(But if they don’t, they should.)
Shortly after getting home a couple of nights ago, I was in my kitchen, doing my very favorite thing: Namely, catching out the cockroaches who were ambling around the apartment in my absence and spraying them with Raid. (Kills On Contact!!!) I shouldn’t take so much pleasure in this, I know. It’s a little bit sick. But I love—LOVE!—rounding the corner, can in hand, finger on the aerosol trigger, and seeing the stricken looks on their little cockroach faces as they realize that they’ve made a terrible mistake, that they were careless and cocky, and that now, They Are Going To Die.
The problem with my latest can of Raid is that, for whatever reason, it’s not entirely effective. Trust me, this matters later on. I used to have this way-potent one (it was called “Natural Formula” and smelled a little like cloves), and just one blast of the stuff was enough to knock even the big cockroaches onto their backs, where they’d shudder and die within a matter of seconds. But this new Raid—which smells like paint thinner—isn’t quite as powerful, and the bugs tend to stumble around the apartment like tiny, shiny winos on an Arbor Mist spree, wandering in circles and then falling onto their backs, where they wave their legs around for awhile and eventually die. It takes about five minutes. But that just adds to the entertainment value… like in movies, where the baddest of the bad guys has to go through a ridiculously elaborate death sequence in which he’s set on fire and then shot and hanged and then, just when you think he’s totally gone, he comes running back out of a dark corner but accidentally impales himself on a rake or something. That’s high drama.
Anyway, after about ten minutes the floor was littered with greasy little carcasses, and I was crouching next to the stove watching the final throes of one particularly huge roach, who I’d nicknamed “Chester”, when something flew past my ear. I looked up, and sitting on the counter was a giant, ugly fly.
That smug bastard. He sat on the counterop and glared at me, as if to say, “You might be able to catch the roaches, but I’m different. And I’m going to vomit on here, and there’s nothing you can do to stop me.” It made me angry. I had no swatter. I was never going to catch him. But I did have the Raid… so I sprayed him with it.
Dear readers, if you heed one word of advice from all I’ve written here, let it be this: Do not spray a flying insect with Raid. Here is why.
The fly launched himself into the air at approximately 5,000 miles per hour and careened wildly all over the kitchen, slamming into the cupboards and the walls. He cracked the window! Smoke was coming out of his eye! And he was screaming!!! I ducked as he whizzed past my head, he smacked into one of the kitchen cabinets and fell to the ground. One of his wings fell off! His other eye caught fire, but he wasn’t done yet! Even in the throes of death, he was determined to keep flying!
A Fact I Did Not Know Before: A fly with one wing cannot actually fly.
He started spinning, violently-- unable to get off the ground, he came zooming across the floor like a hockey puck at Mach 3, I couldn’t jump out of the way, he got stuck between my toes, and now I was screaming, the fly was screaming and on fire, the window was broken, I was leaping around the kitchen and trying to dislodge him from my toe, until, FINALLY, he slipped free and fell to the floor.
Vivian came running into the room and ate him in 2 seconds flat.
I caused this fly a prolonged, agonized, and undignified death, and I’m ashamed. But I’m also grateful, because if any of you have ever considered spraying a fly with Raid just to see what happens, I can tell you in no uncertain terms that it will end badly, and with wanton destruction to your apartment.