My “friends” are having some problems with their house. They already spent $8,000 fixing the leaky foundation, and they already tore down the rotten covered porch in the back and added some bushes in front. They simply haven’t gotten around to fixing everything else: the peeling paint, the old roof, finicky gas stove, outdated floors, root-clogged pipes, water drips, broken garbage disposal, broken Jacuzzi, and broken ventilation fan in the bathroom.
This ventilation fan in the bathroom is not really broken—it does work, but it makes a terrible clacking noise when it’s turned on. My husband (my friend’s husband, I mean) thinks sparks are going to fly out of it and set the bath mat on fire, so he’s convinced me (my friend) to stop using it. Which is why my friends have spots of mold on their bathroom ceiling—but don’t worry; I’m sure it’s not that deadly kind of black mold because none of the people living in the house are dead yet.
So this useless ventilation fan is like a wide-open door to the numerous bugs scurrying around in the unfinished attic of my friend’s house. There’s probably a sign up there written in Bug Latin: “Come on-buzz down-buzz, y’all-buzz! Take-buzz the plunge-buzz!” Only the brave bugs take the plunge, hopping or crawling or slithering into the vent, bouncing off the dusty fan blades as they fall eight feet—whee!—and land in the toilet. Sploosh!
Maybe “bugs in the toilet” isn’t a life-threatening issue, but it’s pretty damn disturbing to the people who have to sit on that toilet every day. When’s the next bug going to drop? What kind of bug will it be this time? they wonder anxiously as they try to pee or poop extra-fast. What if it’s a bug that’s somehow able to jump up from the surface of the toilet water and bite or attach itself to my exposed private parts? What if it lands on my head and I don’t notice, and it lays eggs?! It’s a miracle that my friends don’t run out of that bathroom screaming. Well, maybe they do. It’s not like I visit them that often. The good news is that they have a spare toilet in the master bedroom. But if the son is taking a dump, which takes at least forty-five minutes, and someone’s bladder is about to explode, that someone is forced to use the infamous bug toilet.
This morning, my friend was not aware that bugs were using her piece-of-crap ventilation fan as a freeway into her bathroom. She was clueless. When she went into the bathroom, she spotted a little caterpillar writhing around in the toilet water and un-flushed urine (my friend’s kids are either very lazy or very environmentally conscious, because they rarely flush unless it’s number two). She flipped out because her first thought was—if you have a weak stomach, for God’s sake, skip ahead to the next paragraph!—that the caterpillar had been excreted from someone in her family, along with the pee. Panicking, she called her husband at work and explained what she’d seen in the toilet, and he laughed and said the caterpillar must have fallen out of the fan. “It wouldn’t be the first time.”
Less than an hour later, my friend stepped out of the shower (located next to the bug toilet) and saw something black fall from the ceiling. Sploosh! It was big, whatever it was. She didn’t want to peek into the toilet at first, but eventually she had to look to make sure the huge, gross thing wasn’t escaping. It was a cricket, and that sucker knew how to swim. My friend watched the cricket for quite awhile, expecting him to drown. Five minutes passed. Ten minutes. He would play dead for several minutes, and then start thrashing around and swimming across the toilet bowl again. He was still swimming around, trying to find a way out, hours later. Finally, my friend’s daughter grew tired of checking on the cricket to see if he was dead yet and flushed him without even saying bye.
My friend expects a hairy tarantula to fall out of the fan the next time she’s forced to use that toilet. Wouldn’t it be cool if the tarantula laid eggs on her head?
My friend says I’m a smart-ass and I’m not allowed to come over to her house (death trap) anymore. Gee, that’s too bad.