I am the Bravest Man Alive!

Yesterday, 10pm, I was asleep and the opening of my bedroom door woke me up – my 9 year old daughter was in a panic. “Something’s wrong with Josie!” Josie is her older sister. Like any concerned father I tried to keep my eyes shut, “What?” I murmured. “You have to come down!” she said.

So I said, “ok, ok, go downstairs. I’ll meet you there.”

She closed the door and went downstairs.

Five minutes later: “Daddy! You have to come down!”

So, ok, I woke up, put my pants on (when I’m home I wear the same pants every day until they are so frayed that no Laundromat will even touch them). I went downstairs. In Josie’s room, she’s lying around reading a book.

“What seems to be the problem here?”

Both kids pointed at her wall. There was an insect, frozen in fear at these two enormous giants that had been yelling at them. The insect was about twice as big as an ant but maybe smaller than a bee.

“Look!” they yelled.

In 2008, Josie once sent her then 6 year old sister into the kitchen. Her mother and I had been screaming at each other. Actually, I was probably the one doing the screaming. My throat, lungs, heart were raw. Everything was raw to the bone and within days we’d be separated forever.

“Daddy,” Mollie said back then in 2008. She was so tiny, a little girl with nothing but orange hair surrounding all over her. Sort of like “The Thing” in the Addams Family TV show when I was a kid. “Daddy, Josie wants to know if you two are getting a divorce.” Her sister had sent her in. Josie was nowhere to be found. They were so scared of the yelling, the fighting, the uncertainty of what would happen to them. What would happen to us, to me, to their lives, so little and unprotected by the  two adults yelling. I didn’t know what to say to her. She was trying to smile but all there was was fear.

And now again, Mollie on her mission for her sister who was three years older than her.

The insect.

“Ok, ok,” I said, and then I started yelling, “I see the seriousness of this situation here. There’s a living being one- ten thousandth the size of you guys and it happens to be motionless on the wall. I think I might be the only one on the planet brave enough to handle this situation.”

Their room was a mess. Comics, clothes, books, pens, crayons, shit all over the place. I walk into their bathroom, which posed a much greater threat  since someone or both of them had just used it and everything in their bodies must’ve have exploded out. It was as if they had eaten diseased moose for dinner and diarrheaed it all out. Then they decided that Mollie, the younger one, would immediately get me to kill a probably already dead insect that was on the wall next to Josie’s bed.

I got the Black Raid. I sprayed the insect. It fell to the floor. “It’s still moving!” Mollie said.  I got toilet paper and picked up the insect and flushed it down the toilet.

Josie finally spoke, “now that side of my bed smells like insect repellant.”

“Listen,” I said, “what you just observed was probably the bravest act in mankind that you two children will ever observe. I just destroyed a monster that was maybe threatening not only your sanity but your lives.”

“Daddy,” Mollie said, “aren’t you supposed to be asleep now anyway. Why are you talking so much?” My use was done.

“I can’t believe the act of bravery you two just observed,” I said. And then using the Black Raid container as a fake microphone I began to sing into it, performing various ballads from different Broadway shows. This would be a warning to them in the future. Don’t wake Daddy up!

When my musical repertoire was exhausted, I went back upstairs. It was pitch black in the room. Claudia was only half asleep – not moving but woken up by all the noise. She slurred in an accent I still can’t place after knowing her for two years, “what’s going on down there?”

“I just killed a furry, repulsive monster approximately 7000 times smaller than me.”

“Mmm,” she said, “that’s nice honey.” And she fell asleep.

She was in the middle of the bed. Men don’t get the middle of the bed. One of these days I will find out what the middle of the bed feels like. I’m sure it would feel like there was balance in my life, that I was warm and protected and that every side of me was forming itself into a shape that would comfort me and hold me. But Claudia always ended up in the middle.

I couldn’t sleep. I had just killed that furry little monster. It was dead now. And within 100 years, more or less, the 4 human monsters in this house will almost certainly be dead as well.

