Why We Have “Police Line Do Not Cross” Tape Strung Across Our Bathroom Doorway

So Roscoe and I have a gigantic apartment that we pay an absurdly low amount for every month. We have two bedrooms, an office, a sizable living room and dining room, a kitchen, and two bathrooms, one of which is so large that we could host dance parties in it. That is if we could use it. Admittedly there isn’t Police tape across the doorway, but there might as well be.

Currently the upstairs and the larger of the two bathrooms is occupied by an uninvited tenant. I don’t begrudge the missing space, mostly because we have so many other rooms at our disposal. Our uninvited tenant’s name is Merle. He is an enormous centipede, who likes to play impromptu games of hide and seek and hang out in the drain of the bathroom sink. Mind you Merle’s not a very good sport because invariably you are always “It” even if you’ve found him a dozen times before. So you’ll head upstairs to use the bathroom, possibly because Roscoe is shaving, go to innocently wash your hands, turn on the tap, at which point Merle will go shooting out of the drain at top speed all but bellowing “You found me!”

Or sometimes he’ll do an impression of a four year old hiding and have only half his body concealed in the drain, lazily enjoying both the dry porcelain and the wet pipes. Regardless of his position, after a couple of these interactions I decided to relinquish the upstairs bathroom to Merle entirely. Now some people might accuse me of cowardice but even our brave friend, who spends her free time crouching in the woods at night with bears, is terrified of him.

One night, after explaining the bathroom situation to her, she offered to use the upstairs washroom while I used the downstairs. However after seeing Merle in his lazy, half hiding position she ran downstairs. It was at this point that my husband made one of the many attempts to kill Merle. Golf club in hand, he dashed upstairs. The hot water ran until the steam drifted downstairs through the bizarrely placed grate in the upstairs bathroom floor which leads into our dining room. One of the many perks of having an old house. I also enjoy the sounds of my guests relieving themselves during dinner parties this way.

But the next week Merle returned, clearly a member of the Centipedeus chuck norricus species. I’m beginning to feel like our efforts to get rid of him are amusing him. It has been suggested that Merle is actually Merla and is raising a family up there, and that the drain is a getaway locale for tired centipedes. I’m choosing instead to view him as our house mascot, or possibly our bouncer to whom we can send unwelcome visitors. In any case I don’t foresee him leaving any time soon.

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