Tuesday, October 6, 2009

And then there's this:

The name of this photo file on my computer is "pure terror".

This my friend, is a mustache bug. In NYC, people call it a silver fish but I beg to differ. The words "silver" and "fish" evoke a sleek, futuristic image or at least hearken to mind an aquatic creature, which last time I checked cannot crawl across my ceiling in the middle of the night. I will get back to this dead beat in a moment.

In the past week, I've had a few too many unpleasant run-ins with insects.

I am currently being terrorized by cockroaches. It is just the sad truth about NYC. It doesn't matter how clean a joint you work in with amazingly high quality standards and zero health code violations-- cockroaches can happen to anyone.

I had to stay behind after work one night and help seal up dry-goods, silverware and the like for the next day's bug bomb that was hopefully going to take care of the mounting roach problem.

For the most part, customers have been spared. The roaches like to hang with the waitstaff in our dark stations near the garbage and slop buckets. Up until last week, the "rachas" did not dare disturb diners enjoying a well-earned $26 loin of lamb, when some little upstart, decided to hitch a ride into the dining room inside of one of our impeccably folded linen napkins. I will credit the unlucky customer for not shrieking like he had a vagina when he saw that loser on his lap, but still, no one feels too confident about the meal they're going to consume after an incident like that.

Later that week, some lingering mosquitoes also decided to set up camp at my restaurant and bit the christ out of me. I was in the midst of my usual panic as we were way beyond capacity and the restaurant was in full tilt when I looked down to see 4 consecutive, largely swollen and irritated bites now lining my right and left arm. I always think something is going to cause me to go into anaphylactic shock or cause my throat to swell up and cut off oxygen, and so naturally i started to get light headed and freak out.

In addition to the work bites, I have a small family of mosquitoes living under my bed who I cannot smoke out during the day. I always hunt for them before bed time, give up after 10 minutes and then wake up with more bites covering my left calf, ankle and foot--- the leg closest to the wall.

I have so many scabs from bug bites that I look kind of ill--- or like I'm addicted to junk. It's not a great look either way.

Only 3 nights ago, I had a weird feeling in my gut--like I was about to be violated by a stranger who had been camping out in my apartment for a day waiting for the perfect moment to strike. I got up from my desk and walked into the kitchen sensing a "presence". I didn't even need to turn on the light to see the outline of what can only be described as the biggest cockroach I have ever seen just chillin' on the outside of my cupboard. I of course flipped on the light to confirm my worst fear and there it was--- a "racha" the size of a mouse.

We don't have cockroaches in my apartment. I've been here for well over a year and we have not had a single problem. Even with my massive pile of recyclables that I collect each week, still no rodents or the like. I was in pure disbelief. Did this miscreant smuggle himself home with me from work a few months ago all the while living under cover, strength training and carb-loading off of my poorly rinsed dishes to balloon up to the size of a toddler's fist? HOW DID THIS HAPPEN.

I indeed screamed like a vagina, waking my drunken roommate from a white wine coma and scaring the daylights out of my boyfriend who I forced to kill the thing with an empty paper towel tube and ripped out pages from my stack of New Yorkers I never read.

Finally, they were being put to good use.

Even after being squashed, smashed, impaled and pounded for a full 30 seconds, the thing was still lucid and fighting to escape as we escorted it to the bathroom and deposited it into a swirling, watery grave. It's more than likely living in the sewer system now and harboring a grudge like those dreaded albino alligators, but whatever. Get it the fuck away from my sundries.

As trying as all of this has been, it brings me back to the silver fish aka "mustache bug". These things are a code red for me on the terror list and I am about due for another visit. I feel like Buffy the Vampire Slayer when it comes to destroying these losers. I have a highly developed sense for them. I have awoke from deep sleep with a premonition that one of these monsters is cavorting across my ceiling. This has happened three times now. I sit up in my bed, flip on the lights, and sure enough, one of these total zeros is out on the town, tearin' it up and wildin' out on the middle of my bedroom ceiling. Their very presence is disturbing as is, but after observing and familiarizing myself with their scummy habits, I watched in horror as these asshole bugs just stop what they're doing, decide they'd rather be on the floor and just....let go of the ceiling.

PRESTO! The mustache bug turns upright in the air, mcuh like a cat, tucks and rolls, and is back on track with his agenda for air diving in to land in your sleeping mouth.

I lost it when I saw that and played a psychotic game of cat and mouse with one of these freaks until about 4 am. It took me hours to catch it on the move before I could smash it to a segment-y pulp.

The next time, I knew better and acted fast while one was still on the ceiling. I was not quite able to reach it even standing on my desk, so instead I fumbled around on my dresser to grab a can of extra firm, aerosol hairspray and plastered that piece of shit with Aqua Net. I felt powerful and screamed a little bit as the mustache bug violently struggled but then only tangled his sticky, now cemented legs together to be frozen for all time on my ceiling. I was shaking from adrenaline and didn't clean it off my ceiling, but instead left it there to serve as a warning to other creepy crawlies that they were messing with a pro.

I've had enough. I am ready for the ground to freeze and for these insects to all die. It would be nice if mother nature would help me out here, because I can't take much more and if anyone out there from the Lepisma Saccharina genus is reading this blog, I'd suggest you take your business elsewhere unless you'd like me to make an example out of you.


Anonymous said...

The mustache bugs are commonly mistaken to be Silverfish. They're actually called house centipedes and despite their freakiness, they are kind of 'good' bugs to have. They aren't poisonous, it's highly unlikely that they'll bite you, they're easy to kill if they really get into your business, and they actually feed off the larva of cockroaches (which are the worst bug in my opinion). Originally they scared the shit out of me. Now I just let them go on with their day, hunting cockroach babies.

It's a pick your battle sort of thing...


whitney said...

yeah, i was just going to comment the same thing as jason. house centipedes (aka bette davis eyelashes) rarely, if ever, bite and do clean up some of the other riff raff in the apartment. they do admittedly look like toupees being dragged across the wall by invisible string, which is always pretty disturbing.

K-Rock said...

brooke, i am also dealing w/ a pseudo-invasion of cockyroaches; i mostly just see one or two a week, of the "teenager" size, but when they spray my building once a month, inevitably one GIANT KING will crawl out of god-knows-where to have a very public death in the middle of my bathroom or walk-in closet (same side of the apt). luckily, their death march occurs during the day, and i'm usually at least half-drunk when i get home in the evening to discover them. and, so far it's only happened after the Monthly Sprayings. i don't know what i would do if i saw one just chillin', livin' life large (literally!) in my apt on some random other day...

now, onto the more important thing i wanted to discuss: the nighttime mosquitos? i don't mean to totally freak you out, but it's quite possible that it is actually bedbugs you are dealing w/. i had them seven years ago, and i know what that nighttime feeding is like. i also think that last time i visited a friend in MI a few weeks ago, i got attacked by them. i feared i had brought a few critter-roommates home w/ me from that trip, and i'm still doing investigative research on the matter.

if it IS bedbugs, it's going to be a bit of a struggle to free yourself from the wretched bloodsuckers. i really do hope it's just mosquitos, but.....

for reference: http://www.medicinenet.com/bed_bugs/article.htm

the comments from readers are helpful, too.

also, i never read my New Yorkers, either.

Michele C. said...

when i moved to new york, i was mentally prepared for roaches, so when this dandy mustache bug was the first invader of my Williamsburg apartment... i peed myself. those hummers are fast and matrix-like.

Anonymous said...

the moustache bugs (i called them dragon bugs til i found out they were centipedes) also eat mosquitoes, and can't bite you.

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