 

 

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  • http://twitter.com/FXAlgo Carlos Holguin

    I think the middle of the bed is a tricky goal. usually means whoever was sleeping there has chosen to sleep elsewhere

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ray-Fitzgerald/1249391170 Ray Fitzgerald

    I think you should have taken the insect outdoors and let it go.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Thats what Claudia usually does. And I did feel guilty. But I killed it.

  • http://www.slopeofhope.com Tim Knight

    I wonder what songs you sang. “What I Did For Love” from Chorus Line seems a strong candidate.

  • kj

    yikes, dark ending

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      death not necessarily dark

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      death not necessarily dark

  • http://economicdisconnect.blogspot.com/ GYSC

    Did the Raid eat the paint off the wall? When called to action, Altucher dont play!

  • Anonymous

    Mollie is sooooo cute! they both are! lucky guy!

  • Anonymous

    thx for the laughs! Your kids are so cute!

  • Anonymous

    thx for the laughs! Your kids are so cute!

  • Anonymous

    You never know when you need a good laugh until you get one! Thanks for the endearing laugh James

  • Anonymous

    You never know when you need a good laugh until you get one! Thanks for the endearing laugh James

  • http://www.awkwardengineer.com AwkwardEngineer

    Cute. :-)

  • http://www.awkwardengineer.com AwkwardEngineer

    Cute. :-)

  • http://www.awkwardengineer.com AwkwardEngineer

    Cute. :-)

  • http://manonthestreet.com manonthestreet

    wow…I thought for sure you would spare the bug. In addition I was disappointed that your choice of weapon was aerosol pesticide. I am quite sure that both of these actions are somehow in violation of the daily practice, with the only salvation being that it was cutting into your eight hours of sleep.

    At least let us know what type of bug you murdered? Cue the Barrington Levy Maestro…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9mvTNh-plY

  • http://manonthestreet.com manonthestreet

    wow…I thought for sure you would spare the bug. In addition I was disappointed that your choice of weapon was aerosol pesticide. I am quite sure that both of these actions are somehow in violation of the daily practice, with the only salvation being that it was cutting into your eight hours of sleep.

    At least let us know what type of bug you murdered? Cue the Barrington Levy Maestro…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9mvTNh-plY

  • http://manonthestreet.com manonthestreet

    wow…I thought for sure you would spare the bug. In addition I was disappointed that your choice of weapon was aerosol pesticide. I am quite sure that both of these actions are somehow in violation of the daily practice, with the only salvation being that it was cutting into your eight hours of sleep.

    At least let us know what type of bug you murdered? Cue the Barrington Levy Maestro…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9mvTNh-plY

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Well, I’m not Jesus. And I don’t know what kind of bug it was. It was something on the evolutionary ladder between an ant and a bee. And yes yes YES, i shouldv’e picked it up on a piece of paper and let it out the door. I’m GUILTY!

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Well, I’m not Jesus. And I don’t know what kind of bug it was. It was something on the evolutionary ladder between an ant and a bee. And yes yes YES, i shouldv’e picked it up on a piece of paper and let it out the door. I’m GUILTY!

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Well, I’m not Jesus. And I don’t know what kind of bug it was. It was something on the evolutionary ladder between an ant and a bee. And yes yes YES, i shouldv’e picked it up on a piece of paper and let it out the door. I’m GUILTY!

  • Tim Melvin

    Its an insect. There are trillions of them. Spray it, squish it, flush it and move on. Life is too short to feel sympathy for a bug.

    Now if we could just apply this logic to politicians the world would be a better place.

    • M.S.D

      your an insect then. how would you feel is you get sprayed squished and flushed.

  • Tim Melvin

    Its an insect. There are trillions of them. Spray it, squish it, flush it and move on. Life is too short to feel sympathy for a bug.

    Now if we could just apply this logic to politicians the world would be a better place.

  • Tim Melvin

    Its an insect. There are trillions of them. Spray it, squish it, flush it and move on. Life is too short to feel sympathy for a bug.

    Now if we could just apply this logic to politicians the world would be a better place.

  • http://twitter.com/fzeng96 Feng Z

    i remember one time me and a friend was standing on a hill looking over all the houses down, i said to him almost the exact same thing you said, that in 100 years all these people are going to be dead. it was a moment clarity.

