Thursday, August 19, 2010

Epinephrine, or: How to REALLY throw off your sleep cycle.

Have you ever had the experience where you're quietly falling asleep, just about to drift off, and something startles you violently awake? Imagine that "something" being a three-and-a-half-inch centipede crawling in your hair, and you have my night last night.

I'm very, very thankful that in my sleep induced stupor I didn't put my hand to my head to see what it was. I am also, for the first time, thankful that my bedside clock puts out so much light -- normally it keeps me awake, but I was really happy to have it last night, as I turned my head to see a long black form crawling over my pillow.

That's when the adrenaline kicked in. Hard.

I'll spare you the details of how I finally evicted the critter from my bed, and killed it after many repeated shoe-smashing attempts, and simply note that it is nigh impossible to sleep on a pallet on the floor in the dark with adrenaline coursing through your veins. This was made all the more ironic because I specifically went to bed early last night to catch up on my sleep, instead waking up this morning feeling even more groggy than usual after a night of uneasy dreams. (Adrenaline is also know as epinephrine, by the way, hence the title.)

As of right now, my pallet is now up on a nice folding camp bed I found at Wal-mart (cheaper than making my own out of cinder block and 2-by-12's...yes, I checked. And more convenient, too). I'd heard from other people that the centipedes here were something else, but this is the first time I've actually seen one (fittingly enough, on the anniversary of the first day I arrived here).


  1. ROFLOL! Thanks for a great laugh today. I'll read it to your brothers later and they will hoot. I'm still chuckling thinking of you thrashing at that thing!

  2. Well, I'm glad to hear my harrowing experiences are good for entertainment, at least. But no, "thrashing" would be if I lost my head under the influence of adrenaline (thankfully I did not) and attacked unarmed. I went after it coldly and calculatedly; it did not take me many attempts to kill it because I wasn't connecting, but because the thing Just. Would. Not. Die. I threw it outside, dropped a brick on it, and found it the next morning, and you know what? It was *still* twitching.

  3. Yeah centipedes are really hard to kill. I think it has something to do with the fact that they have been around, more or less in their current form, for over 400 million years. One of those "perfect organism" types. Very stable, which means hard as heck to kill for our purposes. They are also a particularly stupid creature, and hold a "Bite first, ask questions later" policy.


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