Monday, January 28, 2008

What rhymes with annoy?

Last night, Roy and I were settling down to watch Pride and Prejudice when I recalled the other bug from my past, one I did not name and incorporate into my household.

I will name him now. His name shall be Troy.

I will tell the story of Troy to illustrate one of the many excellent reasons I am watching five hour "movies" with a common household fruit fly and a cat, in my pajamas, with my hair piled on top of my head and very expensive beauty products piled up on my face.

The reason is that I am annoying. (Secondary reason: debilitating hatred of bugs). (Tertiary reason: petulant sense of feminine entitlement). (To be live unmolested by bugs). (The end).

A bit of pre-amble. Please be patient. Here is where I live:

The building is run by a squad of doormen, porters, maintenance workers and assorted real estate swindlers. These people are maniacs about making sure the building is well-run, organized, and above all, clean. Many times I have to share an elevator with a guy who is rubbing each individual crystal of the chandelier with a hanky. Once a day, I listen and observe that someone is running a vacuum cleaner right up to my door. Obviously, pests such as mice and roaches are not tolerated. In any event, I have had limited exposure to them in my five years here.

I am getting to the part where I explain more fully why I am watching Colin Firth amble across a meadow* in a wet shirt. (For the fiftieth time). Please be patient. Oh! And look at this:

So many years ago, I was bent over my needlework with my hair piled on top of my head. (I may have been wearing $10 worth of moisturizer). I glanced up from my embroidery and saw the creature scurry into my apartment from under the door. It was Troy, urban cock-roach.

(Please forgive me for not making you a proper drawing of Troy. To even picture him makes me shudder).

So in walked Troy. I screamed. I climbed onto the kitchen table, weeping and shuddering, gnashing my teeth. Troy, realizing there were no Ritz crackers and EZ cheese laid out for him on a doily, perceived his error. But instead of exiting the way he entered, he scrambled across the room (that would be my entire apartment) and set himself up under the heater in my bathroom.

If you think I was upset about Troy perching on my welcome mat, you can't imagine the inconsolable mania that resulted from his new location. My hands were shaking so badly that I couldn't dial my cell phone.

Who was I trying to call, you ask?

Why, FB, of course. He was wrangling a stent into Some Old Guy's hardened artery down at the hospital, but no matter.

FB arrived ten minutes later, but by then the problem was much, much worse. While I was on the phone, Troy had vanished. I shrieked and chewed my hands while FB tore the bathroom apart, looking for Troy. No luck.

So FB spent the night at my place, protecting me and Cat-head from Troy. I slept on one side of the bed and he sat up on the other, reading medical journals with one eye trained on the heater.

As you may have surmised, Troy did not reappear. The next day, FB and I had to go back to work and defer bug hunting for another day.

Two weeks went by without word from Troy. I had almost forgotten about the incident.

And then one day, while I was rinsing the shampoo from my inexcusably long hair, I glanced up to find two long, wiggling antennae reaching over the top of the shower curtain.

Oh, ok. I'll make you a drawing.

FB was working third shift in a hospital thirty miles away. Nevertheless, he arrived thirty minutes later to find me naked, wrapped in a quilt, with shampoo in my hair, in the fetal position, sobbing on the kitchen table. Have I mentioned how much I hate bugs? (I do like Roy a little bit).

FB, according to my instructions, disengaged the shower curtain and threw Troy away with it. He then took the trash all the way out to the sidewalk. He returned with a cookie and a bottle of my favorite mineral water. Then we had a "talk" about being a little more grown up about bugs.

Thirty minutes is an inexcusable duration to make Nina wait for rescue. I was most seriously displeased.

If you are marveling at the patience of FB, let me point out the original purpose of this missive. It was to illustrate one of the 345,232 reasons I am still single. (It's because I am annoying). The end.

*Not all women are vulnerable to The Colin Firth in a Wet Shirt pathology, which is attraction to men who are well spoken and refined and who do not define having good manners as being fussy and afraid of a little dirt. What every woman needs to know about Darcy, she learns when he arrives home on horseback, dismounts, takes off his hat and boots and jumps into the lake in front of his house. He is a Man, you see. Stupid Regency Period breeches notwithstanding.

** If you think this unreasonable, well, it was. But in my defense, FB found this behavior acceptable. While intolerant of certain other features of being In A Relationship, (like me speaking more than three sentences consecutively), FB had a very useful "savior" complex. Nothing motivated and pleased him more than being needed. He actually liked going to extraordinary inconvenience and trouble to "rescue" me from whatever situation I could present as beyond my strength. So you see, I was doing him a favor by acting like a spoiled child. (He liked it when I was helpless and he could step in and be competent and powerful). (We all have our issues).


Woodrow said...

Do you want to know what I would have done if you had been my girlfriend and you had called me at work expecting me to drop everything and travel thirty miles to kill a cockroach?

I probably would've said something like, "Don't worry, mice love to kill roaches and I saw one in your kitchen the other day so I'm sure it will resolve this issue before the roach does any harm."

Maybe that's why I'm divorced.

Effortlessly Average said...

Oooo, you gotta lurve a woman who uses the word tertiary!

"...arrived thirty minutes later to find me naked, wrapped in a quilt, with shampoo in my hair, in the fetal position, sobbing on the kitchen table."

Boy, if I had a nickel for every time I've come across a woman in that state...

Em said...

Haha. . .Woodrow - that sounds like something my husband would say. . .as would my father. That might be why in situations like that I'd have no choice but to make friends with the bug or kill it.

My sister on the other hand married someone who is just as afraid of bugs as her so he doesn't mind it if she freaks out but he'd be right up there on the kitchen table with her.

Anonymous said...

I want your life just a little. Not really the bugs or the boys...well, maybe a boy would be okay.

Basically I guess I just want an apartment in New York.


Lisa b said...

Nina this is truly a spectacular story.
especially the drawing.

LizB said...

How come in the drawing, you're all happy and pleasant while Troy waves gaily over the shower curtain? Perhaps you should draw the wet, naked, wrapped in a quilt, sucking your thumb in a fetal position on the table version. (OK, I added the thumb sucking part.) You're pretty hilarious, Nina. :)

Before I laugh at you too much, let me hasten to add that your fear of bugs is unparalleled by my fear of snakes. Had there been a snake in my house, I'd move out and never look back. Or die of heart failure.

Marlee said...

I so LIVE for your drawings!!! :-)

Kate P said...

This story hit close to home--Troy's suburban cousins kept dropping by all weekend. Don't fight your hatred of bugs, Nina; in fact, please allow me to join you!

Anonymous said...

When my daughter was a baby my ex and I were spectacularly poor and living in a place where the Troys of the world roamed free and wide. Crunchy granola tree-hugger that I am, I came to know and love the can of instant bug death. Still I almost have a heart attack at the memory of getting up in the middle of the night to pee without turning on any lights, and hearing my heel crunch down sickenly on a formerly squirming something. What I wouldn't have given for an FB back then...

Anonymous said...

Are you my long-lost sister? You love Darcy (sexiest character EVER!) and you're terrified of roaches... We MUST be related.

I once woke Geek from a dead sleep when a roach crawled into the shower with me. I simply stood there and screamed. It matters not that I am 20 times bigger than roaches; that's why they call them phobias.

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