18 June 2008

Lady bugs, closet hideaways, castle doctrine, and lactose

When I have unexpected/unwanted guests in my abode, they are usually of the arachnid type. Or possibly of another six-legged type. Nothing that can't be alleviated with a can of the blue Raid. Or is it the purple one? The one that leaves a (probably toxic to people) residue for months that keeps working to kill the little buggers.

In the last apartment I stayed in Columbia, I had this really awesome balcony with a really awesome view of the woods and some open grassy areas. Beautiful view. Though I guess not beautiful enough for the man who lived below and to the right of me since the view he consistently wanted to see when I saw him on the balcony was me. Me reading. Me sitting. Me sunbathing. Me on the phone. Me having a drink. Me trying to pretend he wasn't looking at me and making me feel a bit dirty. Me glaring at him and asking him why he liked to stare so much. I don't think he realized that there were other naturally beautiful things to be seen in the almost lovely Ashland Manor scenery.

But I digress. Every couple years in Columbia there is an incredible lady bug infestation. I mean, it is like nothing I had previously, or have since seen in my life. They were everywhere. Seriously. I am not one of the many who feel that lady bugs are cute little beings. I see the benefits of them on farms with crops and too many insects, but I did not live on a farm. At that point, I did not have a single living (or fake) plant in my place -- I did not require the service of the 500 lady bugs that gathered at the sliding glass door of my apartment to try and hibernate for the winter. I had to do something about them. I didn't want to kill all of these critters. Just the ones that kept trying to get into my house. Just the ones that kept ending up appearing as though they were walking/flying toward my bedroom, bathroom, reading room, living room, and kitchen. That's all. So I used that awesome spray can and was able to keep them out of the place throughout the rest of the infestation. (If it happened again, I would surely use something more eco/human lung friendly to get rid of the invaders.)

This being said, I cannot imagine coming across this type of uninvited/unwelcome guest. I know that housing in Tokyo is expensive, and that perhaps they do not have homeless living spaces (we hardly have any here in this country -- if you're in St. Louis, you can still go down to the park areas close to Union Station and see them, or by the public library, or you can drive down Delmar and see the same couple of men panhandling, though not as much recently due to the new laws against this last strive for sustenance and a life), but this is a bit much.

This is disturbing, yet ingenious. Think how much money she saved by not having to buy food, pay rent, or pay for the utilities she was using for an entire year. Quite clever. But so incredibly disturbing.

Perhaps someone needs to invent some type of trespasser-repellent. Though we already have something that is, I guess, supposed to be the repellent -- it's called the castle doctrine law. The gist is simply that it allows you to kill any person unlawfully entering a private premise or committing a forcible felony, such as kidnapping, armed robbery, burglary, arson, assault, rape, or sodomy.

Missouri adopted this law earlier this year. So I can now kill anyone that steps on my property without permission. Fortunately, I don't own a gun. Unfortunately, there are many people who do. Many people who also practice their right to conceal and carry.

Perhaps if I choose to shack with someone unbeknownst to them, I should first invest in all sorts of bulletproof products. I'll need to scout a good place, too. If the closet does not have sufficient room for me to get up and stretch every so often, I'm up. If the homeowner has stank feet, I'm up. I will need to check the pantry and refrigerator to find out if they eat the types of foods I like. If there's no cereal, I'm up. And if they don't have lactose-free milk, my cover will seriously be blown.

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