August 5, 2018

and that's why god made aqua-net

Did you know you can still buy Aqua-Net hair spray?  I passed it on my way to the non-quiche aisle Friday night.  I love Aqua-Net.  That purple can screams 1980s and takes me back to childhood.  It sat next to the Jean Nate and Cover Girl foundation on my mother's dresser and was largely responsible for my cunt of a sister's three-story hair edifice.  But my love for it has nothing to do with hair.

When I was twelve and in the middle of a regular Saturday night babysitting gig, a spider crawled out from behind the dresser as I was helping him into his pajamas.  It wasn't the kind of spider you could hit with a shoe while it was on the run.  This spider would have had a splash zone.

So I looked around and saw a can of Aqua-Net hair spray on the kid's mother's dresser, right across the hall from the doorway of the kid's room.  Gears ground in my brain.  It just might work, I thought.  I grabbed it and sprayed three-quarters of the can on the spider.  I watched as it tried to run away and experienced diminishing returns on its efforts.  Six feet along the wall later, it couldn't move, and it dropped to the floor in what must have been a manifestation of little spider nightmares come true.  It was paralyzed and probably thought it was back in high school in only its underwear.  Not dead; just very, very vulnerable.

That was the day Aqua-Net hair spray became my favorite weapon against insects.  White Rain comes in a close second, followed by Rave.  The cheaper and older the brand, the shorter the freeze time, the stickier the result.  Wielding a can in each hand is even better.  It makes me feel like Simon Pegg flying through the air sideways while firing two pistols.

I only bring this up because of the European hornet that was in our kitchen last night.

P.J. and I noticed it while we were standing in the kitchen talking because in addition to the deafening buzz, the hornet was so large that it actually cast a shadow as it flew over our heads.  We went into Oh Fuck Mode, which generally involves climbing over each other to get out of the room as quickly as possible.  The dogs were with us.  I yelled, "Get the dogs in the bedroom!  Now!" as I bravely darted for the fly swatter hanging on a nail across the kitchen.  The hornet landed on a light, then started flying around again.

(Rose had to be out of the room because even showing her a fly swatter in someone's hand makes her shake and cower.  I used to think I wanted to use those Simon Pegg pistols on the man who inflicted this wound on Rose's psyche, but last night I thought better of it and decided doing it nice and slow would be better.  I would use Flex Tape, channel locks, concentrated drops of salicylic acid, and corn cob holders.  It would take a really long time.  I'd have to give him I.V. fluids to make sure he didn't die of dehydration in the process, because that would ruin my fun.)

Then we turned our attention to killing the fucking Airbus-sized invader.  The only poison I could find was ant and roach spray, and after a couple of spritzes of that, nothing interesting happened, so I handed that and the swatter to P.J. and said, "Cover me."  I ran into our bathroom and returned with two cans of hair spray.  "Where is it?"

"I don't know, it landed somewhere.  Kind of over there," she said, waving at the pot rack.

I saw it crawling on a Dutch oven and sprayed the hell out of it with the Herbal Essences first, since that one was cheaper, and then with the finer-mist can.  I judged the point at which it probably couldn't fly any longer, then tapped it with the edge of the swatter and knocked it off the pot rack.

That hair spray cost over five dollars, which is why the hornet flew straight for me.  Normally, I miss every house fly I try to smack with that swatter, but last night my mad high school badminton skills came back to me and I brought it down hard and THWACK watched the hornet ricochet off the back wall and never fly again.  I smacked it again for good measure.  (We had to comfort Rose later, because just hearing the sound of a swatter is apparently enough to render her insecure and clingy.*)

P.J. did what she always does, because she has an illness called insatiable curiosity, and picked up the corpse with a paper towel for close examination.  "Fucking hell, look at the size of this thing," she said.  We both stared at it.  She moved it slightly so we could see the size of the stinger.  Jesus.  Look at that.  Wow.

Then it buzzed a little bit and fell off of the paper towel and onto the floor, at which point we both screamed bloody murder at maximum volume and jumped four feet into the air and almost hit our heads on the ceiling and then tried to climb each other to get away from an inch-long dead hornet with cadaveric spasms lying helplessly on the floor.

And then we held each other and laughed like lunatics while also secretly wondering which neighbor was going to call the police because of the screaming.

I don't think using hair spray constitutes unnecessary cruelty, and not just because insects aren't sentient.  Whatever gets glued up and experiences the insectile or arachnid or myriapodic equivalent of perplexity is repeatedly smacked to death shortly thereafter, reduced to its component molecules, so this should be considered a totally humane practice.

*Oh, and that guy who abused Rose?  Throw in a fly swatter and some cheap hair spray.  There will be plenty of time for irony.

1 comment:

  1. Mom always used the red can of Aquanet! Ahh, memories! Also, good to know that it works as a pesticide. For a minute, I thought you were going to use it as a blow torch -- but maybe there's still time for that -- on the sonofabitch that abused Rose!