For those of you that instantly thought of Andy Dwyer’s band that continuously changed names but always came back to Mouse Rat, I applaud you. For everyone else, you need to watch Parks and Recreation. No discussion, just watch it. Start at the beginning and watch every season-preferably in a binge-like manner.
This post is not about Parks and Rec, sadly, it is about my housemates. Ants, cockroaches, mice, rats, and bugs I do not know the names of. They aren’t the best housemates and they seriously do not respect my personal space or belongings. That’s why I kill them on a daily basis. Do I feel bad about it? Not even a little bit. I was always the kid in school who, while everyone else was squealing and/or on top of their desks, would trap the larger spiders/insects in a paper clip box and take them outside. If there wasn’t a need to kill them I wouldn’t. But now…there is a need. A fiery, desperate, angry need to kill them. I might be exaggerating, but who can really say for sure if I am? No one. Friends here have said that only super expensive residences are immune from critters, but from what I’ve been told the ones in my house are worse and more tenacious than the average Filipino pest.
For example, I’ll be sitting on my bed (“mattress” on the floor*) reading and I’ll see movement out of the corner of my eye and I’ll turn to see a mouse climbing my backpack- literally less than a foot away from me- trying to get inside. Like…I’m right here. I can see you. So I say, “no!” in my stern mom voice and it runs away in shame. I mean, can’t you wait until the lights are out? Or until I’m asleep? If we’re going to share space they could at least be courteous enough to run around when I’m not home or awake. I’m also pretty sure that they cuddle with me while I sleep. I mean, I would if I was a pretentious and rude mouse. Stupid mice.
I guess by now you can get a sense for how I feel about these little guys. Some days I just shrug my shoulders and go buy more sticky pads to catch them (yes, I catch mice alllllllll the time-they die eventually-yet more keep appearing) and other days I want to personally sit down each one and scold them for invading my space. As I typed that last sentence, a rather large black insect flew into my coffee cup and is now floating in my coffee. Awesome. I could use the protein. I know I said in the ‘Toilet Seats’ post that I was grateful for my house and everything that came along with it, but I was DEFINITELY not referring to the pests. I am not grateful for them. I don’t like them. They can leave.
This weekend when I went to the grocery store (in part to buy sticky pads) a giant- biggest one I’ve ever seen- rat ran past my foot and under the small refrigerated section. Some of the employees got flashlights and a stick to try to catch it, but it didn’t seem like a big deal. Even grocery stores aren’t immune… no one is safe.
Last night I was cooking dinner, minding my own business, then I saw a mouse scurry under the stairs when I was getting something out of the fridge. No big deal really, just another mouse. As it ran by me, I said something mean to it like it was someone who had personally wronged me (if I can’t get rid of them, I might as well insult them), then my eyes followed it under the stairs. Next to where it ran, sitting in the shadows, was a spider bigger than my palm. I stopped breathing for a moment and froze. Like I said previously, I always took spiders outside and they didn’t really bother me. This was different. I’m pretty sure it could have eaten that mouse if it wanted to. So I’m standing there, frozen in spider fear, I start cursing under my breath and realize I should take a picture to document the stupid size of said spider. As I reached for my phone it scurried around the corner and I cursed not so under my breath. The way it moved made me want to vomit. I texted Emily immediately and said that I felt like I was going to throw up and pass out simultaneously, while also wanting to move houses. I then went into hyper alert whenever I sensed movement around me. It was normally my own shadow that was freaking me out as I tried to keep my mind from going straight to the-spider-probably-watches-me-while-I-sleep-and-lays-eggs-in-my-ears mode.
All that to say, it is what it is I guess. I live in the Philippines and so do all these critters. Ideally, I don’t want to live with them, but I do. We can try to coexist as long as they’re okay with me still trying to kill them and get them out of the house. That’s coexisting, right?
*Mattress is in quotes because in my humble and sore opinion, it is filled with springs, potatoes, and crow bars. There are only a few spots you can lay without something sticking into your body. While I am grateful not to be sleeping directly on the floor, it is by far the most uncomfortable “mattress” I’ve ever slept on.