UNWELCOME GUESTS: The body count was high when Maggie Cooper moved her son into his new apartment.
UNWELCOME GUESTS: The body count was high when Maggie Cooper moved her son into his new apartment. tenra

How the break-up led to a massive war on pests

I'VE JUST returned from yet another quick trip to the Big Smoke, aka Sydney; the reason this time was to help settle my recently single son in his new home after the departure of The DIL, as my daughter-in-law was (mostly) affectionately known to me.

I had a feeling many years ago that they were not destined to grow old together, but I take no pleasure in being right.

Marriage breakups are rarely pleasant and this one was no exception.

However, life goes on and besides, now there is Tinder.

A cornucopia of available dates literally at your fingertips.

What could possibly go wrong?

An older friend of mine is very dismissive and insists that meeting people through an app is a recipe for disaster as it is too easy to lie.

Rubbish, I say.

I've had (too) many relationships and not one of the potential life partners has been completely truthful about themselves, no matter how or where we met.

We all like to present ourselves in the best possible light when we meet a new beau; not too many would introduce themselves then say, "Oh by the way, I snore/fart/eat cold pizza in bed".

Although, to be fair, I'd find the honesty quite appealing these days.

My son's new home is a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment in a beachside suburb, small and (now) neat.

He bought it before it was actually listed for sale, so he saw it warts and all which I suppose was an advantage because it was only going to get better.

The previous owners were not what I would call house-proud; they had junk stacked against every wall and we found after they vacated that they forgot to take their pet cockroaches with them. Ugh.

I generally avoid insecticides like the (locust) plague but there I was at the supermarket buying all the crawling-insect baits I could lay my latex-gloved hands on.

The body count was high by the time I left; about 200 down and who knows how many to go?

Because of the by-products - erk - of the infestation, every surface had to be scrubbed and repainted (even the ceilings, my least favourite household task).

We also navigated the touchy building manager who scrutinised every load we took to the rubbish room to make sure we weren't sneaking paper into the general waste bins - punishable by a $200 fine.

While placing real rubbish into the real rubbish bin one night, I noticed someone had thrown out a whole box of expensive Belgian chocolates; I found myself considering retrieval.

I couldn't think of a single reason not to.

Dumpster surfing is a thing, right?

Too many people are too precious about food. Way too many go hungry.

Then I remembered the cockroaches.



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