We have an office in the backyard. An office. Not a “studio” or “artist’s suite.” It’s an office. Actually, it’s a 200 square foot rectangle attached to the garage. When we first walked through this house and saw the office, we immediately fell in love with the idea of working outside the home, especially since the commute was only 10 steps from the family room. The set up seemed so ideal! Late nights in the backyard with the windows and doors open…the sound of crickets and owls keeping us company while the stars twinkled above our angelic little heads. It was simple. Organic. Romantic.
We must have been high as kites.
OK, I don’t hate it. I love the office is out of the house and out of sight. No messy desks for company to see. No important papers for grubby little fingers to grab and dispose of. No reminders of work while we’re trying to watch T.V. But I swear to God it’s me against every single bug on the planet out here.
A few weeks ago I was typing away when I heard a rustle under my feet. On the floor were piles and piles of receipts that Mikey tossed like confetti. I never bothered to pick them up (I was under the illusion Mikey would do it) and suddenly it occurred to me that all sorts of furry creatures could have taken up residence in the pile of paper at my bare feet. Knowing I have sausage toes any animal would love to gnaw on, I promptly shit my pants, slapped wings on my heels, and flew inside to get the Mister.
Jules: “There are creatures at my feet in the office.”
The Mister: “And?”
Jules: “Pony up, dude. Get rid of them.”
The Mister: “How do you know there are creatures at your feet, and why do I have to get rid of them?”
Jules: “Number 1, I heard rustling. Rustling. And at my feet, where things shouldn’t be rustling. Number 2, I don’t do bugs or creatures–you knew that getting into the deal.”
The Mister: “So get the broom and sweep up whatever it is with the paper and toss it in a garbage bag.”
The Mister: […]
The Mister: “Fine.”
Minutes later, with me directing the operation from the doorway, the Mister starts grumbling.
The Mister: “I don’t hear anything.”
Jules: “Just wait a…”
The Mister: “I don’t hear anything. You’re hearing things.”
Jules: “Yeah, I’m hearing rustling. And you’re not because the creatures aren’t deaf and if you would be quiet for 5 seconds you would hear rustling, too.”
The Mister: “It’s been five seconds and I don’t hear anything.”
The Mister: “Fine.”
Ten minutes later the Mister conceded there might have been an extremely large bug of some kind under the paper. I passed out. And then I woke up disgusted and went inside to watch T.V., satisfied that I was right, as usual.
Since then, the floor has been clean of even the smallest filament of paper. The bugs, unfortunately, are not deterred. I’m now being attacked from the sky.
Take last night, for instance. I was minding my own business trying to write a press kit. I’m right in the middle of a thought, and look off in the distance to assume my “I’m so thoughtful” pose. The one where I furrow my brow, look important, and lift my chin towards the ceiling to find ideas. Then, from left field, I get pelted with a flying object perilously close to my left eye. I look down and there is a beetle, a scarab, for you Egypt fans, doing the backstroke on my desk. After I was done running up and down the street screaming, I came back into the office and proceeded to create office supply catapults in vain attempts to launch the little piece of walking dung out the window. Instead, I managed to fling it somewhere on the floor. With my Jimmy Dean toes firmly in mind, I shut everything down and went inside to take 5 boiling showers.
It will only get worse as summer wears on. I imagine by August I’ll be typing with one hand and tossing molotov cocktails under the desk with the other. Just tonight, I had to take a break from typing to remove the flying ant looking thing from my letter C key. Except I got too aggressive and accidentally squished it into the letter D. I had the head on C and the ass on D. One wing flew off and landed in between H and G, and the other was acting as a bridge between the head and the ass. It was great. I tried to use an index card to scoop up all the body parts, but of course they all fell into the depths of my keyboard. So, as I type, I am pulverizing bug body parts.
I am so throwing away this keyboard when I’m done with this post.