Tuesday, August 30, 2005

More Perils in the Kitchen

Time: three hours ago. I'd just run up the stairs ten minutes ahead of my colleague to do a quick clean up before he arrived. I chucked the junk mail in the trash, and was ambushed. They were everywhere. Floating, and from the looks of it, covered in germs. Fruit flies.

My logic was this: I hadn't noticed them before, so they must have not been flying around. They hadn't been flying around then because they hadn't been disturbed by flying junk mail. Conclusion: if I don't disturb them, they will not fly around, and my colleague who has never been to my apartment before will not know that I live in a state of filth.

I backed away from the kitchen slowly, and sure enough, when Steve buzzed ten minutes later, it was as if the fruit flies weren't there. I conveniently blocked the kitchen door and escorted him into the living room.

Time: forty minutes ago. Every speck of dust which landed on my skin seemed to me a fruit fly. I imagined them everywhere. In my hair, on my face and feet.

Google search: kill fruit flies.

Informative webpages introduced me to my enemy, told me that they are most common in the late summer months, and offered to sell me different chemicals that would rid me of the pests once and for all. I didn't have time to order over the internet. It felt like one had just landed on my foot. I needed results, and I needed them immediately.

I thought back to what I'd eaten and cooked over the last week. The most probable culprit was the middle of a canteloupe I'd had for breakfast about a week ago. Fruit. Flies. Yes, it was all becoming clear. The flies were in the trashcan. I could just locate the lid to the trash can, cover them up, and take out the whole trash in the morning.

The problem, I soon discovered, was that Chris had apparently thrown out the top to the trash can while I was on vacation. I searched every closet, corner, and top of wardrobe. I then wrote him an email asking where the lid was. In the three minutes I waited for a reply, ten imaginary fruit flies landed on my nose and crawled on my scalp.

I sat back down on the couch. Garbage bag. Cover entire trash can with garbage bag, flip, and then tie a knot really fast, trapping fruit flies and offensive garbage inside. Checked the kitchen. No garbage bags. Back to couch.

I thought of other bug methodology. Ushering them out the window. Option not valid: self greatly outnumbered by fruit fly army. Then, there's the method of trapping a bug under a cup, sliding a piece of cardboard under the cup, and then releasing the bug outside. I looked around the apartment. I had a cardboard box for moving that could possibly cover the entire trash can, but then nothing large and sturdy enough to carry it into the courtyard and release the whole swarm. Plus, I would probably receive complaints from the neighbor via the diplomatic concierge.

Then I saw it, my solution: packing tape. Genius.

I took the roll to the kitchen, and, extremely slowly and ever so gently, covered the entire top to the trash can, one strip at a time. The poor fruit flies had no idea. When I was done, I shook the trash can, hard, just to be sure of my success. No fruit flies. Victory was mine.

Rather pleased with my genius, I resolved to attack the pile of dishes I'd been ignoring for a full week. As I went for the sponge, I noticed--I kid you not--a spider web, complete with a spider. Method of attack: pot of water. When I grabbed the pot, the world's largest moth flew out from underneath and flapped against the light fixture. World's largest moths make a hell of a lot of noise. By the time I realized what it was I had already fled to the living room.

Spider and moth will wait until tomorrow. So this is what it's like to live by myself.

PS. As I wrote the last line, email from Chris: "Under the sink?" The one place I didn't look.


At 10:21 AM, Blogger Rarity said...

All I can do is shudder.

*shudder, shudder*

So I say: GO FOR IT. Go get the whole FBI type suit for perilous alien incidents (the ones we first saw on E.T.) and just get it all out... shudder a bit, then take a long shower as you shudder some more.

There's really nothing to it!


At 3:02 PM, Blogger Bishop said...

Fruit flies are annoying. There are always more of them, no matter how many you destroy/relocate. In our house (a CLEAN house) there is always one buzzing and banging itself up against the window or light fixture, over and over and over again. I think the fly and I are both slowly going insane.

May I congratulate you on a truly awesome blog? I have added you to my favorites list for instant reading.

At 5:46 PM, Anonymous Sierra said...

Give me fruit flies any day. I'm tired of mosquitoes that vant to suck my blud.

Love the pic, btw.

At 5:57 PM, Blogger Buffalo said...

The tape was pretty clever! Great read. Thanks.

At 6:42 PM, Blogger The Michael said...

lemme see here......In this corner, weighing in at, what, 120 lbs maybe, Emily! In the other corner, weighing in at, what, maybe a 30th of an ounce, THE BIG BAD SPIDER! If there is ANY sort of contest here, I just don's see it. And to think skinny little Indonesian guys manage to keep elephants under control....sheesh!

Fruit flies, on the other hand, well, I would suggest a flamethrower. They tend to outnumber you.

At 7:38 PM, Anonymous Chris said...

Yeah, that big moth took up residency a few days after you left. It likes to hide under pillows or blankets and get your heartrate pumping around bedtime when it frantically flies out at your face... the spider however is a newcomer.

At 10:12 PM, Blogger Randi said...

AAAHH!!! You know what? I'm taking french while still trying (after 15 years) to master english. But my teacher says I'm doing well for 2 weeks into the course. So yeah... Good luck with your moth and spider! har dee har har. ;-)

At 6:36 AM, Blogger paige said...

This story made me feel very itchy.
(That's either a sign of good story telling...or, a reminder for me to hurry up and take out the trash!!)

At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Susan said...

Emily you crack me up. Fruit flies = take out the trash and/or wash the dishes. I miss your little housework-clueless bubblehead.



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