Cushing House: a beautiful, historical niche tucked into the northern corner of campus between Noyes and the cemetery. This oasis may seem quaint and homey, but beneath its humble surface, Jordan Pollack ’20 has discovered a creeping, crawling dark side with too many legs that break off really easily and regrow freakishly fast. Last Tuesday, the entire right side of Jordan’s room was taken over by silverfish.
Pollack’s struggle with insects began long before the silverfish invasion came.
“The first wave was just these little flies, like they kept crawling in under my window casing, and it was kind of annoying, I mean, no one wants bugs in their room. I tried not leaving food out and keeping my window closed, but they found a way in anyway. I had no idea what I was getting into,” said Pollack.
The situation deteriorated in a matter of mere days. One of Pollack’s friends discovered the worsening fray.
“I…I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I still shudder when I think about it. Jordan mentioned that there were some flies, but there’s no way these were flies. They all had so many legs. It was gruesome. It was dark, very dark, and I was grabbing a jacket or maybe some socks from Jordan’s room. I don’t really remember. I opened the door and…and they were everywhere. Oh god, they were everywhere. You couldn’t even see the window, or the floor, or the walls. I don’t want to talk about it any more,” said the traumatized friend.
Pollack was horrified upon returning to her room to find it entirely filled with silverfish.
“At that point, I was so done, I was going to move out, I just couldn’t believe it. But then I thought, no, I’m not going to let them win this time. This isn’t the shower or my kindergarten’s snack room. This is my living space, this is my turf. And I’m not looking for a roommate,” said Pollack, eyes glowing with vengeful pride.
Pollack filed a work order requesting that her room be sprayed, but it was never fulfilled. So Pollack had to get creative.
“I got on Free & For Sale to see if anyone had any anti-silverfish stuff that they weren’t going to use all of so that I didn’t have to buy a whole new thing of bug poison, and I didn’t find any poison, but they did have something better,” said Pollack.
Wielding her new flamethrower, Pollack kicked down her door to immolate her enemies. “I don’t condone violence, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Sometimes you have to bring out the big guns, so that’s what I did,” said Pollack.
After several minutes and countless silverfish casualties, the invading bugs hoisted a white flag of surrender. Pollack, fearing some sort of trick, burned that too. Three flags later, her onslaught finally abated. A surviving silverfish recounted their peace talks.
“In a way, it was kind of merciful. At least she didn’t try to kill us by squishing us or pulling our legs off. So we managed to come to an understanding. Ms. Pollack will remain on the left side of her room, where her bed is. She has explained to us that those are important for humans, and we will remain on the right side,” said the silverfish.
Pollack expressed her hopes that the arrangement would be short lived.
“Well it’s not ideal, but I can live with it for now. At least I have a place to sleep, although my sheets kinda got burned, so I have to fix that. I just hope they won’t try to expand again; I don’t want to burn my Frida Kahlo posters, too. Sheets you can replace, but Frida, she’s sacred,” said Pollack.
After a few days of tense peace, the silverfish discovered a rogue faction of grizzled survivors living under Pollack’s radiator. They are currently in negotiations with the rebellious faction to maintain the terms of the ceasefire. Pollack still keeps her flamethrower handy and monitors Free & For Sale on a daily basis to see if anyone is giving away insecticide.