Sometimes, in my day-to-day life, I look around and say, wow. How the cripes did I get here? I actually ask myself this a lot, mostly because a lot of times I show up at my house and don't remember the drive at all, even though I'm the one behind the wheel, and also because I get lost really, really easily. Those things aside, this also might appear as a deep, existential question about "this journey called life". But let's not get ridiculous. Generally, I ask myself this in relation to my current living situation. Let's just start this conversation off with the fact that my house has affectionately been dubbed the "fun house", not because my roommate and I are real livewires, but because it literally is like a carnival fun house. The only thing it lacks is a hall of mirrors. Otherwise, all the other classic elements of a fun family adventure are right here in the humble abode of yours truly. Extremely low ceilings? Check. Mind-boggling floor plan?* Check. Fake hardwood floors that wave and bubble like the Crystal Ballroom, except no one's dancing? Check. Doors that lead to nowhere? Check. Reversed sink handles? Check. Lights that flicker on and off? Check. Doorknobs that don't work? Check. Closets that occasionally shapeshift? Check.
I guess I do know how I got here though--I flew to New Orleans, and after an exciting round of guess which house is mine, I stumbled into this mad world and promptly went to sleep. It's my preferred method of solving problems, closely followed by a) denial, and b) googling the issue until I find a satisfactory answer. Really, though, the house is not a problem. It has character. It also has a prime location--across the street from campus and two blocks from the Boot? Sold.
Here's what the real problem is: cockroaches. That's the piece de resistance of the funhouse, the last little trick up the proverbial funhouse sleeve. You never know when they'll pop out--is it part of the charm, or did the carnival just take a very dark turn? Ask yourself this question, but stay on your toes. Literally. This morning I woke up to a new friend in the middle of my floor, and I'm here to tell you, this thing was a monster. The good news is, he was already dead, taken down by the poison our landlady lined the entire house with**. But, as the old saying goes, assume makes an ass out of you and me--or in this case, it makes for a pissed off Lauren and a very dead cockroach. Listen, if you went to go sweep up a roach you thought was dead, at eight a.m., before your morning coffee, only to have it scuttle away (he was slower than they normally are...I think the poison just made him a little woozy) and seek shelter in your laundry basket, you would have some choice words too. Luckily, I keep a spray can of Raid handy especially for times like these and so I melted that sucker right into my wavy funhouse floor. He actually melted. Like after I swept him up and tossed him into the bushes outside the back door, I had to go back and wipe up puddles of brown cockroach shell. Did it make me question how safe it is to use Raid in the house? Only for a minute. Revenge is a powerful motivator.
You might be asking yourself where revenge comes into this story, but bear with me. This guy I melted? I'm sure he was guilty only of doing his cockroach thing. His brother from three days ago, however, is another story. That roach crawled into my silverware drawer. I was washing forks FOR HOURS. Anyway, if there's one thing Men in Black taught me, it's that you take the biggest ones down by stepping on the smallest. Also, Will Smith? Kind of sadistic.
There you have it. Welcome to the funhouse. I'm considering handing out Admit One tickets to people who come over, but that might be crossing lines. I'm not sure. Boundaries aren't my strong suit.
*Really, the floor plan is unbelievable. I might be slightly biased because my bedroom doubles as a hallway--I have two doors, but you have to go through my room to get to the kitchen. Still. It's weird. **I fully expect to be one of those people who lawyers target commercials to after it comes out how dangerous cockroach poison is--ATTENTION. IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE HAS EVER BEEN UNWITTINGLY EXPOSED TO COCKROACH POISON, PLEASE CALL NOW TO PROVIDE TESTIMONY AGAINST CORPORATION X. Whatever. I live a mostly pest-free life. Worth it.