  • http://twitter.com/fzeng96 Feng Z

    i remember one time me and a friend was standing on a hill looking over all the houses down, i said to him almost the exact same thing you said, that in 100 years all these people are going to be dead. it was a moment clarity.

  • http://twitter.com/fzeng96 Feng Z

    i remember one time me and a friend was standing on a hill looking over all the houses down, i said to him almost the exact same thing you said, that in 100 years all these people are going to be dead. it was a moment clarity.

  • http://twitter.com/eddunkle Keith Alt

    I think the bravest person alive is the person who married you.  (No offense.)

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      She thinks so too.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      She thinks so too.

  • Matt

    haha, cute kid man

  • Matt

    haha, cute kid man

  • razorsedge

    i like it, headline: HERO DAD SAVES FAMILY, more @ 11…

  • razorsedge

    i like it, headline: HERO DAD SAVES FAMILY, more @ 11…

  • Asuter

    fight for the middle. you have nothing to lose. just push and shove until you are in your desired position. they work around you.

  • Sussan

    Our natural revulsion to insects is not unreasonable. There are some scary insects out there, that can be dangersous or life threatening. http://listverse.com/2007/11/15/top-10-deadliest-insects/ My scientist daughter whom I accompanied recently on an entomological kill/capture says that if you catch a bug it means that there are millions more just like them and you are not endangering them with elimination of a single specimen. Peace of mind for your daughters outweighs the life of a bug.

  • http://twitter.com/sandman_va Dave Sandrowitz

    First off, bugs should know better than to fuck around in human dwellings.  Evolution should have gotten them to the point that they stay the hell away from us…we are bad news for those with hard outer shells and all inhabitants of the natural world need to figure it out or die.

    Second, and more importantly, this is a wonderful anecdote that most, if not everyone reading you, can relate to.  I have absolutely been woken up for similar reasons, found similar messes, and had the bed colonized by my better half in my absence.  These are the moments that make all the other crap worth being around for, frankly.

    Oh, and it is so obvious you just wanted to post pics of those super cute kids.  So transparent, James.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      :)

  • Christofurio

    Sleep on the side of the bed furthest from the door.  That way, if terrorists barge in some night, you’ve got a human shield.

  • Jim Tanner

    OK, I’ll be the party pooper here.  I love your posts and read them everyday.  But, I was hoping to see this situation as an opportunity for you to teach your kids the value of life regardless of how many of “them” there are, or how ugly or scary “they” are.  You don’t have to be “Jesus” to exercise compassion.  Maybe you just need an extra dose of The Daily Practice. 

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      I should’ve. But I was tired. I didn’t want to. Maybe I needed an extra dose of everything. Who knows?

  • AltucherFan

    You should have taken it outside. I always do. Fruit flies are a great source of frustration in my life.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tomharrigan Tom Harrigan

    Haha, I wonder if “The Thing” will become a slang term for us gingers now.

  • http://www.brookefarmer.com Brooke Farmer

    From the time my son was about two years old I had him trained to kill spiders for me. 

    I do not do spiders. 

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      I should really train them on the spiders.

      • http://www.brookefarmer.com Brooke Farmer

        Boys are easier in this regard. It was the opportunity for him to “protect” his mom. I don’t care what “they” say… boys and girls are inherently different. 

        • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

          Funny you say that. We have as a guest right now a woman who played basketball in the 1996 Olympics and then played pro basketball. We were hoping she could trash a friend of ours who played a little bit of college basketball. She told us that even a good male high school basketball player can take on a pro woman player.

          Another story. When I was in college I lived with a top 200 tennis player (male) and he had a student who was a top 10 in the world female player. He barely had to move and she was running all over the court.

          But women are better at cutting my heart into shreds than men are. Or making me happy. Either one.

  • http://www.brookefarmer.com Brooke Farmer

    I can’t believe how many commenters are really *that* concerned about the fact that you killed a bug. This is vaguely hysterical to me. Really, guys? It’s a bug. The girls are not going to grow up to be murderers because he didn’t take this as an opportunity to teach them about the value of life. 

