On Friday, November 19th 2009, I was on my way to LA for a wedding when the Doctor Oz show came on.
When I realized it was the show about bedbugs, I prepared myself for my first appearance on television in front of 5 million viewers
I didn’t want to interrupt the guy next to me who was watching sports and working on his laptop.
but I couldn’t help myself.
Me: Hey Mister. Look, I’m about to be on tv!!!!
Yellow shirt guy: Really?! What are you, a movie star or something?
Me: No…. but I sure felt like one. I remember it like it was yesterday…..
This guy in a three piece suit picked me up in a gigantic SUV with tinted windows at my apartment in Queens
and took me to 30 rock (you know, where they film all the big tv shows)
They put me in a dressing room across from Rosie O’Donnel’s
that had free snacks,
a packed fridge,
even my own phone!
Yellow Shirt Guy: Who is that lady?
Me: Oh that’s Dini. She’s the bedbugs expert. We became BFF’s that day.
and we both thought Dr. Oz was kinda hot for an older dude.
Yellowshirt Guy: Geez. That Dr. Oz isn’t letting her get a word in is he?
Me: No. Come to find out, he was kind of a prick. He squeezed our arms when he wanted us to shut up so he could make stupid jokes.
Yellowshirt Guy: Oh, look. There you are!
Me: I bet the hair and make-up people are pissed I’m ruining their work.
Yellowshirt Guy: You’re not really saying much. You look a little annoyed actually.
Me: Just wait. After this part, he puts a bunch of crazy photos of me on the screen behind us and I get to tell my story.
Dr. Oz: Well thanks for your time Melanie. We’ll be back after this commercial.
Me: What!!! They just edited out my whole story. Those douchebags!
Yellowshirt Guy: Why would they do that?
Me: Well, I do remember the producers telling me I laughed at my sitution too much. But who wouldn’t? I went nuts.
Yellowwshirt Guy: Yeah, that show wasn’t funny at all. More like terrifying.
Me: I feel so betrayed.
Yellowshirt guy: Well, why don’t you tell me the story. We got six hours to kill here.
Me: Well, after my housemate sent me that email that she’d had bedbugs for a few months.
I tore my room apart. I discovered some of the bugs had moved down to my place.
I didn’t know who to ask, so the internet became my resource. First it told me to bag up everything. Since I was subletting, this meant bagging up an apartment full of stuff that wasn’t mine.
My life revolved around bags for the next three months. Bags in the living room
Bags in the bedroom
bags in the kitchen.
The only things that weren’t in bags
I kept in the bathtub
The mountain of bags created the perfect conditions for a great game
Since I threw all my furniture away in a panic, I turned the bags into a new comfy couch.
To entertain myself, I searched for bedbugs with my headlamp
and learned guitar
Unfortunately, I later found traces of bedbugs in the guitar
so I had to bag it up as well.
As much as it sucked, I was kind of proud of all my work
and crowned myself Queen of Bag Mountain
Yellowshirt Guy: So where did you sleep?
Me: Well, I didn’t. Not for three months. I tried to move my bed away from the wall so bugs couldn’t crawl up to me, but it kinda fell apart in the process. When I wasn’t terrified the bed was gonna colapse
I obsessively searched for bedbugs with my headlamp.
Getting down from my collapsing bunk bed was the scariest part
While I didn’t ever sleep at night, I did take a lot of naps throughout the day. On the subway, and in Starbucks, movie theaters
and my kitchen
which is where I hung out most of the time
especially since that’s where I kept all my reading material.
(another stupid tip I got off the internet)
Yellowshirt Guy: So how’d you finally get rid of them?
Me: Well, after my slumlord brought over an idiot exterminator who didn’t do the job, I started guerilla warfare with spray
and powder (which didn’t work)
and I continued doing what the internet told me to do
like cover my room with vasoline and double-sided tape
Of course, none of that worked, so I finally called my own exterminators. They couldn’t believe what I had done to my room
Exterminator #1: What the hell? This looks like some kind of voo-doo witchcraft.
Me: I just did what the internet told me to do.
Exterminator #1: The internet is full of advice from people who don’t want to pay exterminators
Me: Hey look. That jerk exterminator from before left his card in the vasoline!
Me: Hey will you spray everything?
Exterminator #!: If it means you’ll sleep at night, I’ll spray whatever you want.
Me: How about that horse tapestry
Exterminator #1: Okay. What else?
Me: How about me?
#1: This stuff is poison, Melanie, I don—-
Me: Just do it!
Me: How about that closet.
Me: Can I try. I want to kill the bastards
Exterminator #1: Okay, but be caref—
Me: Hey, I’m pretty good at this. You think your boss will hire me?
Exterminator #1: You never know
Me: Hey, you guys are amazing. Can we take family photos?
Both: If we can call you “Vasoline” from now on.
Me: How about one where you pretend to be narcoleptic like me
Me: How about one where we pretend to murder each other
Me: You guys are the best. Can we be BFF’s?
Exterminator #1: Of course, Vasoline.
Yellowshirt Guy: So did you stay friends?
Me: Yeah, my exterminator is the one who got me on the TV show.
Me: You know, now that I think about it, bed bugs was totally worth it. That day I was at the studio, I got driven home
in a hybrid lexus
by the hottest driver ever. What he did to me in the back of that hybrid made up for the hell I went through with bedbugs.
That and I made some new best friends like Dini, my exterminators,
and yellow shirt guy.
Unfortunately, the other guy sitting in our row wouldn’t even look at me after I told my story
But that’s okay. I don’t have to be everyone’s best friend
It was the best day of meeting a hot driver in NYC ever!!!!!!!
If you or someone you know has bedbugs, call these guys. They saved my apartment and my sanity. And they have a great sense of humor. Just look at that mouse drinking starbucks! Make sure to tell them Vasoline sent you