Out of Sync

That’s right, I’ve started a boy band cover group.  It was either Out of Sync or We B 3, but the former won because there are five of us.  I was inspired because as I write this my wife is swooning over the creepy pelvic thrusts of post rehab, over rogained, middle aged men of Boys to Men (or just “Men” now I suppose), 98 Degrees, New Kids On The Block (Or just “Men” now I suppose) and The Backstreet Boys (or just “Men” I supp– you get the idea).

Okay maybe that’s a terrible plan after all.

Actually, what I am actually trying to write about today is how absolutely out of rhythm I feel with the world when I get back from any time spent in the outdoors.  When I am on the job I spend most my time with my eyes glued to the ground, because that’s where most of the critters I squash live.  I see a lot of shoes, pavement, garbage, vomit, dog shit and awfully unpractical footwear (yes you Adidas with the stupid wings)

Because being an idiot is a top to bottom effort

Because being an idiot is a top to bottom effort

Before I worked in pest control or “Micro Assassination Technology” I was an outdoor guide for about a decade.  It was a job that was full of spirit, adventure, soul, poverty and debilitating injury.  I retired because I grew tired of giving doctors my hard earned pennies to reattach digits and mend my weary bones.

Don’t get me wrong,  I love my career these days but sometimes I feel like Crocodile Dundee did in New York.  Outside, in the bush, my encounters with nature are magical.  Birds chirp and I understand they mean “danger” or “I need to fuck another bird STAT!”.  I can smell when a bear has woken up in the springtime and I know what plants I can eat.  Often an ungulate will saunter by and give an understanding glance as he shits some bad berries.  The sun dictates my sleep cycle and the wind hitting the leaves gives me clues to the weather ahead, if I didn’t notice the rain or lightning.

When I get home everything changes.  Yesterday I parked my truck under an oak near city hall.  When I got out I was bombarded and unmercifully attacked by falcons.  Fucking falcons.  What the hell are all these falcons doing in the middle of the city?  As I’m running across the street clumsily ducking and weaving in my steal toes I wonder how I got so out of touch with nature so quickly.  Before I even have time to pontificate the matter I’m sliding in dog shit the last 5 feet.  The tree I stumble against is covered in sap.  The falcons are still, falconing…or whatever.

The exact face I make when ambushed by falcons.  As performed by a falcon

The exact face I make when ambushed by falcons. As performed by a falcon

Then it hits me,  I know exactly what has changed, nothing.  I catch myself completely romanticizing my old job.  I now remember cutting my thumb partially off. I remember being yanked out of a tent by a bear and I clearly recall being hissed and scratched at by martins trying to steal my food while I slept in a snow cave.  I’ve been stung by jellyfish, reacted to poison ivy,  thrown up in my own hiking boots and frozen my tits off in weather even Tauntauns have no right being in.

tauntaun

tauntaun

Nature has always been trying to kill me, it’s just the geography that’s changed.  I will say this though,  fresh air and quiet does wonders.  The wilderness isn’t for everyone though, clearly it isn’t for me either but I never learned a god damn thing.   Perhaps I should have gone with my wife to see “The Package” boy band extravaganza concert.  As far as I know they don’t employ falcons in their show.

So, here is a picture for my wife as a salute to her boy band escapism tonight while I nurse the mosquito bites and wipe dog poop off my boots:

Don't worry, I won't forget about you.

Don’t worry, I won’t forget about you.

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Switching Off

I have just returned to work after a short holiday.  This was a long weekend of redneck wonderment.  We shot guns, threw axes, drank and we lounged in the water.  One evening I got pretty intoxicated and when I say intoxicated I mean I the events I am recounting are testimonies from other people.  I can only assume I was actually there.