  • Anonymous

    Sleeping on the edge of the bed next to a wife is better than sleeping alone. That is what I tell my husband all the time.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      I will live by this comment.

    • Kevin M

      Totally something my wife would say. And I would agree with while sleeping on 1/4 of the bed.

  • Monica

    I’m shocked no one has commented on the eeriness of the last, post-modern, nihilist-leaning sentence.  This is me commenting on the nihilistic last sentence.  

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      I view it as reality AND nihilistic

    • http://www.dinosaurtrader.com dinosaurtrader

      I see an acknowledgement of death as the opposite of nihilism. It allows you to believe more in each day that we’re here.

      -DT

  • http://www.dinosaurtrader.com dinosaurtrader

    Hang on… I thought we had some unspoken agreement that I write about killing bugs and cute furry creatures and you write the Dear Abby stuff.

    I kill ants—> http://www.thereformedbroker.com/2011/04/19/in-which-dt-makes-another-copper-trade-and-kills-scores-of-ants/

    I kill furry things–> http://www.thereformedbroker.com/2011/05/18/about-that-dead-mole/

    I have sex with dogs—>http://www.thereformedbroker.com/2011/04/18/in-which-dt-makes-a-copper-trade-and-is-violated-by-a-dog/

    Abide, else your blog will be infested by ants.

    Anyway, about being a father to two young girls (something else we share in common)… last night I was having a drink with a friend who has a 13 year old. He told me she won’t be seen anymore with him in public. “And I thought I was a cool Dad!” he lamented. Wondering if you have any plans or strategies for keeping them close in a few years. I sometimes worry about the teenage years when I can’t sleep at night.

    As always, thanks,

    -DT

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Believe me, I have one more year left and I’m scared to death and also very sad at the fear of losing her to those teen years.

      • http://www.dinosaurtrader.com dinosaurtrader

        No wait… don’t tell me you don’t have some plan. I’m sort of counting on you to come up with something that works!

        Look, go get the restaurant pad and head over to the local cafe. I need “25 Ways To Keep Your Daughter From Becoming A Slut” on my “desk” in 6 years.

        -DT

        • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

          Ok, working on it right now.

          • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

            Well, DT, I didn’t really have a plan and now I can’t be seen in public with a 14 year old.

  • Chris Gabel

    I never use spray. Just get a tissue a squash the sucker. I liked the show tune concert, though. Gotta make them pay for waking you up.

  • Jquick99

    you should have taught them NOT to kill the insect…it wasn’t bothering them [mosquitos and flies NOT included].

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      I didn’t really know what it was so I don’t take chances with the kids.

  • http://twitter.com/fzeng96 Feng Z

    unless you’re a vegan or a fruitarian, i give you the benefit of the doubt, the rest of you guys judging him kill that insect are all fucking hypocrites. killing is ugly, but it’s part of life so get over it, or stop eating meat or stop using any product resulted from killing or might contributed to the lost of life, see how long that will last. sure he could have picked it up and throw it out, and i hope you all judge yourself as hard as you judge him.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Feng, its really funny actually because most people eat meat. And even if you’re a vegetarian but you do things like eat honey you’re really destroying the lives of millions of insects, bees, whatever. Its funny the direct these comments turned. It was the middle of the night, I didn’t know what kind of insect it was and had to make a critical life-or-death decision. But now I’m crucified by it by everyone who put honey in their tea this morning, enslaving millions of bees (and ultimately killing them) to get that honey.

  • Anonymous

    I make sacrifices whenever I can not to kill for food or clothing.  But, if you have more than 4 legs and you are in my house, you will be hunted and destroyed.

  • http://www.736hundred.tumblr.com 736hundred

    I bet your daughters fall in love with someone who will take care of all the creepy gross scarey bugs that come their way AND who doesn’t mind when they sleep in the middle of the bed.

    Sounds kind of silly but these are really important qualities.

  • Michael

    As I tell my wife in these insect situations: you outweigh that little insect by how much? Why are you afraid?

