Miscellaneous

Fear And Loathing In My Apartment: The House Centipede

Everyone needs a nemesis. It can be that guy at the office who borrows your pen who then proceeds to chew it up (thanks, you can keep it), or that girl on the bus whose morning perfume is set to ‘Stun’. I think having a good nemesis helps keep the balance between good and evil, love and hate.

My nemesis is a freaking House Centipede and words can barely describe the pure revulsion I feel whenever I see one.

Our rivalry began when I was about 18 or so. Playing pool in a smoky billiard hall on a muggy July night, I had launched the cue ball off the table during one of my famous breaks (I still suck at pool by the way), and went to retrieve the ball from the corner it had rolled into. When I picked up the ball, I revealed the most hideous creature I had ever seen. Long, translucent, and full of legs and antennae. It was only years later that I identified this monster as a House Centipede. Click the link if you wish since I have no intention of posting an actual pic of one of these monstrous things.

Atari CentipedeEver since that fateful night, I see one (1) of these creatures every summer. Only one! Which had led me to believe that it’s the same one, following me, like some guardian angel, or curse. I’ve seen it in my apartments, but only once per summer, and never more than one at any given time. Usually I have time to reach for the broom, or a bottle of Febreze which I’ve used several times to spray my enemy into a foamy (and fragrant!) infinity. Overkill is recommended. I approve of their disintegration.

No matter how often I see one, it’s just like the first time. Their appearance is not something I can get used to, which is pure hideous evil.

This past July, I spotted one on my kitchen floor and smote it before it had time to run. Two-handed, I repeatedly rammed the broom into the floor. Ole Scutigera Coleoptrata never stood a chance and was pulverized to the point that after the battle, only a few legs remained. I kind of lose my mind when I see these things.

Two days later, I caught one out of the corner of my eye. It scurried under the couch, never to be found. Two in one summer. Indeed the situation had changed. Either they go or I go, I thought.

So I moved.

My new house now has modern windows which seal tightly when closed. Ahh…safe at last.

Late the other night, one of my windows became snagged as I tried to close it. I went out to the patio to inspect it and, as I turned on the outside light, a full grown house centipede slithered out from the window sill with a disgusting flurry of legs that quickly disappeared into the darkness of the night. I jumped back briefly but I stood my ground. As long as it remains an ‘Outside My House Centipede’, I think we can co-exist.

M.

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