Friday, October 10, 2008

Hitching a Ride

WARNING: Somewhat gross pictures of roaches and a story about roaches follows.

My most recent visit was to LSU in beautiful Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Needless to say since it was Louisiana the bugs were prevalent and quite big. My last night in town, I was sitting in my room chatting on my computer when a cockroach comes flying through the air and lands on the wall in front of me. First of all, since when do cockroaches fly? It buzzed right past my head and freaked me out and then landed on the wall in front of me. I am not grossed out by much but cockroaches give me the willies. Caroline suggested that I kill the cockroach but I chose to take a picture of it instead (See picture below). I realize that there is not much to provide some persective, so you will just have to trust me that this guy was huge. It is easily one of the bigger roaches I have ever seen.

I snapped a few pictures of the roach and then it scurried off into some dark corner of the room. I didn't think much of it and went on chatting and doing work and then eventually went to bed. I got up early the next morning and packed my bags and drove 450 miles to Tallahassee, Florida to do my visit at Florida State. I get into Tallahassee and eventually check into my hotel. I settle into the room, put my bags down and start to unpack a bit. I grab my toiletries kit and walk over to the bathroom. My electronic toothbrush was low on battery when I brushed my teeth that morning so I wanted to pull it out and charge it. I unzip my back and that same, gigantic cockroach come crawling out onto the bag. I freaked and did everything short of screaming like a little girl. I dropped the bag out of pure reaction and the roach ended up landing on my bare foot. I freaked out for a second time in 5 seconds and jerked my foot back. The roach ran into the closet.

I am shaking because of the adrenaline and because I was caught completely by surprise. Who really expects a roach to come crawling out of your toiletries bag? Most likely the roach I had spared the night before had crawled into my bag and hitched a ride from Baton Rouge to Tallahassee. I figured that that roach already had once chance so I grabbed a bunch of tissue and went over to the closet and promptly smushed that little vermin. Then I threw him in the toilet and flushed him. (As an aside, Caroline named him Gus. Rest in Peace Gus).

So thanks to the roach I am simply disgusted and have to clean out my toiletries bag. I threw out half of my stuff and am still thinking about tossing the rest of them. All I can think about is some roach scurrying all over my toothbrush and my other stuff. Its enough to keep me awake at night. Gross, gross, gross.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Someone's Been Sleeping in My Bed

I am visiting the chapter at Ole Miss this week. This week is homecoming week and Oxford is not a big town. The combination of the two means that there are no open hotel rooms and since I needed a place to stay, the chapter put me up in a condo nearby. The condo is much nicer than any hotel room and there is plenty of space. An added benefit was that I was able to pull all of the dirty laundry out of my car and do it. I was down to my last pair of clean underwear and running low on shirts.

I didn't have many meetings the first night so I settled in and was watching some TV when there was a knock at the door. It was around 9:30 or 10:00 and I was not expecting visitors. Not only I am a little uncomfortable because I am in some someone's house (and have no clue who that someone is), but now there is an unexpected knock.

I opened the door and there is a middle aged woman who looks quite surprised to see me. She smiled and tried to be polite when she asked me who I was. (Now, here I am stuck. I can barely explain what I do to people I'm sitting next to on airplanes. Now I am in a strange town, in some stranger's condo, and there is someone who I have no clue who they are asking me what I am doing.)

I try the easy explination first: "I am Daniel and I'm visiting some friends here in Oxford." This, not surprisingly, only brought on more questions. I eventually explained my positon and what I was doing in Oxford. She asked how I knew the owner of the condo. "I don't actually," I replied. Someone from the chapter brought me over and told me I could stay here. She explained that she was the next door neighbor and was coming voer to borrow a bottle of wine and some vodka because they had run out next door. (Now, not only am I in some strange place and have no clue how I am connected with the owner, but the neighber is over asking me what I am doing here and borrowing alcohol. All I can think of is that I am going to get blamed for the missing alcohol and that would not be good.)

As she is leaving, the woman (I never caught her name) mentions that the owner and her daughter were coming into town the next day. Now I am really starting to get worried. Not only am I in a stranger's home, but she probably has no clue I am staying there and now she is going to come into town and find some stranger sleeping in one of their beds. Not only I am not sleeping well already, but now I have the idea stuck in my head that I will be woken up by some angry woman demanding to know who I am.

Luckily, there was no angry home owner to deal with when I woke up but I fully packed my car just in case I needed to make a quick getaway. The rumor is now that the owner is coming in on Friday so I am packing my car again tomorrow morning. I hope I have some place to sleep tomorrow night. I expect nothing short of an adventure.