Monday, August 06, 2007


You know your workplace safety meeting has been a rampaging success when someone knocks his iced tea over onto the floor, scattering ice cubes everywhere, while getting up to receive an award. This, in turn, set off a chain reaction wherein I almost slipped and fell in the ice, Robbie nearly brained himself on the monitor hanging low from the ceiling above his chair, and one poor overwhelmed soul set off the alarm trying to get out the emergency exit. Safety first!

3-Martini Break Group alumni Andrew and Bryan now work at the campus where the morning meeting was held, so Robbie and I popped in for a visit afterwards. Bryan's cubicle neighbor had brought in a five-inch-long centipede he'd captured in his bathroom over the weekend. It was confined to a pint-sized terrarium on his desk, and it was Not Amused. It squirmed about restlessly inside, rattling its claws, poking its long, segmented feelers out the air holes on the top, and chittering in arthropodic fury.

Andrew and Bryan seemed uneasy, and I don't blame them. I'm not generally afraid of creepy-crawlies, but the sight of that thing triggered a deep-seated, primal urge to squish it as flat as possible, preferably using somebody else's shoe.

I'm also frightened of the enormous flying cockroaches that buzz around my kitchen late at night, serene in their undisputed dominion. Whacking those bastards with a shoe - anyone's shoe - only stuns them temporarily. I'm sorry, but that's just showing off. If you're able to weather a nuclear holocaust, at least have the courtesy to go "squelch" when you take a size 13 upside the thorax.

And they don't confine their activities to the kitchen, either. Last week one landed on me in bed just as I was nodding off. I don't know how many more times my heart can handle jumping from 65 to 300 beats per minute in the space of .005 seconds, but I'd really rather not find out.

Later Robbie and I had lunch with another 3MBG alum, Thomas, and discovered that the centipede is actually intended for him. For his wife, rather, who's an entomologist, and therefore much less of a weenie than I am. She works as a consultant for a pest-control company, so I was able to get a few pointers on how to deal with my enormous flying cockroach problem.

I think I can pretty much wipe them out by presenting one of them with a safety award.

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At August 07, 2007 7:12 PM, Anonymous b.r. said...

You know, there don't seem to be any insects in Colorado. At least not the kind that invade the home. I've not seen a single roach (of any variety), centipede, pill pug, fire ant or silverfish. I have seen a few spiders.

I've actually gone so far as to ask locals about cockroaches, and no one really seems to know what I'm talking about.

Pretty cool.


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