Tag Archives: bedbugs

Lame Adventure 334: Lost and Found

Losing stuff is a daily occurrence in New York City and this is not just in reference to the propensity of subway riders losing their tempers in this congested metropolis.

An outraged response to MTA cheery self-promotion.

New Yorkers lose their cats.

Anyone seen Chester? Did you look under the sink?

New Yorkers lose their socks.

Sock Monster by the kids at PS 9. (Nice to know where the tubes I lost in the 80s went.)

Sometimes I draw the short straw and I’m the loser on the subway.  Once on my way home from The Grind, I did not lose my temper, but I did lose my umbrella.  This happened while I was sprinting across the 14th Street subway platform to transfer from a local train to the uptown express.  While doing my anemic Usain Bolt impersonation, I unwittingly dropped my umbrella, but speedy me did manage to hop onto that express train just before the doors shut.  The reward for my victory was reaching my stop three minutes and seven seconds faster and arriving home a helluva wetter.

Recently I thought I had lost a book, but fortunately, my pet puppet goat, Bill E. had it.

“I’m on page 103.”

Last week, I sliced my right index finger.  I have no idea how this injury occurred, but I realized that I have now lost my chance to seriously pursue a mid-life crappy-hand modeling career.

“Let me see.”

More often, I’m the one that finds another’s loss lying in the street. Sometimes someone’s loss is my gain, such as when I found a dollar entering the 72nd Street subway station.

It pays to ride the subway.

I applied it toward my replacement umbrella.

Just this week I noticed a tie, a pair of gloves, and a potato.


Gloves (flattened by cars).


I am sure the rightful owners wondered:

Rightful owner:  Gee, what happened to my [tie, gloves, potato]?

Then, there is stuff that someone no longer wants so they purposely leave it out in an act of passive aggressive charity.

One of a kind combo — microwave in chair.

Recently, I saw a sofa complete with detachable feet, a pair of men’s boots (people in New York are big fans of leaving shoes out), and some mats that I first thought might be for yoga, but upon closer inspection I ascertained better suitability to absorb car grease, or possibly candidacy for residence in a landfill.

Sofa with feet detached.

Leather boots going elf-toe route.

Mats. Next stop can to frame left.

I kept a close eye on the sofa.  First the detachable feet went missing, then the entire sofa itself.  I suppose what is one person’s trash is another person’s treasure, especially if you’re someone that treasures bed bugs.

I agree.

Considering the recent epidemics of these pests in Gotham City, I steer clear of street swag.

There are also some distinct intentional dumps of stuff, stuff that the former owners have decided must go so they just toss it in the street willy-nilly to sound as irritating as former Secretary of Irritation in the Shrub Administration, Donald Rumsfeld.  In this case I have seen chair casters and last year, a movie-style popcorn popper filled with greasy unpopped corn kernels.  It was as if this machine got ditched in mid-use possibly because the original owner has severe A.D.D. or was just a typical Type A orifice – no, not thinking the ear canal.

“I feel detached.”

Degrading departure.

Another New York City specialty is wild trash.  Wild trash is trash that is not in a bag that’s deposited in a trash can awaiting pick-up. This is untamed garbage at its most feral. Newspaper is a popular breed of this type of refuse.  If sidewalks could read, New York’s would be the most literate in the country.

Public health announcement courtesy of the pavement.

Although this has yet to make the evening news, urban wildlife out here is suffering an obesity epidemic.  Who wants to peck at dry seed out of a feeder when the pizza is so abundant in the street?  That would really be bird-brained.

Pizza party!

Notice how both the pigeons and the sparrows completely ignored the pencil — not a writer in the flock.

Finally, there’s what I call the hit and miss style of dealing with wild trash.

Side by side.

NASA can fly a vehicle to Mars but we’ve yet to equip a banana peel with a spring mechanism allowing it to bounce off the eater’s head into the trash can.  Now that would be progress.

Lame Adventure 92: French Gangsters vs. Bedbugs

This weekend I was itching to see a highly touted French film called Mesrine: Killer Instinct that opened Friday.  It stars Vincent Cassel in the true story of a notorious gangster called Jacques Mesrine.  It is playing in two Manhattan movie theaters, the Angelika, a multiplex located downtown with screens the size of thumbnails, a sound system modeled after my sister’s ancient 45 rpm record player, seating so cramped whether Rocky or Bullwinkle sits in front of me, it’s highly likely that the middle section of each subtitle will be obscured, and last but not least, I will be distracted by the rumble of the nearby subway throughout the screening.  For this completely unrewarding film-going experience, the price of admission is $13.00.

The other theater is the spacious AMC 25 located in Times Square.  Even the smallest screen at this theater is larger than the Angelika’s, the seating is stadium guaranteeing that the view is always perfect, the sound system is so superb when bullets fly I’m prone to duck, and the price of tickets for all screenings before noon is $6.00.  Did I omit any other pertinent details about this movie palace?  Oh, yes.

It’s infested with bedbugs.

Or, at least theater management claims that two were discovered in early August, but then a theater patron complained of being bitten ravenously mid-month so the entire multiplex was closed for extermination – if that did any good.

Dark zipper. Stay away.

Now showing: nothing.

Apparently, DDT all but wiped out bedbugs in the forties and fifties, but the critters that did survive eradication are resistant to pesticides today.  Knowing that there is now a super-race of bedbugs invading New York and other major cities is not a comforting thought.  Since mature pregnant females can lay between 300-1000 eggs in a lifespan of six to twelve months, how about spraying them with some toxin that renders these bloodsuckers infertile?  The ingredients in my grandmother’s ghastly tasting polenta might be a good place to start.

According to a Marist poll one in ten New Yorkers have had bedbugs in their homes, New Yorkers making less than $50,000 a year were twice as likely to have bedbugs as opposed to people earning more, 2% of Republicans admit having them whereas 12% of Democrats did.  There is no figure on the extent of Republican denial about the problem.  I read these results and reasoned that even if I do not leave my apartment again for the remainder of the year, according to that poll, I’m doomed since so many of the infested are people like me.

Normally, I am not a fearful type.  I don’t live my life worried about the next terrorist attack, I ride the subway daily, and I like my steak so rare that when I stab it, I can hear the cow scream in agony, or maybe that’s myself suffering stomach cramps six hours later due to monumental food poisoning.  Yet, New York is the number one bedbug infested city in the country and that disturbs me a million times more than a mosque near Ground Zero.  Muslims do not scare me.  My Egyptian hairdresser is Muslim.  She doesn’t bite.  Bedbugs do.

AMC 25 went into overdrive to keep this problem on the down low for as long as possible since an infested movie theater is the kiss of death.  Knowing that they could continue to lurk there has stigmatized this theater in my mind.  As much as I’d love to have my head filled with French car chases and gunfire, I’d prefer not having my limbs gorged by parasites as well. Therefore, I chose to be a coward.  As much as I’m itching to see Mesrine, I can live without seeing it in a theater that could give me the nastiest of itches and a home invasion.  I love gangster movies, not horror.