I do remember, however, having to pee.  So I got up, walked over to the lake, fell over and promptly pissed all over myself with the choreography of a Laker girl.  It could have been a dance.  After everyone was finished pointing and laughing I propped myself up and decided that peeing next to a large tree would be safer.  I stumbled over to the tree and began to pee again.  I then fell over and continued my brief tradition of pissing all over myself.  It was a glorious moment and I remember being really, really happy.  “Why” you ask, “would I be so happy to piss all over myself?”.  The simple answer is that it was the type of reckless abandon I had not afforded myself in some time.

Yeah, it was one of those nights.

Yeah, it was one of those nights.

Just a few days prior I was stressed out beyond imagination.  I had not had a vacation in a long time, not a real one.  I have been busy murdering the cute little woodland creatures that so bless this Earth and things only got busier.  I was saving all my pennies to buy a bulldozer so I could run over that dickhead who thinks he’s the first one to call me Billy the Exterminator.

"You're like, Billy the Exterminator right?!"

“You’re like, Billy the Exterminator right?!”

There comes a point in our work lives where we find ourselves so consumed with work that we completely forget about ourselves.  Even on weekends we think about the job.  There is a lingering afterglow of stress that follows us like a bad broccoli fart.  Even when the opportunity for a vacation arises you often tell yourself that you don’t want to go!  You are so consumed that you justify your feelings with the notion that your absence might affect your work load later.  It’s utter fucking horse shit.

So fast forward to me pissing on myself.  Actually, maybe just after that,  I don’t need to relive it again. Shame is harder to wash off than campfire smoke.  At that moment work was not even in my brain.   It’s not that I didn’t care, it’s that I didn’t even think about it.  Once you release the tether that attaches you to your obligations, there is a sense of release and peace.  It’s like taking a much needed piss,  maybe not on yourself mind you, but cathartic none the less.

Vacations are not a reward.  I hate that our occupations make us believe that. It is as if  it is something we must earn with sweat and stress.  Taking time for ourselves is a necessity and should be a requirement for employment.  Bitterness, resentment, health issues and subsequent shit productivity ensue otherwise.

and life will be all like WHAAT?!

and life will be all like WHAAT?!

So as I went back to work this week and continued smash small woodland creatures apart and poison the rest, I did it with renewed vigor and enthusiasm.  The stresses I had the week before didn’t seem nearly so daunting and I solved many of problems I had previously struggled against with amazing ease, like Justin Bieber did when he set out to make the worst music in the universe and taint the waters of the talent pool for centuries to come.

So reach down, deep inside and find that dial.  Turn your Give a Fuck Meter to zero and go do something that to you, is soul food, even if that means pissing all over yourself.

pigeon

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Perception

People ask me all the time what it’s like in a day of the life in my job.  It’s exactly like this, a little less nuclear perhaps, but close enough:

The fact of the matter is, every person you talk to will tell you tales (tails?) of the biggest rat in the world.  Maybe it was the worlds largest cockroach or hoards of silverfish, or whatever you happen to be most frightened of,  like children.   What people think they saw really gets in the way of treating what they actually saw.

The descriptions I get of simple, mundane and everyday pests from people blow my mind.

Typical Fowl Rodent

Typical Fowl Rodent

People who have severe phobias often vilify the ordinary.

People who have severe phobias often vilify the ordinary.

This is called a "Whutdafuq".  Half blind, hard of hearing elderly see this a lot.

This is called a “Whutdafuq”.  The half blind, hard of hearing elderly see this a lot.

Here is the rub, I am guilty of this as well.  This is why I take photos of dead things.  That way I don’t have to have the “you should of seen the size of it man!  It was 3 feet long if it was inch!” with my colleagues.

Pack rat: You may know the human variety

Pack rat: You may know the human variety

This guy died of obesity. For real.

This guy died of obesity. For real.

Stop: Hammer time

Stop: Hammer time

Fear and adrenaline are powerful things.  I find it useful to apply this equation I developed over years of research in a legitimate and certified laboratory to help weed out the exaggerated pieces of information.  Feel free to use it in your life:

equationequal

Solution

Solution

 

That’s all today folks, I’m hungover and my friend also punched me 15 times in the gut because I asked him to last night.  15 fucking times.

