what I’ve got left…


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