coprophages winning the war

though ryan and i have lived in this apartment complex for nearly a year, we haven’t really made any friends.  it’s probably because our neighbors consist largely of a) young undergraduates who like to share their music through the walls at all hours of the night, and b) parents of small children.

so we haven’t made friends with our neighbors.  but as a dog owner i’m familiar with maude’s canine pals (i remember the names of the dogs, but not their owners), and i know a few of the aforementioned small children.  a four-year-old named nick lives in the next building and likes to pet maude whenever he sees us outside, and pedro the five-year-old lives just across the hall from us.

i was outside with maude the other day when nick came running over to say hello.  there were a lot of ants near the picnic bench where i was sitting, and nick began to stomp on as many as he could. *

“i don’t think you’re going to get them all,” i said.

i-i-i-i-i-i-i.  i don’t like bugs,” he said.

“me, either,” i said, “but i still don’t think you’re going to kill all these ants.”

“i like to stomp on the roaches at pedro’s house,” he said.



“pedro’s house has a lot of roaches.  i don’t like them.”


“what kind of roaches?” i said.  “big ones or little ones?”

“big ones and little ones.”

“are there a lot of them?”

“they’re everywhere,” he said.  he was wearing the kind of shoes that lit up every time he stepped on another ant.


“when-when-when-when-when-when.  when i go to pedro’s house, i like to stomp on them.  they go crunch

“well,” i said, trying to keep my cool in the presence of a child, “that’s why you should try to keep your kitchen clean.”

“can i play with maude?”

having lived in houston for most of my life, i’m no stranger to the cockroach.  i know that the big ones sneak in from outside looking for shelter, and the small ones come in when they think there’s going to be food.  i’d expect to see the big ones in pedro’s house, since their patio door is always open (i don’t think they can afford to run the air conditioner), but the small ones are probably there due to a lack of cleanliness.

so i can’t decide what percentage of me is worried about pedro, and what percentage of me is worried about the potential infestation of my own apartment.  it’s at least 60/40 if not more.  okay, sometimes late at night it’s more like 30/70, but either way i’m talking to the leasing office on tuesday.  poor kid.

* nick is as precocious a child as i can possibly imagine.  after a few minutes with him i’m ready to pack up and move to a nick-less apartment complex.  i’m sure that his parents must be functioning alcoholics, otherwise how could they deal?