 

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PTBBD: Post Traumatic Bed Bug Disorder

We have all heard of PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  In past years it’s been called Shell Shock, Combat Stress Reaction or even battle fatigue.  PTSD is a broad term that can be applied to applied to pretty much everything ranging from combat to car accidents.  I’ve never heard of it applied to insects though, so I hereby introduce: Post Traumatic Bed Bug Disorder.

It means exactly what you think it means.  It’s what happens to you when you find out you have bed bugs.  I’ll explain in detail but I warn you, things are going to get gross.  In fact, after I finishing explaining it you are going to make a very specific face.  It’s a face I see a lot. You are going to make The Face.

At first there is ignorance.  Most people haven’t seen bed bugs for 40 years, but they are back and they are here to stay this time.  People start getting strange bites, these bites are often dismissed as an outside source, but they don’t go away.  Maybe they are an allergic reaction? No, sorry, they are not.  Then you see one of these terrible little devil bugs.  Maybe it tickles your arm or runs across your visual field while you read a book.  Perhaps, you see a series of black spotting on your bed, the infamous fecal material made solely from your digested blood.  Whatever tips you off, your brain will spark, your face will contort and your life will have been forever altered by the hostile theft of your childlike nativity that you do, in fact, have little fucking bed bugs.  It’s a violent realization.

First this...

First this…

Then it turns to this (as you can see I'm into continuity)

Then it turns to this (as you can see I’m into continuity)

To further add to the paranoia, you will have gone on the internet and learned all sorts of things no human should ever know about each other, let alone another species.  You may have even read about how bed bugs mate.  You see, they don’t make love.  They don’t even have violent, primal sex sessions.  Even howling cats gang raping each other outside your window sounds more pleasant than these things.  You see, bed bugs do something called Traumatic Insemination.  What a lovely technical and watered down description.  Essentially the male bed bug walks up to his counterpart, stabs her in the side with his penis, creating an open wound.  From there he injects his seed and leaves her to writhe around in pain, now pregnant.  The only way she can survive is her uncanny ability to produce antibodies to stave off infection, an ability that also makes them resistant to most chemicals.  Imagine going to the store to milk,  getting stabbed by a hooligan (yup, a hooligan) and stumbling your bleeding ass into the hospital only to have the doctor tell you are now pregnant.

Bed bug penis.  You're welcome.

Bed bug penis. You’re welcome.

So the question remains however, why are bed bugs so much more stressful than other pesky blood suckers like, ticks or mosquitoes? The mosquito and tick can transmit a plethora of diseases from West Nile to Lyme disease.  The bed bug is a non zoonotic species, which means it does not transmit pathogens from host to human while biting.  For the most part mosquitoes are inescapable too, in fact, we often incur more bites in less time by them.  The simple answer to this query is sleep.

Our beds are our refuge.  No matter how many times your boss slaps your ass, or how terribly awful your last haircut was (it was pretty bad, I’m sorry I am the one to tell you) or how stupid you looked asking that girl out while you had that massive booger hanging out of your nose (happened to me in grade 9, still haunts me today) you can always retreat to the one place that is your own personal fortress of solitude, your bed.  Take that away and you are a refugee in your own life.  You won’t sleep, which only adds to the paranoia and stress.  There is little you will think else of during the day.  There is a stigma attached to bed bugs too.  You will feel like a leper and people may treat you as one (if you are a leper then obviously you deserve it).  Financially it is one of the most expensive pest issues around too and the urgency it requires can put people in a financial tailspin.

A financial talespin

A financial talespin

So, you have blood take like a vampire while you sleep.  There are blood marks on your bed, you have become a social pariah and you are broke to boot.  Your house is then invaded by a guy like me (that means handsome) and you don’t even care anymore, because after you learned that bed bugs feed on you for around 13 minutes at a time every 3-5 days, your soul simply left the building.  In fact you probably won’t recover for months to come.  You end up having nightmares and perhaps you may not even believe they are gone for weeks after treatment.  You feel phantom bites and see things out of the corner of your eye and even your friends/family will never fully trust you don’t have a problem anymore.  This is Post Traumatic Bed Bug Disorder.  It reduces people to tears, disgust, rage and poverty.

