Last spring, I had a nearly fatal encounter with a large cockroach in our home, or so it seemed at the time. It was around eight o’clock in the morning when [S] pointed at the ceiling. After watching the large insect walk on and around the ceiling, I placed [S] in her crib and prepared to do battle, grabbing my bottle of (allegedly) non-toxic bug spray.
Having lived in the Caribbean and possessing a phobia of insects, I have learned the ins and outs of using bug spray. Rule one, don’t spray up, no matter where the insect is. First, gravity is working against you. Likely, you will never hit your target fatally, but it will be enough for the insect to quickly move (or fly) somewhere else, leading you into a fine mist of country-scented insect killing chemicals now raining down. If you’re on the slow-side, you will have to contend with the now slippery floor as you attempt a kill shot. Not a desirable situation.
Having learned my lesson years ago, I waited for the insect to do something. Of course, when that happens, one is never truly prepared. It fell to the floor. Rule two, if the insect is on the floor, spray, spray, spray. The good news, it died. The better news, is that it was springtime and I could open our doors for some needed ventilation. As I placed [S]’s sand pail over the carcass, I realized there was a significant amount of clean-up to do.
I grabbed my Swiffer and began cleaning the residual spray. As I came to the end of the task, I walked from the faux-wood floors onto the kitchen tile floor in my slide-on Adidas house shoes. In an instant, I slipped. My legs came out from under me, I landed square on my tailbone, hitting the back of my head against a cement wall. The episode was as violent as you can imagine. I couldn’t get up. I couldn’t make a sound. The pain radiating from my tailbone was excruciating. I was dizzy and felt nauseous. To make matters worse, I had no idea where my phone was and [S] was crying.
Concerned I was going to black-out from the pain, I meekly cried out for help, hoping some passerby walking his or her dog would hear me. Once I realized I was not going to faint, I managed to get to my bedroom, find my phone, and laid down on my side. I called out to [S] that everything was okay. I rested for 10 minutes. Then, I began my day. I dropped [S] off at daycare and went to work with a heady uncomfortable feeling, grimacing all the while.
Four weeks later, it still hurt to walk, exercise, and sit. Fortunately, the x-rays showed no fractures or broken bones. I was given plenty of pain medication and told to come back if the pain and limited mobility continued. Today, I am fully recovered, able to sit, walk, and run without pain. Then, I had difficulty imagining that day would come.
A few weeks after the accident, Russell handed me a box. After looking at it, I started laughing, wondering if it was a gag gift.
I declined to assemble and/or use it. Why, I’m not sure. Perhaps because I questioned its efficacy and efficiency. Perhaps it’s because Russell thought my accident stemmed from using an excessive amount of bug spray, rather than slipping because of wet shoes. (Yes, yes, if I hadn’t used so much spray I wouldn’t have had to Swiffer. I get it.)
Regardless, now that Russell has left town for the week, I thought it would be a good a time as any to assemble the product to be prepared, you know, just in case.
The first thing that struck me was that this product is made in China. Will it work as intended? If it doesn’t, there could be a bigger catastrophe looming in the distance. While it was simple to assemble, I’m uncertain I did so correctly. The instructions are vague, but there doesn’t appear to be a locking mechanism holding the arm of the product to its base.
Regardless, once it was assembled I was confronted with an apparatus that looked part bong, part breast pump.
A small part of me wants to know whether it works; the rest of me prefers never having occasion to find out. In the meantime, I’m faced with figuring out where to store this colorful device, which doubles as a strong child-magnet. Rest assured that wherever it ends up living, a canister of bug spray will be at the other end of the house.