Thursday, June 30, 2005
I am under attack. At this point, I’m not even sure if I will be able to last, much longer. They are taking over, and no matter how many of them I kill, they continue to infest my dwelling. They just keep coming…and coming…and coming. I have tried peaceful methods, and I have also resorted to lethal measures. Both have yielded negative results, thus far. As I write this, they are probably mounting an offensive that will cripple my main defenses and leave me vulnerable to a blitzkrieg invasion force to be reckoned with. I am left at this point, with the choices between firearms, and a strategic nuclear strike. These roly-poly’s must die!
The roly-poly (armadillidium vulgare) threat is known by many names. Woodlouse, pill bug, armadillo bug, sow bug, slater, ball bug, potato bug, or doodlebug. Most of us know them as roly-poly's, and they are one of the few insects that even little girls will pick up and play with. Why not? They are…cute. They roll up into little balls, when they feel threatened. That’s so cute! They are the soccer ball of the insect universe, and they appear to be completely harmless….they APPEAR to be.
Recently, I moved into a ground-floor apartment. Up until this point, I have always lived on the upper floors; never lower than 3rd floor. I never allowed myself to have neighbors above my head, and I lived in relative comfort and peace. For this most recent home, however, I was forced to accept a lower level unit. I knew this would cause problems and possibly even a pinch of stress; I also knew that I could handle these problems and adapt to my new environment. Besides, the cheap rent and nice location was too good to pass up. After the first few days, I saw the first signs of my new enemy. I would find them in the bathrooms, in the living room, in the den. They would invade my personal bubble and come into the kitchen, laying there like grey portents of chaos. Most of them would keep to themselves, but some of them would cause trouble. They would steal dishes and eat my food, and order porn on my digital cable DVR. They would have parties while I was away at work, and they never cleaned up after themselves. After the first month, I was already reaching my breaking point.
I offered a truce; a compromise. When I found them within my residence, I would simply pick them up, and carry them outside to the porch, while whispering positive reinforcements. The porch would be their domain…an area that they could call their own, without fear of annihilation from myself or others like me. This new arrangement seemed to work out nicely, and everybody was happy. I took comfort once again in my new home, and began to relax in such a way that my new apartment became my new home.
Then, the little roly-poly bastards pulled a fast one on me. They began to not only come into the apartment, but they did so in droves. Hundreds, thousands of them began to jump the wall and enter my home illegally. They went there to live, to work, and to squander my natural resources. Many of them came to die, also. I would find them dead all over the place…lying there, lifeless and still. My apartment had become a giant roly-poly graveyard. I would sweep them up and discard their remains in the most respectful way possible, only to be met with new resistance and hostility from the new recruits. With each batch thrown buried, new batches sprung up in their place. I began to see that I was winning the battles, but somehow still losing the war.
In an effort to help quell the invasion, I formed an alliance with the local spiders. In this new alliance, I allowed them to form webs in discrete corners of the apartment, in return for the slaughter of any roly-poly’s that entered nearby. This few and fragile alliance seemed to be working; the invading forces were beaten back. I found fewer and fewer roly-poly corpses, and the spiders started to become fat with the blood of my enemy. For a time, everybody was happy.
Then, I began to notice the spiders becoming a bit too fat; they were growing in size, and they were growing in arrogance. They began to venture outside of the designated corners assigned to them, and they began to build webs of destruction in other places that were not a part of the original treaty. I was forced, then, to counter strike with such force, as to wipe out every spider I found. The arachnid genocide was quick, and soon I had lost all of my allies. This was necessary; for spiders bite and crawl and are a dangerous mercenary to employ. Soon, I was alone in the battle once more…and I began to grow weary. I found myself leaving roly-poly corpses around my home, in an attempt to scare away future invaders. This did not have the desired effect.
The roly-poly’s will not be deterred. They cannot be bargained with. They do not feel pity, or remorse. They cannot be bribed, or reasoned with. And they absolutely will not stop, until they have taken over my apartment.