Lastly, I am going to show you this picture:

insert vomit sound here

insert vomit sound here

And now you are making this face:

"The Face"

“The Face”

 

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Eat as Many Roses as You Like. Your Shit Still Stinks.

hippie_drum_circle

I see it every day.  I see people who are Earth loving, health conscious and Eco-friendly.  I see people who have tapped into their inner zen and know all to well that “Ohm” is a three syllable word.  I see those who can see my aura,  who’s third eye is stares deep into the loving depths of the human spirit.  I see the people who swim with dolphins and suckle from the gentle bosom of mother earth and return her generous bounty with the respect and dignity she so deserves.  For the nature goddess has given us life and there are few of us that have the conviction to live in harmony with her and truly embrace a symbiotic oneness with all the life energies that permeate our surroundings.

…until they have pests then it’s  “KILL IT WITH FIRE!

It blows my mind how quickly one’s convictions count for shit when we are invaded.  I have been yelled at to get my death machine out of peoples’ neighborhoods.  I have been lectured about how I am giving everyone cancer (Sorry Michael Douglas).  But, when push comes to shove everyone seems to be really keen on the shoving part.  The best way to explain this is for you to watch the Walking Dead.  Replace the zombies with bed bugs, rats, mice or hipsters, whatever pest ails you.  Then you end up being this guy:

 

Stand still. There's a mosquito on your forehead

Stand still. There’s a mosquito on your forehead

The truth of the matter is that you fought long and hard for the right to raise chickens in your backyard, well now you can.  With those chickens you also get rats.  With those rats you also get fleas.  With the fleas you flea circuses and circuses of any kind of awful.  Do you see where this is going?  By ignoring our own actions that brought bugs and rodents into our homes we cause the very issues we are burdened with and then I will be branded Satan’s death merchant for responding.  You don’t like food preservatives? That’s fine, but enjoy your flour beetles and Indian Meal Moths.  You refuse to put a lid on your garbage or simply just be sanitary? Great, enjoy your mice, rats and hipsters.

The point I am trying to make here is that we all seem to love to pat ourselves on the back for being “environmentally friendly” but hate dealing with the consequences.  It’s when these consequences bite us in the ass, often literally, that I am called.  I will admit though, like a hired killer to do the dirty work, I don’t mind.  I don’t mind the ridicule or to be branded a villain by many.  Truth be told, people like a villain.  In the end I am perfectly aware that I am here for your health and well being as well, kale and I are tight like that.

You see us as this:

Nice kill bro

Nice kill bro

I see us as this:

Problem = Solved

Problem = Solved

In the end you don’t have rat bite fever or the plague.

You are welcome.

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Internet for Dummies

Today I was reminded of something that happens all to often.

I was called in by an apartment complex to inspect two units for mice.  Both tenants were very pleasant.  They were just fucking stupid.  It’s not their fault, it’s the internet. The first woman was pretty simple but she had it in her mind it was a rat, not a mouse.  She argued with me up and down about how she read on the web what rat and mice look like and I was wrong.  She was roughly around 6,000 years old and very deaf.  Then she told me she was mostly blind too.  Come to think of it, she didn’t have a computer either. She also said the rat was naked.  This is a bad example, let’s move on.

The second tenant did something that is all too common,  she tried every home remedy she could read about.  I have to make note that she too had one glass eye and glaucoma in the other.  Her apartment was strewn with moth balls, garlic cloves, buckets with peanut butter in them, store bought rat poison, sonic deterrents, vinegar and mouse traps.  To me it looked as though she was battling vampires with peanut allergies in a fish and chip factory.  The only thing missing was a prayer circle and a burning pentagram.

It’s only then do they call in a professional.  Yet, somehow people need to argue with me about how all this stuff works.  If it worked, I wouldn’t be there, simple as that.  Mice infestations can’t be fixed with a bucket.  If you are in a fight and you throw left hook after left hook and constantly get the shit kicked out of you, don’t tell me how awesome left hooks are.

most powerful punch in the universe but also the most inaccurate.

most powerful punch in the universe but also the most inaccurate.

The internet has a lot of valuable information but it is literally like trying to find a bottle of hand sanitizer in a sea of shit.  It will constantly bombard you with so much misinformation that after your nose stops bleeding you need to be deprogrammed by the professional you will inevitably call.  It’s like when Keanu Reeves plugged into the matrix to learn Kung-Fu, but instead he also learns 1001 ways to eat a pancake funny.

I am fairly certain this is a universal truth for most contractors.  It’s just, in my profession I am trying to kill something with the latest and safest materials while you are throwing potpourri at it.  She even told me she preferred to use a “green” spray for bugs a website sold her because it contained natural pyrethrin, which is a natural extract from chrysanthemum flowers.  To which I had to explain is also the main ingredient in almost every single pesticide on the market and to stop washing her hair with it.

The internet was wrong?

The internet was wrong?

I know right?!

I know right?!

Anyway, I’ll leave it at that today.  Just do me a favor and when you use the internet and then proceed to tell someone how to do their job, bend over, shove your head up your ass and whistle.  I don’t know what will happen either but it’s probably just as useful.

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Dildo Care, Scabies and You.

Today’s lesson is on sexual health.  I am not a doctor. I am not even an expert.  I do, however, get to find out about people’s strange habits in the bedroom, or kitchen, or..wherever you decide to shame your parents’ good name.

Whenever I enter a home I tell people to remove EVERYTHING they don’t want me to damage, or find.  The two things I find during treatment are drugs and dildos.  When we jack the heat up in a home to 150 plus degrees Fahrenheit, things happen, awful things, to one of these two items.

Facts about dildos:

  • They are made of plastic
  • Plastic melts
  • I use heat for work
Heat. It's hot.

Heat. It’s hot.

So, like a Salvador Dali painting the scene I often encounter is that of surrealism, art and awkwardness, mostly awkwardness.  I never really know what to tell people when I melt their dildos, so usually I don’t.

The next issue I need to address is to never, ever, ask a pest control technician something that is not pest control related.  We are not qualified to tell you why quantum physical interactions do not fit well into the standard model of the universe.  We are not qualified to tell you why The Real Housewives of Vancouver was canceled, (well, I am) and we are certainly not qualified to diagnose venereal diseases.

One day I had a fellow stay in a shitbox hotel called something that rhymes with cobalt. Okay it was the Cobalt hotel.  Anyway, this fellow claimed he was eaten alive by bed bugs and asked that we cryonite his belongings.  What is cryonite you ask? Just stare at this picture and it will give you a sense of how it works:

cryonite: exactly like this but with less ghosts

cryonite: exactly like this but with less ghosts

Days later he calls me up while I am driving with my wife in the car.  I put him on speaker phone because I believe in safety.  He tells me he went to the doctor and it turns out he never had bed bugs at all.  “FANTASTIC!” I exclaim.

“It’s scabies.” he replies.

“FANTASTIC!” I exclaim.

This is when he asks me a question neither I, nor my wife was prepared to hear.

“So…when can I have sex again?”

Yup.  He just called up his local pest control agent and asked when it was safe to have sex again after contracting scabies from a hooker he picked up after a night at the Cobalt.  After my wife choked on her own tongue I had to explain to him that I was not qualified to answer that question unless he, or the prostitute, sprouted six legs and began reproducing asexually.

I should have simply responded “Never.”  That would have been the best answer for the entire human race.

So kids, put your dildos and drugs away and if shit gets real in your life and you end up with a 3 pound alien tick sucking on your balls, as interesting as that actually is, ask a doctor, not the bug guy.

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