  • Anonymous

    Killing the insect was no biggie. IMHO though, you might have taught your daughters to either kill it themselves, or take it outside themselves though. You know, “face your fears” etc.

    And keeping in mind that we are all going to be dead, helps us live better, methinks.

  • Willisnillis

    To all of you who ever wondered… and I’m sure there are tons of you…. what would a buddhist pest control guy do… would they even do pest control? Well, I used to do pest control and I was a little bit of a buddhist/taoist, or I was at least sympathetic to some of the teachings. Some common things people would say to me while I was working… (the employees of the businesses I was at,) ” How can you do that?” or ” that’s gross,” or “you people suck,” (the last comment was frequently delivered by females that were roughly between the ages of 17-26, this might be a good marketing demographic for the buddhist “community” to concentrate on. )
     
    It was gross. Which doesn’t take too much imagination to realize. Though reasonable people knew it was something that needed to be done if they wanted the human race to stick around. What would happen if rodents took over the town?
     
    One word described my work, competence. I was a consummate professional.
     
    I had to spay for insects, catch mice, rats, squirrels and raccoons. We wouldn’t kill the squirrels or the raccoons, I would let them go at a park. Actually, I did my best to not catch anything and still stay employed. Sometimes the raccoons would chase me when I let them go. One I particularly remember, he told me to drop him off at a park near a Starbucks and I couldn’t find one. He came furiously out of the cage and stood up on his rear legs… he then looked at me while reaching for the sky with his front hand/paws like a bear. I was quick to get in the truck and make my way out of there. (Even wildlife get picky in a developed economy.)
     
    Another time I had to take care of a wasp’s nest. In the summer you would do like 10 of these in a day. I was cocky from doing all of these nests and getting them done so quickly. I went to do this job and I forgot my helmet in the truck. Well, being the smart person I was with the superior skills I had, I didn’t bother to go back and get it. Who needs a protective mask anyway, losers… that’s who.
     
    Well, I proceeded to go out and take care of this wasp nest in the backyard of this rich woman’s house. She let me go through her house and out the back sliding door, I remember her asking me ” don’t you need a mask to do this?” “No, it’s not a big deal.” I said. To make a long story short, she locked the door… I sprayed the nest… but I didn’t  do it properly. (Really? Yes, really.) All of a sudden I was swarmed by wasps and getting stung in the face, (poison face…) I was banging on her sliding room door to let me in, she wouldn’t let me in. I then ran and jumped over her backyard fence into safety.
     
    The most cruel things to use on the rodents were the glueboards. I wouldn’t use the glueboards after I saw what they did. The least cruel were the snap traps, at least they would die instantly, you would know where they were and they worked well.
     
    I used to read a lot of buddhist and taoist writings when I was younger, and I would sometimes feel guilty of hurting a bug. In fact, at one time, I had a pet fly… little Jeff Goldblum. I caught him when he was snacking on some crumbs on a window shelf. I think there must have been something in one of his eyes as he had slow reflexes. I managed to get a cup over him and put him in a large jar with some holes in the lid. I basically made the jar into a little bachelor’s flat for him. I even fed him lettuce and carrots, he was to be a healthy vegetarian fly. A superfly. Not only that, I also gave him some shrubbery, twigs, and a little Hot Wheels car. He liked to stand on top of the car and scratch his legs together. In any event, he didn’t look good after a few days so I let him go.

    But, he didn’t want to go. Maybe he had become used to the walls, like a zoo animal. He did finally leave, though it had the enthusiastic limp of a person leaving a big city to return to a small hometown, (though he was leaving a small town for a big city.) I believe little Jeff had his first existential feeling. Maybe brought on by yearning or suffering. He wanted to go – but he wanted to stay.
     
    The fly, like a person, didn’t know what he wanted. Not a contradiction, just a paradox. 

    This brings me back to the point of my post… (there is one?)

    What if the world was run by buddhists, would they stop all the wars…. and what about the pest control guys? Would they come after THEM too? Would I have been out of a job? Would the world be a better place if we eliminated all the wars and all of the pest control guys? Would the world be a better place if there was nothing but peace?

    And who makes flies anyway? All their eyes, and their wings and their buzzing and stuff. Often when you are trying to do something important or eat. Except little Jeff… there was one well mannered fly. 

    • Davidjohnhall

      Poetry.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Great stuff!

    • http://twitter.com/fzeng96 Feng Z

      wow, where is your blog? i want to read it.

      • Anonymous

        That was great. If you don’t write & share already, you should. 

        (oops, meant for the Buddhist fly catcher guy)

    • http://twitter.com/fzeng96 Feng Z

      wow, where is your blog? i want to read it.

    • http://twitter.com/fzeng96 Feng Z

      wow, where is your blog? i want to read it.

    • Richdarvan1974

      I’m loving this sh*t… write more dude.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/derekdodds Derek Dodds
  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/derekdodds Derek Dodds
  • Frank Lee

    Bugs are robots.

    Dating myself here, but I must point out the oversight on the part of James’ fact-checking staff.  Thing (in the closing credits, “itself”) was the disembodied hand.  It was Cousin Itt who was all hairy.

    Ahh, for the days of quality entertainment.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKVfhZoFKX8

  • Frank Lee

    Bugs are robots.

    Dating myself here, but I must point out the oversight on the part of James’ fact-checking staff.  Thing (in the closing credits, “itself”) was the disembodied hand.  It was Cousin Itt who was all hairy.

    Ahh, for the days of quality entertainment.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKVfhZoFKX8

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Yes, you are correct! My fault.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Yes, you are correct! My fault.

  • Pat Mwendwa

    James,

    Great job as always in entertaining the masses! What can I say; I almost wanna have kids so that I can get to be the brave Dad!! lol!

    Anyway, totally out of context, as an investor, what pain points in life or what tool can I build for you(the 50 investors on my rolodex) that would definitely make me some money? Please feel free to drop me some ideas(exercise your idea muscle) and we could even partner(trying to part with equity for a first customer).

    Hope to hear from you soon!

    Patrick
    972 821 8219(text only..I have an accent! lol)

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      You can help me manage my Weibo account. thats like the twitter of China. I have a lot of followers on that account but do not have any idea how to engage with them.

      • Pat Mwendwa

        James, 

        I know Weibo! In fact, here is what I was thinking on putting together for you

        (i) An App that you could use as you dashboard for all your social networking sites. So how it works is you post just once(thru the app) and the post is posted in all your social network sites. You also get updates thru this same App from all your Social Sites! Think BI(business intelligence)

        As for engaging them, here is what you could do…..(working on it)

        Patrick
        972 821 8219

      • Pat Mwendwa

        And as I was about to start going to work on how to engage your followers, something popped in my head;

        -How many of the followers are real(how many just have the auto-follower enabled whereby they follow everybody)
        -What if the same app(the post below this is supposed to be 1st) can be built to sort and “clean-up” followers who dont follow u in say 2 weeks!
        -them you would be left with just the genuine guys that are interested and actually participating….
        -Then that way an engagement strategy could be introduced by looking 
         most bio’s and finding the golden thread that runs thru most…

  • Random Pundit

    I know this is supposed to be funny and all ( the juxtaposition of how you and your wife fight amongst your kids was a real knee slapper after all ) but I was just wondering… Did you even try to identify the bug before you killed it? It was probably harmless. Brave would have been to teach your kids to stay calm, make it a learning opportunity, and go on the internet and identify it, and simply scoop it up and throw it out of the house.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      I did not consider for a second. But i do teach them the benefits on millions of bees when they eat agave as opposed to honey.

  • Kgbdb1

    The line where you walked into the bathroom made me laugh harder than I have in a long time –
    Thanks I have a family wedding this weekend and needed that Kevin

  • cratuki

    Just last week you were telling us to eat what we kill, and now you’re just throwing it away – waste!

  • Gina

    Your girls are pretty lucky, that was some primo dad work. I too hate bugs* but I always feel guilty when I kill them. I try to use the blip on the time continuum perspective to help me to focus on what is really important, but it is also super depressing, especially late at night.

    * in Florida, roaches seem to be the size of VW bugs. They give me the woogilies.