every morning in algebra one, mr. jay would grab my attention away from the ants marching zen-like along the classroom chair-rail by reading a top ten list from the david letterman show, followed by a few north dakota jokes.
he also rewarded attention to detail or ass-kissing, as it were, by granting one extra credit point per test for writing 'go dodgers' at the top.
dear mr. jay,
this one's for you:
oh, wait.....GO DODGERS!
TOP 10 GREATEST THINGS ABOUT A "REALLY BAD" BED BUG INFESTATION*
by contributing writer, kitty joe ste-marie
okay, oops, so it's turned more into a TOP 40 list--go figure, there are just too many great things to narrow down!
43.. living three months in denial, telling your boyfriend he's crazy--the chicken pox-like affliction covering his whole body must be mosquito bites--while downplaying your own.
emre wants to make sure no one thinks the linked photo is of either of us. i knew you didn't....
42. the moment of truth, when you pull back the sheets at midnight to find an advanced civilization of evil bugs rich and fat off your blood lining the mattress seams and wall hangings.
41. seeing at least 13, 482 macroscopically enlarged images online of the BEASTS nightly sucking your blood. comforting.
40. reading hopeless statistics and accounts of how you'll never be rid of them because their eggs will not be destroyed and they can live a year without feeding.
39. hallucinating all night that bugs are all around and on you.
38. turning on the light to see that it's true.
37. lying to people so they don't treat you like a leper: "the house disaster i'm losing sleep over is a caved-in ceiling". oh wait!! that's also true. what a great summer!
36. washing every bath towel, sheet, placemat, rag, rug and decades worth of vintage clothing you formerly insisted on hand-washing in cold water and woolite, hung to dry IN HOT WATER, DRIED ON HIGH.
35. saying goodbye to half of your wardrobe (in case that last point didn't make it clear).
34. double bagging the aforementioned items and leaving them sealed for two months and counting.
33. spending $100 on garbage bags alone. at least. feeling like you own stock in the garbage bag company.
32. spending $300 in quarters (hey everyone in the laundromat--i won the jackpot!) on laundry in one shot. at least. let's not even talk about the FUN of that undertaking.
31. not having told your neighbors yet about the bedbugs--though clueless to the fact that they have them too, and indeed were the source of them--dragging the aforementioned mountains of laundry in garbage bags back and forth for two days, trying to dry the tears and look normal, while suddenly national 'let's sit on the stoop weekend' seems to have been declared on your block. except you couldn't read the signs because it was probably IN POLISH.
30. crying--no sobbing, hysterically--a lot. yelling at your boyfriend a lot before finally uniting in the Axis of Humans in the war on disgusting, blood-sucking, words-can't-describe-how-much-i-loathe-them-BEDBUGS!
29. emptying every bookcase, desk, closet, shelf, ANYTHING CONTAINING STUFF into boxes, as though you're moving. except you will have to unpack in the same place. that you're afraid is crawling with bugs. nice. and certainly no one wants to set foot in your place to help you.
28. double garbage bagging those boxes and storing them in the hot sun of the fire escape for two weeks to kill any bugs or eggs while TORNADOES RATTLE BROOKLYN. are you kidding me?
27. dragging the 40 plus garbage bags full of clothing in and out of the window to fire escape to make room for multiple exterminations to succeed. cross your fingers.
but what about shoes? they can't go in the washing machine. oh not to worry! there's a solution for everything!
26. hair-blow-drying every shoe for 5-10 minutes each, then double bagging them. sorry to break the 2nd person voice for a moment here, but, do you know how many shoes i have?! it's not that i'm such a shoe shopper, but i still have a lot of the shoes i wore in junior high! okay, maybe not that far back, but definitely since i left high school. um....not anymore. do you know how hot an apartment in new york becomes after hours of hair blow drying shoes like an idiot?!
25. finally accepting the idea of keeping your post-exterminated bedbug-shit-stained mattress because you can't afford another one, then having the exterminator tell you "you've got 'em really bad". mattress unsalvageable.
24. flinching when your skin senses a hair, the sheet, a breeze--being sure it's a bug. entire body itching all night long.
23. taking herbal sleep aids for the first time in your life, sure that darvoset, perkoset, valium and heroin are right around the corner.
22. thinking you are being bitten all day, everyday when you're walking down the street, hence giving the appearance of person with skin or mental disease.
21. being forced to sleep elsewhere for days every extermination.
20. feeling like a leper because friends are paranoid to have you stay with them.
19. totally understanding that.
18. watching your goals for the summer fly out the window
17. throwing away furniture left and right
16. adding to the financial strain of replacing all you had to throw away, not being able to work because you're packing for a "non-move".
15. paying for a 2nd, 3rd and 4th extermination.
14. cleaning up toxic chemicals after EVERY seemingly futile extermination in a 100 degree apartment because you don't want to blow the toxic dust around with a fan or air conditioning.
13. having to put off your sister's visit AGAIN because you don't even have a bed for yourself.
12. trying to find a place without cats or allergic people to board your 'special needs' cat, hoping she won't attempt suicide again by crawling behind the sink wall. (thanks asli, nick & courtney!)
11. explaining endlessly about the new bedbug epidemic in nyc, defending brooklyn (they're in manhattan, too!), swearing it's not because you live in squalor. even that chick from SNL had them in her $13,000/month rental in Soho! where's my $450,000 settlement?!
10. not being able to mention your fascinating infestation without talking obsessively about it for at least an hour, listing all prior points and watching people shudder and thank god they're not you.
9. becoming paranoid about sitting on subway benches.
8. becoming paranoid about traveling.
7. becoming paranoid about EVERYTHING.
6. jumping at the sight of every piece of lint, sure it's a bedbug.
5. no more street furniture.
4. no more vintage clothing.
3. making everyone else paranoid.
2. falling halfway into the toilet every time you pee because the bedbugs have taken over your life, therefore, no time to replace perfectly timed broken toilet seat.
DRUM ROLL PLEASE! AND NOW, THE #1 GREATEST THING ABOUT A REALLY BAD BEDBUG INFESTATION....
1. did i mention feeling like a leper? i don't even know how to end this list, how to rate the number one thing. all i can say in summary: bedbugs suck. don't get them. if you really want to know how to prevent them, ask me questions in the comment section. i have processed thousands of bedbug articles! but surely, the best way not to get bedbugs is NOT avoiding yours truly (i swear!)
oh wait, i know, i know what it is!!! FEELING LIKE THIS WILL NEVER END! when did it begin?
*all disgusting visual aids are buried under links so you won't get mad at me since i told you all to read this while eating your cereal. then again, even without the visuals, you've probably lost your appetite. sorry
here's a tour of the apartment i was welcomed home to after a month in california: