Ear Gunk-Eating Insects, Polite Criminals, and A Teeny Tiny Washing Machine

Over the years, I have acquired a rather sizable portfolio of strange stories to share.  While reading a blog from one of my favourite bloggers, http://motherhoodisanart.com/2013/01/14/there-was-something-in-my-soda-can/, I was reminded of my first several apartments.  And the many…umm…”colourful” experiences that I had there.

This looks exactly the same as it did in 1988--looks okay, right?  Wrong.

This looks exactly the same as it did in 1988–looks okay, right? Wrong.

In hindsight, I should have chosen nicer places to live in.  And I was a collection officer at the time, so I should have known which buildings were “deadbeat-riddled cesspools.”  But I was barely twenty and very naive.  I was so naive, in fact, that I thought my kitchen was full of “grease bugs.”  I later learned that these crunchy-looking, shadow-casting monsters that hated the light, were cockroaches.  My kitchen was literally crawling with them.

cockroach cartoon

The insects, however, were really the least of my problems.  Shortly after moving in, a tenant of the 25th floor came home and interrupted a robbery in progress.  A hostage-taking ensued, the SWAT team was called in, and, I can only assume, the situation was rectified.  This was soon followed by a resident of the adjacent high rise taking potshots at a passing bus with a rifle.  No one was shot.  It would appear he was a nutbar with particularly bad aim.

My thug was easier to get rid of than this guy.

My thug was easier to get rid of than this guy.

On one occasion, a deranged person tried to break down my door.  They were hollering someone’s name.  I couldn’t quite make it out, but it sounded nothing like mine.  I meekly informed the person through the door that they had the wrong apartment and they apologized and went away.  I know that this sounds like an unlikely resolution to the problem, but this exact thing had happened to me before.  I was boarding at another apartment building and was home alone, cheering loudly to the Grey Cup (Canada’s version of the Super Bowl), when a different (I am assuming) person began pounding on the door.  It would seem that someone owed this dude money.  Unsure what to do, I told him (again, through the closed door) that this was not blah-blah’s apartment.  He went away.  It would appear that deranged people can be reasoned with.

polite Canadians

And don’t get me wrong.  It’s not like I live in a city filled with insane door-busting people.  I just happened to live in places that attracted insane door-busting people.  On the upside–they were always polite and apologetic.  That’s a Canadian criminal for you.

A favourite Canadian pastimes.

A favourite Canadian pastime.


Holy crap.  You could make a candle with all that wax.

Holy crap. You could make a candle with all that wax.

1) One of the things that troubled me the most about having cockroaches was the fear of having one crawl in my ear while I slept.  A giant, crusty, long-legged earwig of sorts.  One that could survive a nuclear holocaust.  Suppose it developed a taste for ear wax.  Although, after looking at this picture, I may never eat ANYTHING again.  But cockroaches are much less squeamish.  And, maybe, my ear wax is a delicacy.  My farts smell like roses, so anything is possible.

Thankfully, one of my blogger friends, (http://wedelmom.wordpress.com/about/), introduced me to the Ear Vac.  Perhaps, this would not only keep my ears free of cockroach food, but it might also suck out any insects that wander in their in the first place.

Too bad I didn’t come across this twenty years ago.  Thankfully, I NOW reside in a bug free house.

2.  In case you’ve never met someone who has actually had a large insect burrowing around in their ear canal, here is a man who temporarily provided shelter for a June Bug.  

Apparently, the most common ear invaders are gnats, beetles, moths and ROACHES.  I knew it!  According to wikihow.com, small winged insects get stuck and can’t fly out.  Large bugs get trapped and can’t crawl out backwards.  Great.  Our ears are giant bug traps.  And, unless you are a deaf person, you get the pleasure of hearing amplified bug sounds–like buzzing, flapping, and of course, everyone’s favourite–gnawing through the ear drum noises.

3.  If you are looking for your first apartment, here are some you may want to consider (or not):


 This 100-floor monster is The Princess Towers in Dubai, the tallest apartment building in the world.  I don’t want to live anywhere that a Hook’n’Ladder truck can’t reach me.  Plus, I hate heights.  But, if none of these things are of concern to you, this may be just the place for you.  As long as the elevators are reliable.  

penthouse in TriBeCa

This is currently the most expensive rental property in New York City.  This 13,500 square foot, three floored, penthouse in TriBeCa currently rents for $100,000 per month.  A far cry from the city average of $3400 a month, which, by the way, would land you a staggeringly beautiful spot up here in the Great White North.  Except maybe T.O.  Or Vancouver.  Their prices are NUTS.



photo credits:  ear wax (ack!) (sudanforum.net), Princess Towers (www.tameer.net),


8 responses

  1. Okay – I am officially freaked out by the June bug thing. And June bugs in general. EWWWWWW!
    Only you could get some deranged person to leave your door by telling them they have the wrong apartment. I LOVE your stories!!

  2. I’m so glad you wrote this! I had no idea so many people had so many horrific first apartment stories….It would make a great book I think…a whole collection of 1st apartment stories! I love that Canadian criminals have such good manners! I can’t believe you were a debt collector! I’m 5’0” too and I know I certainly wouldn’t be intimidating…you must have some secret skills! Great post! Great stories!

  3. Holy ish, I’m just curious, what are you like in a grocery store? How long does it take you to finish shopping?? I pride myself on being and befriending the most ADD and ADHD riddled people (because let’s face it, they’re fun) but seriously?! This is awesome.

    What IF- that reasonable nut job banging on your door was the same person OR was looking for the same person. This could make for an interesting story of mistaken identity, reincarnation, or peephole renovation. And where the F did you live?? And I love the term “grease bugs.” I think that i got some “pee bugs” in my bush….

    Are there earthquakes in Dubai…

    And I like how the woman in the June bug vid was all comforting: “Yes it can (crawl into your brain). I saw it on one of those ER shows.” Yep, sounds like my mom.

    Lovely post as usual.

    • Actually, I am surprisingly quick for someone who will never buy the can at the front of the pack, must make sure that there are no dents, and that the label is perfectly in place. Practice, after all, does make perfect.
      I never thought of it being the SAME nutjob following me from one end of the city to the other. I’m surprised I never thought of it–with me being neurotic and all.
      Pee bugs. I’d definitely get those checked out.
      Yes, the earthquake thing did occur to me. Those people on the 100th floor are CRAZY.
      And, yup, wouldn’t want that woman around me in an emergency. My mother wouldn’t come out and SAY that it could burrow into my brain. She would infer it with facial expressions and literature on the subject.

      • I love the idea of inferring things with facial expressions and literature. I’m going to take a day and communicate only in that matter.

        And when it comes to choosing grocery items, you and I are kin- I never take the first on the shelf. And I only touch my produce with paper bag hands. Being smart takes forever some time.

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