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The War Is Won.


7 September:
It’s 2 am and the 6 beers I had earlier demand to be expelled. I wake up and get out of bed carefully to avoid waking my girlfriend then I blindly stumble my way to the bathroom. With the bedroom door safely closed, I can now switch on a light to ease my navigation. The illumination reveals a bizarre sight. It’s like a party, an insectile orgy, tens of cockroaches scampering around with impunity and making half hearted attempts to hide. They obviously consider themselves members of this household but unlike the human occupants are unperturbed by the myriad shortages in Kenya and their girth declares “what food shortage?”
These little bastards are thriving like a Kenyan politician yet I keep all my food stored properly and I’m meticulously clean. Despite food shortages, power shortage, water shortage and an increasingly inhospitable environment they thrive and reproduce like mad.
I have fought many battles at these ungodly hours and I have claimed my fair share of victims but I despair now for they seem to carry powerful juju. Some have been crushed under slippers while others have been ruthlessly gassed to death with doom but they just keep increasing. Despite turning my house into a Nazi death chamber every week, they increase. For every roach I kill, two appear to take its place.
At one point they got so brave that occasionally one of them would take a nonchalant stroll around my living room unfazed by the presence of guests. Any move to approach it would just inspire a short dash to a hiding place that hardly looked like it could accommodate anything. The irony was that winning was losing but losing was still losing.
As we discussed war stories with my butcher, I lamented about my unending battle. As the cleaver landed on the pork ribs with a meaty ‘thunk’ he said,”Iko dawa.” With a conspiratorial smile on his face, he proceeded to extol the virtues of his remedy. Being kikuyu, he sounded like he wanted to sell me the stuff and the born salesman he was spoke to me,”Hii DIAZINONE inaua yote. Ata kupe na mbu. Hakuna kitu inabakisha.”
I needed to add this wonder chemical to my chemical warfare arsenal. These little sons of bi@#$ had taken over my home and made a mockery of my stringent domestic sterilization regime and it sounded like the end was nigh. As I went home I stopped at an agrovet store and picked up a canister of the lethal stuff and a sprayer. The label carried a large skull and crossbones and warned the user to dress in appropriate protective equipment.

8 September.
It’s 2 p.m and here I am with a sprayer full of the poisonous concoction. My ‘appropriate protective equipment’ is an old lab coat, the face mask and goggles. The battle lines are drawn and I spare a moment to let any sensible roach escape after all, I’m not Hitler. Then the war begins, I spray every inch of the house then I lock up the house and leave for school. The label said that no living organism (me or a pet) should enter the house for 12 hours so I’ll be away for the night.

9 September.
It’s 2 p.m and I descend the stairs to my house. Already a smile is forming on my face as I view the first casualties. Two roaches lie upside down right outside my door and I gleefully rub my hands together before I open the door. It’s a holocaust. This must be what genocide looks like. Tens upon tens of roaches lie on the floor in various stages of death. Some are upside down and unmoving while others twitch spastically in corners obviously dying an agonizing death. I put in a notorious BIG cd and begin the clean up. The few survivors walk around in a daze before the poison paralyzes them for my broom. The cd plays on.

10 September
It’s 2 am and I’m awake taking advantage of the last few hours I have electricity before they turn it off for rationing. Not a roach in sight.

11 September
It’s 2 am and here I am again. This time it’s not a bathroom break or a midnight oil burning session. My nose is blocked and I sneeze every few minutes. My head feels like it’s filled with crushed glass and my throat is parched. Any attempt to swallow anything results in a painful protest by my tonsils and any movement aggravates the little men with sledgehammers in my head. My joints ache like I got malaria from a herd of mosquitoes and I feel so weak that I can barely lift off the blankets from my sweating body. The lady at the agrovet had told me that the mild illness I’d been experiencing during the day would heal as soon as my body metabolized and excreted the residue of the chemical but my slight discomfort has progressively worsened to this. I resign myself to the discomfort consoling myself with thoughts of victory but wait a minute, what’s that? No! How? I weakly watch a juvenile roach crawl out the light fixture. Aluta continua.

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