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Greek-American Stories: Killer Kiki

The time has come! I’ve received enough warnings that the enemy is approaching and I’ve got to prepare. No more nice guy. Last year they gave little notice that they intended to invade my home, lurking in various places in the garden, behind trees, in the bushes. Last year, they formed squadrons and, without warning, as I was having ice tea and lunch, they rushed out, gave me grief. And, at the time I had been unprepared. I couldn’t believe they were so relentless, so without sympathy, attacking my arms, face, and legs, too! But, it’s not going to happen this time. No! This time I will be better prepared. I know they’re out there – lurking, waiting, and mapping out the area.

I’ve made careful plans. I will take no prisoners, there will be no mercy. In preparation, I went to several places that deal with such invasions. Since I’m not a combatant person I had to rely on what the experts suggested. The salespeople were ready to advise and, money not being an issue, I bought whatever was the latest in ammunition. I had to rely on the well experienced in such matters. I’m only thankful that they sympathized with my dilemma. They’ve had to advise and prepare many people through the years, pleading for the same relief, against the same enemy. It was good to know I’m not alone. And, I brought with me a ‘Hit List’ of those responsible for last year’s attack. The proprietor looked at my list, carefully, and, nodding, agreed that they are a relentless breed.

Back at home, I set up my defenses, intending to annihilate as many of the aggressors as possible. Believe me; they are as merciless as I intend to be.  So, please do not think there is possibility for any peace talks. It’s war! And, I didn’t start it!

I’ve set up my defenses: on the window sill where I can keep an eye out for any surprise attacks; on the bureau in the bedroom; the counter in the kitchen; on the patio table. I keep an eye out, at intervals, for a sign of their appearances. Last year they hung out for hours in the sun, in crevices, waiting for Bill’s appearance. He was attacked without warning as he watered the cucumbers and tomatoes. He had come into the house where I applied alcohol and a special ointment to ward off infection. I, too, had been besieged while hanging out clothes to dry and received red, swollen welts that needed immediate attention.

Last year, my neighbors brought special armed forces to fend off attacks on their property. But, I don’t approve of chemical warfare. It not only harms the enemy, but, it can do damage to ourselves as well. And, it costs more than he weaponry I bought.

It’s almost noon. Peeking in from the kitchen door, I noticed one perpetrator preparing to barge in when I open the door. Reaching for my gun, I aim carefully, press the trigger and a cloud of liquid shoots out as they, surprised, take wing and head for their dugouts. It’s OK. They’ve gotten a warning – although they don’t deserve any forewarnings. But, being cunning, I expect them to remobilize and try again when the sun begins to descend. They know it’s the time when Bill will be watering the garden and I will be taking down the wash that is now dry. But I know, just as an experienced general knows, that the enemy always attacks when we least expect it.

I scan the various places where they could be preparing for a night raid. It’s them or me! Wait! There’s one on the TV screen, attracted to the light. I got him! First victim on my list. There’s still the ants, beetles and, worst of all, flies. Beware!

My latest in weaponry sits on my bureau. It has a quiet hum and is supposed to ward off those intending to feast on my skin while I sleep. Hah! I can, happily, cross off the list the most annoying and most relentless of the enemies: the mosquito! Today, my bedroom; tomorrow the world!




My fellow TNH colleague Theodore Kalmoukos often uses the word “tragicomedy” to describe phenomena that are pitiful and laughable all at once.

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