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Sunday, June 04, 2017

Let He who is Without Sin…



Sometime last week I was in a café, a new modern place near a trendy shopping center. This isn’t my usual kind of café as I prefer the sort of old school cafés that are on almost every block in Valencia but I was in the neighborhood. As I was sitting in this pristine café waiting for a cup of coffee I looked down and saw a roach walking right in the front door. I was working myself up to be indignant when I reflected on my personal cockroach situation and thought, “Let he who is without sin cast the first shoe.” My path to empathy had been a while in the making.

Last summer I finally found screens for the windows in my flat, or at least for most of them. Until then I was at the mercy of mosquitoes and whatever other pest felt like flying in through the open windows. Most apartments here don’t have screens so this is sort of a luxury. I don’t think that many people are as harassed by mosquitoes as I and thus they don’t feel such a need to build this wall.

Even with my screens I’ve had a problem with mosquitoes this year. I guess they have established their own colonies inside my apartment. It’s not like I’m helping myself out by having tons of plants in the house where they have a mini equatorial Africa to repopulate. Screens weren’t going to be enough to keep me safe this summer so in an effort to step up my side of the war I decided to purchase chemical weapons.

Right next to the mosquito spray at the supermarket I noticed a package of roach traps. I see a roach maybe once or twice a year at most but I figured that since I was on this insect murdering kick I may as well go all the way so I picked up a box which has six individual traps. Instead of seeing one or two roaches a year it would be better to see zero, right?

I put out two traps when I got home, one strategically placed near the stove in the kitchen and the other…I don’t remember the location of the second trap which really isn’t important in this story. Fuck that, you deserve to know where I placed the second trap so I’ll get off my ass and actually do a bit of investigating...wait a second. I put it under my desk so I didn’t even have to get off my big butt to fact-check that part of the story…but I digress.

So literally hours after setting out the traps I came upon a dead (or dying) roach. Touché, or whatever you say after killing a cockroach. These traps really work. Then a few hours later I saw another casualty lying a few centimeters from the kitchen trap. I was less excited about the death of this second pest because in less than 24 hours I had seen more roaches in my place than I normally do in an entire year.

During the course of the next week I came upon 4-5 more dead bugs which represent years of normal bug sightings. I’m no conspiracy theorist but I started to think that these traps were the cause of my infestation and not the final solution they are advertised to be for insects. Perhaps these “traps” actually contain the eggs of roaches with DNA programmed so that they only live for a few seconds, only enough time to leave the traps (incubators) and crawl a few paces before their life cycle is abruptly halted making it look as if the traps are working when in fact they’re the source of the problem. I went out and bought a video surveillance system to monitor the traps so I’ll be able to tell definitively if my theory is valid.

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