Monday, October 22, 2007

Unexpected Exile

I'm sitting in my parent's basement, watching MASH with Lucy and Doc. The Orkin man came to day to give the fleas the business. You'd think two giant aerosol cans of flea killer would pretty much take care of the problem. Nope. Jesus H. Tap-Dancin' Christ, you should hear the list of things we have to do:

  • Buy a dog sized flea collar and cut it up; put it in the sweeper canister
  • Vacuum the house 3 to 4 times a day for at least the next two weeks
  • Scrub the linoleum and basement floor with hot water and bleach

I'm exhausted just thinking about it all. It's a good thing I quit school or I'd be dangling out a window about now. Doc thinks we need to stay at Mom & Dad's at least one more night to make sure all the chemicals are gone and to start the vacuuming rituals. We've been here since Saturday night and I miss my bed. I don't miss the fleas though.

I'm trying to look on the bright side of all this. Maybe all the vacuuming will be like swinging two bats on the on-deck will just get us warmed up to the idea of vacuuming more often. I hate to vacuum. It's noisy and monotonous, like an AC/DC concert. I'd much rather dust, personally, but dusting ain't gonna kill any fleas. Also, all this flea business might mean that I will soon have some brand new carpet in my bedroom to replace the teal green plush from the Emerald City collection that currently lurks under my bed.

I worked so hard this weekend. Friday night: I finished the paper below. Well, it's not really finished. There are plenty of errors, as I noticed when I read it for the podcast. But it was done enough for government work. Saturday, my Mom and Grandma came over while Dad took the girls to his house to play. Mom, Grandma and I swept, picked up, dusted (whee!), packed up and gathered all the laundry we could find and headed off to the laundromat.

We stopped on the way at Milk & Honey, a Canton institution that serves steak burgers and sundaes. We fortified ourselves and started in on the laundry at about 2:30. By 5:45, we had finished nearly 30 loads of laundry.

Oh, by the way, a cute little Asian guy tried to pick me up at the laundromat. At first, I couldn't figure out that he wanted a date. He kept asking if I would be his friend.

"Sure," I said, "I can be your friend."

He mumbled something unintelligible that included street names I recognized. Then he asked me for my number and then offered me his number. I had a flash-forward of him calling me constantly and telling me about his problems with an accent so thick that I'd want to scratch my ears out as my better nature did battle with my bitch nature over whether to stay his friend or ditch him like a sack of rotten bananas.

"Um," I said, looking around for my Mom, "I don't have my phone."

I was able to tear myself away and get back to the task at hand, pumping quarters into greedy washing machines. Later on, as I went to my car to get some baskets, he cornered me.

"Do you want to have dinner tonight?" he asked me, plain as day.

"Uh," I stammered, "Well...I'm married...I've got kids."

"You're married?" he asked, surprised.

"Yes," I said, feeling like I may be out of the woods.

"Oh," he said, "I don't mind."

"Well," I said, "I think my husband would. Thanks anyway though," and I walked away.

He made himself scarce, while he waited for his laundry to finish, talking on his cell phone. I think he might have been a bit of a con artist.

Sunday, I worked on the house, colored my hair (finally) and crashed out on the couch. I was late for work this morning; I couldn't find my keys. Someone had hidden them in my purse. Imagine that! But work was good and I got my hair cut, so I look fabulous. I had a leisurely dinner on my own and finished reading my book. Riley's out cold and Lucy, well, who knows when she'll crash out. She seems to be a bit manic right now. But she's got to sleep sometime, right?

So what, I'm faced with one more night without my bed. At least it's not in a hotel, but rather Mom and Pop's Comfy Couch Inn. And Doc is going to handle a lot of the to-do list this week. Hopefully by the weekend we'll have a new routine that includes vacuuming until our fingers fall off. Dirty deeds...done dirt cheap and all that rot. Wish us luck and send us a post card.

Until then, fleas be not with you.


  1. maybe you could've given th' lil' dude the job of vacuumin' the house?? Apparently if he doesn't mind all that much then he should be willin' to WORK for your affections!!

    fleas... gads!

  2. Actually, I kind of like your bedroom carpet. Emerald is our birthstone!

  3. Did you not consider the option of training them and opening your own flea circus? There are always alternatives to war.

  4. Wow, what a complete pain in the ass! I hope you can get back to some sort of normalcy soon. That is a LOT of vacuuming.

  5. Man, fleas suck. But I'm confused. You quit school?

  6. Fleas!! It can be a tough battle once you get them! We took in a stray kitten and spent the next two months battling that problem.
    Milk & Honey! I haven't thought of that place in years! My grandparents lived in North Canton and my grandfather use to take us there. I'm going to have to come down and take my girls there.

  7. Good luck with the fleas, I still say go with Nukes!

    And I second Phils comment of WTF with quitting school?

    I missed something here.

  8. You haven't taught the girls to vacuum yet?

  9. It must be a particularly bad year for fleas. We have two 100% indoor cats & have even seen a few this year. My wife & daughter both want dogs soon. I'm not looking forward to the infestations to come...

  10. I've always found you meet the most interesting people in laundromats.

  11. Just thank your lucky stars it wasn't lice. See, there's a bright side to everything!

  12. Hmm, that flea collar in the sweeper is a good idea. My roommate thinks he has fleas in his bedroom from his dog. Somehow they haven't infested our whole apartment.

  13. Hopefully they'll be gone in time for you to sing Fleas Navidad this year.

  14. Well, it's either do those things or turn the place into a toxic waste dump with something like malathion, mixed with barely any water (i.e. like 50 times more lethal than is recommended), sprayed liberally. Then, of course, you have to leave for about a week or risk developing cancer almost instantaneously.

    At least that's what it took last time I had fleas in my house in Texas.