Prayers and Pesticide


Three coupons for free Frosty Floats at Wendy’s. Two quarters and a variety of dimes and nickels, brings the total in change to $2.00. $1.88 left on the child support Mastercard. Three of us go to Wendy’s and have two value fries. The eight year old gets three chicken nuggets and some fries to go with his float. The two year old gets one chicken nugget and some fries to go with hers. Grandma gets some fries and the float and is happy with that.

The eight year old is hungry again at seven p.m. and has a tuna sandwich with pickles. The two year old has a little snack of pretzels and pickles. Grandma is having a bellyache from the ice-cream and can’t even think about eating the veggies she was dreaming about while she was still at Wendy’s earlier. 

Obviously we didn’t have enough cash to afford the luxury of eating out. This how we eat when we’re scared to go into the kitchen for very long because we have Camel Crickets.

Have you ever seen those darn things? They’re like roaches/crickets/spiders with attitude. Unlike spiders, however, they don’t bite or sting or do anything to hurt you. They also won’t run away from you. If they detect you close by, they will bring their hulking gelatinous bodies ’round to greet you, then spring towards you on their strong back legs. 

Yep. That’s their defense mechanism: to scare you witless. I came upon one in our play room the other day and screamed so loud and hard I gave myself a headache. It was true terror. My body turned to mush. I’m getting sweaty typing this right now. One night in the dark, cave-like bathroom in my new house…I hate this house. It all needs renovated. Every single room. The last occupants liked brown. A lot. Brown and dark blue and maroon. And guess who else likes those colors, evidently? Camel Crickets. So…anyhow, I was sitting on the potty, blissfully unaware, when I caught a glimpse of something on the wall. It saw me, too, and began to turn. I stopped in mid-pee and without even taking time to pull up my pants I sprinted from the bathroom and jumped onto the sofa. Why. Why did I do that? The thing can jump, too. But it had remained back in the bathroom. Lying in wait. Probably laughing. Texting his ugly cricket friends pictures of my butt as I fled. 

Shaking, sick to my stomach, I called my daughter and sobbed into the phone, “I am never going into that bathroom again!”My teenaged grandson came over to face the predator all alone with a can of wasp spray and a broom. My hero. But there were more of those little monsters. Many, many more.

My friends took pity on me and hired an exterminator. For months I still avoided the downstairs bathroom. Finally I found my courage to go in there to clean. Used the potty a couple times. Was taking a shower one day (in the UPstairs bathroom) when my daughter, who had been straightening her hair downstairs, came a-knocking. “Mom?” she said, her voice trembling, “They’re back!” And she didn’t even have to explain WHO was back. I knew.

So, yeah, Mr. Exterminator man, you are my favorite person on Earth right now. Please get here quickly. And even then….you wonder when you’ll see those antennas peeking out from beneath the kitchen cabinet. You casually stroll into the kitchen for a drink, and there’s Wyatt Cricket, his six shooter loaded, taking his stance, daring you to draw. “There’s not room enough in this house for the two of us.” he says, a glint in this eye.

You know what? If I had more than some coupons for free Frosty Floats and few nickels to my name, I’d leave this house and he could just have it.

P.S. just now something brushed up against my leg and I almost fainted. It was just a thread hanging off my sock.  Also, I asked my “prayer partners” to pray about the infestation. One of them promised to pray that I have courage to face this. I don’t want courage. I want pesticide.


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