Until now, bedbug victims have had to take extreme measures to rid themselves of these pests–throwing away mattresses, burning sheets and clothing, and spraying their homes with noxious chemicals. But a new method has been developed by the United Singles Association of America, using the scientific finding that insects can indeed be intoxicated and the clear fact that bedbugs want to be in our beds and probably think that we don’t want them there. With this in mind, the USAA has created the following foolproof twelve-step program.
1. Start talking to your bedbugs. Tell them that maybe you got off on the wrong foot.
2. Invite the bedbugs to have a beer with you. Continue to give the bedbugs beer until they are very tipsy.
3. When the bedbugs pass out, bring them back to your apartment and put them back in your bed.
4. The next morning, wake up before the bedbugs so that you’re staring directly at them when they first open their eyes. When they finally come to, smile say something like, “I’ve been watching you sleep for the last three hours, Sleepyheads.”
5. The bedbugs, hung over and uncomfortable, will try to make an excuse about why they have to get going. Don’t let them. Insist that they stay for breakfast. Don’t take no for an answer.
6. Cook some eggs a bit too long so they’re rubbery, and leave the toast in the toaster until it’s black.
7. On your way back to the table, drop all the forks on the floor in clear view of the bedbugs. Yell at yourself for never being able to do anything right, before standing still and crying quietly for two to three minutes.
8. When you finally sit down to eat, talk about how your friends have been telling you for weeks that you should get back in the “scene,” but everyone you meet thinks you’re too clingy. But now, say to the bedbugs, with them here, maybe things are turning a corner. Also, mention how nice it is to finally meet someone face-to-face because you’re used to using chat rooms.
9. Ask the bedbugs if they play any instruments. Before they can answer tell them you asked because you play the banjo and you’ve always wanted to be a part of a married couple musical act.
10. Wink at the bedbugs.
11. Ask what the bedbugs’ favorite dinosaur is. Act disappointed no matter what their answer is, and tell them that you take such matters really seriously.
12. Look down at your plate and exclaim that the crumbs and egg-bits look just like the bedbugs. Jump up and shout jubilantly, “I’m going to go get my glue so I can keep this image forever!”
When you come back, the bedbugs will be gone. If you have any way of contacting them, (cell phone number, blog url, etc.), it wouldn’t be a bad idea to send two messages a day for the next week, keeping your existence fresh in the bedbugs’ minds so they remember to tell their friends to avoid you at all costs, even if it means having to resort to futons and hammocks.
Sean Adams is a humor writer living in the Midwest. His work has been featured on McSweeney’s, The Bygone Bureau, and elsewhere.