Welcome to the thoughts, rants and passions of a young Muslim woman seeking soulful enlightenment in cyberspace.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


I didn’t get a chance to post last night’s entry. Here it is now:

Have you ever met a huge centipede? Longer than your index finger? Because I’ve only just seen one this big. It’s in my room…and I have no idea where it’s gone.

I watched it amble across my wall, brazenly ignoring my looming shadow. I stared at it in fearful fascination, shuddering visibly as it jetted by. I was on my own; it was too late to call for help. I needed a weapon! I settled upon some old crutches I'd been trying to give away. I seized one and headed for Mr. Centipede. But he was nowhere to be found. My bulging eyes roved wildly, searching out the hideous thing. And then I saw movement! The centipede had somehow descended the wall and was now racing across the floor faster than I could move!

I swivelled around and grabbed one crutch, heart beating ferociously. I stabbed frantically at the centipede but he kept running. I stabbed some more, becoming more vicious with each strike. Soon he just lay there, a shrivelled-up heap of legs curled around a lifeless body. I stood over his body, victorious but weary. I was feeling a tad bit sorry for the poor fella, but it had to be done. And at least Mr. Centipede went out fighting.

I’d deal with his remains the next morning, I thought. I couldn’t handle picking him up just yet. So I took one last look at him before covering his body with kleenex. He was disgusting even in death.

I would have been fine had I simply fallen asleep. But I got up ten minutes later to go to the bathroom. When I returned, there was something sticking out of the corner of the kleenex. Had I not covered Mr. Centipede properly? Before I could grab another kleenex, Mr. Centipede raced out and I panicked, hopping madly as I tried to avoid his wild escape. I thought he was dead. But no...I watched as he headed for the jumble of computer wires under my desk. I waited a few seconds, then rattled the wires a bit, trying to persuade him that his hiding place wasn’t safe. But nothing. No movement, no sound. Mr. Centipede was good and gone.

This was war. Not only had he played dead, but he had now officially disappeared. And it wasn’t reassuring to think that Mr. Centipede was strolling around my room while I slept.

And then I caught him skittering across the carpeted floor. If he could make sounds, he’d be chuckling gleefully. He was lording over my room. My room, not his. He meandered over to my laptop bag and I stopped breathing. My bag was open. Wide open. And there were pockets. What if I opened my bag the next day and Mr. Centipede sauntered out? No. He had to go. He had to get as far away from my bag as possible. I prodded my bag with the crutch. The bullysome fellow had arrogantly taken up post near the very top of my bag, but he raced out and fled for the dark space under my bed before I could count to two.

I won’t bore you with what happened next. Suffice it to say that I spent more than an hour trying to kill the thing with my crutches. And every time I thought it was the end, resilient Mr. Centipede would come trudging up the wall again. Yes, centipedes have more lives than cats do. This was a mighty big problem for me. Especially since he kept falling when he’d crawled too high. Making audible thumps when he hit the floor. What if he fell on my head while I slept?

So I ended up sitting atop my bed like a madwoman, as far away from the walls as possible, crutch in hand, keeping watch over my room and guessing where he was at any given moment. I was always wrong, and the surprise element was devastating. What’s more, it was quite pathetic to be terrified of a creature so small. But I can’t argue with my feelings. Especially when I was feeling weird creepy-crawly sensations on my arms, my legs, my head...arghhh!

Did I mention I don’t like centipedes? This is gonna be a long night.

Update: I finally grew tired of ‘killing’ Mr. Centipede and sought out safer sleeping quarters in the living room. It was a long night. And I still can’t find Mr. Centipede!


  • At 5/18/2005 04:12:00 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said…'re so cute, Saf. I hate insects and rodents so I would be freaking out too.

  • At 5/18/2005 04:20:00 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Last week I had a tiff with a cockroach. Make no mistake: I was scared sick. Alhamdulillah, the disgusting flying creature made the mistake of landing once in front of me, and my slippers did their thing. Advice: stuff I found online - hairspray works, as does oven cleaner. When you need a weapon more reliable than crutches, clutch the oven cleaner... it'll slow 'em down and give you a better chance at victory.

