The 30+ Blattodea

7 04 2007

As most of my readers know, it’s the Lenten season nowadays and that means pretty much everyone is on vacation. Most of my fellow teachers (not to mention the students) are home with their loved ones in their respective provinces, enjoying the 7-day break by waking-up late and watching endless reruns of The Gilmore Girls and 7th Heaven – or maybe that’s just me.

That’s probably just me because I am stuck in the boarding house…alone – my family is way too-far away (the other end of the country, to be exact), and a recent salary delay not only drained the proverbial barrel…it totally demolished it.

So what does this have to do with the title of this post? Well, I’m about to get to that. Last week, my landlady handed the keys to the house to our new landlady and left for what I presume to be greener pastures – taking with her everything but the kitchen sink. Literally; No refridgerator, no gas range (no gas tank too), no dining table, no sofa, no bookcases, no shelves…not even a dustpan!

But that would have been manageable, if only it hadn’t been Lent! Consequentially, I was practically left to hold the house together on my own. Trust me – it’s one thing to have to sweep the floor; it’s another thing to sweep it without the necessary equipment…most of which you have to shell-out for out of your own pocket.

…and that’s just the floor. Try cleaning the sink and the bathroom.

…which is what I attempted to do last Tuesday night. I dash-off to the store at 8PM to buy, among other things, disinfectant, insecticide, and air freshener (I believe I bought toothpaste and a plastic bowl to eat out of as well). I get back home and decide to hit the bathroom with disinfectant…but not before zapping the cupboards beneath the kitchen sink with insecticide.

After cleaning the bathroom, I stepped out into the kitchen, and there they were: The Brown Horde, The Scourge of the Domestic Dwelling…the 30+ Blattodea.

Just so you know, Blattodea is the scientific genus of the…ahem…cockroach.

They were everywhere – crawling through the cups on the sink, flopping about across the walls, nosing through my books – big ones, small ones, tiny ones – all of them dying, but (unfortunately) not yet dead. I had to walk among them, zapping them with insecticide so as to not stain the floor with their innards (a futile effort – apparently, the insecticide still makes them gush this brown, gooey, thoroughly unpleasant stuff). In their effort to escape this strange biped armed with a green can that spews cockroach death (namely, me), some got into the bathroom I had just cleaned.

Big deal, right? Until you realize that we had just run-out of water. Drinking water, utility water, you name it – we didn’t have any more of it. So there we were…some 30-odd cockroaches on their backs, slowly axphyxiating to death, and their killer, me, without any means to sweep them out the door or clean-up after them. How I managed to sleep that night, I have no idea.

The next day, I wake-up at 5AM to go running. I get back at around 7AM, and none of my housemates are awake – the cockroaches are still where I left them the night before, we are still out of any form of usable water, and there I was, itching for a shower and a brain screaming for coffee.

I snapped. I promptly declared war on all living creatures with more than two legs inside the house and proceeded to sweep (more like swat) the cockroaches out of the house, across the garage and into the flower bed. They made a macabre skittering noise as I flung them towards the door. Some were still twitching.

I called (as amiably as my mood would allow) for a delivery of water before evicting the freeloading members of felis catus (cats) with some badly-thrown mop handles (I discovered that you can actually surprise cats, and the look on their faces is hillarious when you do). Since the landlady had moved-out, they had taken to raiding the garbage bags and emptying the contents all over the garage – a decapitated rat among them.

I could have broken down and cried; I almost did. It was just so overwhelming…like having to hold the universe together with nothing but your two bare hands and a stout heart. In fact, if you take the house to be the universe, that’s exactly what it was.

Strangely, as stressful as the whole situation was, it was also, rather affirming; I remember thinking about God’s mandate for man to “subdue the Earth”, and how Adam must not have really understood what he was getting into. It felt good, actually, to take responsibility for something as necessary as a house – to beat one’s chest and roar in defiance of domestic chaos, to say with all the requisite conviction, “This is MY house! Within these walls is MY dominion, and if you will not obey MY laws, I shall visit war upon you and your children and your children’s children until one of us is dead!” (I was addressing the cats).

But aren’t you getting riled-up over what is essentially a woman’s job?

Well, yes and no – yes, I admit, for when my housemates (finally) got themselves out of their comfortable beds, the house just sort of bowed by itself before their feminine powers; no, because it’s not the actual cleaning of the house that I got riled-up over (my definition of clean is several degrees lower than what a girl would say is really clean) – but over who is responsible for the house. It wasn’t how I dealt with what my mother calls “The mundane requirements for domesticating a house”, but that I actually tried to deal with them the best way I knew how.

When God told man to subdue the Earth and have dominion over every living thing therein…He really knew what He was doing.

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5 responses

7 04 2007
janna

wow! you have accomplished a lot with the roaches, cats, and all. i’m at home right for a week now, but i only went out twice. anyway, gratz! ^_^

9 04 2007
sillyserious07

hahaha! now u can never say ur holy week break was uneventful 🙂 i did my share of housekeeping too during the break (nothing short of a miracle!); but my feat was nowhere as grand and elaborate as yours.

and i do not envy you. hehe.

13 04 2007
Nikki

It probably wasn’t meant to be funny, but the battle of the kitchen vs. the 30+ Blattodea had me laughing hard.

But as is the Eigenman’s trademark, we learned a lesson. Heehee…

14 04 2007
Krissy

Oh. My. Goodness. I would not have broken down and cried if I were in your shoes. I’d have died. Cardiac arrest or something. Uh, congratulations (I guess) for living to tell the story.

16 04 2007
ovssilang

found you. and your 30+ blattodea.

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