The Jungle and I have this little game that we’ve developed. The rules are fairly simple: I in some way insinuate to my wife that I think I’ve finally bug-proofed our house, and then The Jungle responds by unleashing one of its horribly terrifying creatures into our home. It’s sort of like non-verbal, playful banter, except that I absolutely HATE IT.
Our most recent exchange was two nights ago. Rochelle and I had recently concluded that we could stop using our mosquito net at night. We hadn’t had any issues with creepy-crawlies for the last several weeks, since I bathed our house posts and downstairs office (and every other exterior surface I could reach) with several gallons of industrial grade insecticide, so it had started to feel like an unnecessary precaution. Apparently, The Jungle heard that we were getting cocky.
After taking my nightly shower, I walked into our bedroom to put on my PJs. Wearing nothing but a Lilo and Stitch bath towel*, I turned on the light and was reaching for a pair of shorts, when I felt a unique sensation along my lower calf. It’s a hard feeling to describe to someone who has never experienced it for themselves, but I’ll try: it felt something like 50 sharp, pointy legs were scurrying up past my ankle. Actually, it felt EXACTLY like that.
In the nanoseconds that followed, I made several quick deductions:
- The legs had a surprising grip, leading me to speculate that the creature was strong.
- I was simultaneously feeling its legs both on my ankle and part way up my calf, which gave a shocking indication as to its size.
- It was moving quickly, and it was moving UP, which meant that this whole thing was about to go from BAD to WORSE.
- It is impossible to be brave when wearing a Disney-themed bath towel.
Having pondered my situation for the lesser part of 3/10 of a second, I responded accordingly by leaping into the air, kicking my feet and screaming like a little girl.** When I landed back on the floor, I frantically began looking around for whatever I had just flung off of me. I was getting concerned that I couldn’t find it when it STARTED CRAWLING UP MY LEG AGAIN!
After kicking it off a second time, I was finally able to lay eyes on it. A 6-inch long, poisonous centipede*** was scurrying across my bedroom floor! (For those readers who use the metric system, this measurement is equivalent to around 2 meters.) How IN THE WORLD these demon spawn keep coming into my house, I have no idea, but I am thoroughly sick of their party-crashing habits!
Thankfully, I have several cans of neurotoxic, aerosol insecticide stationed throughout the house for just such an emergency, so disaster was averted (though the emotional scarring appears to be permanent). In a great show of masculine prowess, I sprayed the intruder liberally with Mortein, covered his thrashing, grotesque body with a Tupperware and put a book on it.
At first, I was tempted to think of this as a victory over The Jungle, but later on that night on my way to the bathroom, I stepped on a rubber band in the dark and just about killed myself performing evasive maneuvers, so now I’m thinking that I’ll call it a draw.
And, yes, we will be using our mosquito net for the foreseeable future.
*The yellow towel that is shaped like a duck was dirty, so my options were limited.
**Chuck Norris would have done the same thing in this situation.
***Not deadly poisonous, but super-duper-painful poisonous. I’ve been promised by every single person that I’ve met who has been stung by one that it will be horribly painful for a day and a half, without reprieve. Some village ladies have said that it’s worse than childbirth. Our mission Dr. has said that the only medication that might help is morphine. 😛