    Hurrah for Saf the soon-to-be centipede slayer!

  • At 5/18/2005 09:09:00 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said…

    By the way, forgot to ask. How did you know it was a he? It's noble of you to address him/her as MISTER centipede and all... but really, why not Ms?

  • At 5/19/2005 04:45:00 a.m., Blogger Lyvvie said…

    Oh dear! Do those things run wild in your parts of the world?

    Some folks keep those as pets...

    I know they're creepy, but they are harmless. aren't they? I have no they bite??

    Crap...yeah...sleep in the safety of the living room.

  • At 5/19/2005 10:32:00 a.m., Anonymous Pali_Pride said…

    It was a he because all the disgusting creatures are always he

    Laugh out loud

  • At 5/19/2005 01:28:00 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I don't know about the ones in Canada, but the centipedes in Hawaii (where I lived for three years) have a nasty and very painful sting. Needless to say, they are very feared there because of their ability to end up inside the house where you'd never expect to find them. I used to have small (3"-4") light brown ones around my house, but I know they grow up to about 6" long, if not bigger, and when they get this big they're maroon, black and very nasty.

    Also, they're so hard to kill it seems like they're steel plated...really. I remember seeing one in the driveway and I tried to crush it by hitting it with a running shoe, which didn't work. Next, I tried a heavy combat boot, which didn't work either -- the centipede just kept on crawling along even though I was giving him the full Willie Mays swing with the combat boot. Finally, I went and got a hammer out of my tool box and hit him with that just before he made it off the concrete and onto the grass -- and that worked.

    Anyone who knows what a centipeded bite can do -- and I've heard it said that the sting of the ones in Hawaii are as bad as North African scorpions -- wouldn't have slept in that room either, so don't feel bad. I hope and pray that you find it soon...

  • At 5/19/2005 05:41:00 p.m., Anonymous flusher said…

    flush it down the toilet next time saf

  • At 5/19/2005 08:37:00 p.m., Blogger cncz said…

    new orleans centipedes are vicious and painful, unlike the cockroaches, which are large, friendly and almost pet-like

  • At 5/20/2005 12:19:00 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said…

    A wacky story from a wacky girl. But you didn't tell them what happened next...can I?

  • At 5/20/2005 12:42:00 a.m., Blogger Fej said…

    I can sympathize. I opened my front door last year to not only see, but hear, a > 6-inch centipede scamper off into my yard.

    I'm not normally skittish about insects, but this thing was huge. I wouldn't have slept well either, had he/she been inside.

  • At 5/21/2005 01:08:00 a.m., Blogger Safiyyah said…

    Thank you all for your advice. A colleague once told me a story about a huge insect she'd found roaming her kitchen table. She used hairspray to immobilize it. Mind you, she thought the entire incident was ridiculously funny. Particularly since she was using wedding-quality hairspray - the kind that never budges.

    Why did I use mister, Anonymous asks. Because, you see, I wanted to get people like Anonymous riled up. Anonymous, if you are in fact Mr. Centipede, I sincerely apologize for offending you. But next time, please use a name. Any name. 'Anonymous' just lacks creativity. :-) It's all about literary licence, my friend.

    Mere Muslim: Love the description. Mr. Centipede was definitely steel-plated. I can't tell you how many times I tried to kill the thing.

    S: You mean the vacuum cleaner? Don't you dare. ;-)

    Cncz, Lyvvie: I haven't actually seen Mr. Centipede again. I'm hoping he died in peace!

    Fej: Thanks for the support. Good to see I'm not the only one.

  • At 5/21/2005 06:43:00 a.m., Anonymous Mr Centipede (former 'anonymous') said…

    Anonymous (ie. Mr Centipede) says he accepts your apology for having libelled his moniker. May he now get an answer to why the 'he'? ;)


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