Friday, June 3, 2011
Earwig ALERT! Am I the only living person who remembers that horrifically terrifying episode of “Night Gallery”? Well, brace yourselves, because now I’M LIVING IT!
I've said from the outset that living in my house is like living in a Hitchcock movie, from the possums and rats that were in the attic when I moved in, to the Subaru-sized palmetto bugs that periodically light on me, to intractable termites eating my sole asset, to you name the fauna and I’ll guaran-damn-tee you it's in my house SOMEWHERE! My house is wood-frame, in Florida and built in 1946. Really, need more be said? Answer Key: YESSS! WAY MORE! Because last night took the horror show cake!
Some background: mosquitoes have been dogging me in my bedroom at night for years, and my theory is that this is from my incorrectly installed, useless gutters that were put up in 2002-ish, which do nothing but serve as a mosquito breeding ground, and which may actually be getting removed as we speak (yay, WINNING!). So, I’m used to the occasional sleepless night due to mosquitoes trying to eat me alive. But, a few weeks or so ago, I kept feeling something on my arms. And my hair. And my neck. And my FACE. Now, you know how, when you are half asleep, you aren’t thinking straight? I mean, it wasn’t like if I were wide awake and felt something on my arms, and immediately snapped to and CHECKED IT OUT in an alert fashion. No, my comatose thought process was more like: "*WHACK!* ...eeeeeew, I just smushed something…that was one BIG, lethargic mosquito …eeeeeew …I can’t wait until the gutters are down! Oh, well, just another night in Florida. Goodnight, Gracie.”
Then it happened again another night and I realized, wait a hair, PT, those aren’t mosquitoes! What the heck ARE they? Then again, I’m too exhausted to care: back to trying to sleep. I should pause here to let you know, as I can tell that you are sitting there thinking “WHAT, something is crawling all over her and she doesn’t get up, turn on the light, and try to figure out what it is?”, that when you live in Florida, you become the opposite of hysterical about bugs, lizards, possums, rats, snakes, etc. Frankly, after all these years of living in Florida, a grizzly could show up in my bedroom and I’d probably be like, “Duuuude, whatEVER: just don’t shred me and try to keep it down, okay, I have to be at work at 7:30 a.m.” So no, I didn’t really get up and investigate then, either, I just kept swatting and killing and ruining my karma until eventually I either fell asleep or it was time to go to work, whichever came first.
Well, last night, I kept feeling these mysterious critters all over my arms and neck and SUDDENLY I felt—as U2 would say—wide awake in America, I got REALLY freaked out to beat the band, GOT UP, TURNED THE LIGHT ON, and decided to launch a full-scale investigation. 2:45 a.m., mind you. Well! Turns out, I THINK, that what the creatures are—brace yourselves—are SILVERFISH! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew/oooooooooooooh, the HORROR, the HORROR! Silverfish! Only they aren’t silver, they are dark brown or black. And they don’t have wings except the occasional one seems to. And, folks, I’ve got an INFESTATION on my hands! They were EVERYWHERE! The bed, the curtain, the wall. Me, who can’t tolerate any sort of pesticide, chemical, etc., has to somehow combat The Attack of The Killer Silverfish? So I’m going to have to go the boric acid powder route, but I think this may be beyond boric acid. I think we may finally be talking about waving the white flag on my house, here. As in: SELL, MOVE, NOT NECESSARILY IN THAT ORDER! And not only that, but I may have to throw away all my books that I have collected and cherished over a lifetime, and my most cherished material thing, my LP record albums. Silverfish live on and IN books, cardboard album covers, plaster walls, DUST, I mean, I’ve got it all, baby: my house is a veritable silverfish paradise!
And here comes the freakiest, most HORRIFYING part: I Googled silverfish and learned that they can GET INTO YOUR EARS AND LAY EGGS THERE. Now, I’ve been going through some stuff with my ears lately, namely: vertigo (fixed, thanks to the most awesome medical care I ever experienced) and a rare thing called pulsatile tinnitus, which we don’t know what the cause is and we are monitoring. I’m so grateful to have the vertigo taken care of and to actually have a good ENT who is conservatively monitoring the pulsatile tinnitus sitch, so the LAST thing I want is for some silverfish to go and take up residence in my ear, lay an egg or several thousand, and plummet me further into a “Night Gallery” episode! I was hoping, when I read that they can do that, that it was just some sort of urban myth, but I can’t find anything on the net saying to disregard all the things on the net that say this is a real, truly live THING.
So, folks, I think there is nothing else for it but to throw out everything I own and go into a new house—and, by “new” house, I don’t just mean new to me, I mean NEW, as in, no wood, no plaster, no paper, no drywall, no NOTHING that can be ruined by Florida. I mean a concrete and steel dome home that can withstand a Cat 5 hurricane, THAT’s what I mean by new, peeps! And I won’t have anything to move in there except me, my cats, and my dog. I am going to jettison the few material possessions I have that mean something to me: my vinyl record albums, my books, and the WOOD furniture I inherited from my Grandma. And I’m going to jettison everything that means nothing to me yet harbors silverfish, such as all my CLOTHES. As for photo albums, of course I cherish those, but I'll have to find some way to load them all onto Picasa even though I have no access to Picasa, thanks to a boring series of facts about my internet access at the present juncture. ...MAYBE I can keep a FEW cherished albums (photo and record), books, and clothes, IF I inspect them thoroughly. Are silverfish eggs microscopic or seeable via the human eye? I NEED TO KNOW! Thank God for Google! I'll find out, but meanwhile, worst case scenario: I and my dear pets are going to show up to our new Cat 5-worthy concrete dome wearing nothing that nature didn’t give us, namely: BUCK NAKED, no possessions. And I’m putting a sign up saying that this is a termite-free, silverfish-free, rot-proof, hurricane-proof zone, so check yourself at the door, Florida! Ha ha! WINNING!
(Yes, you are correct, dear astute reader: Peppermint Twist has finally lost it. Advantage, Florida. Game, set and match.)