The pump house stood in my backyard for 27 years before it fell. When I
first bought the place twelve years ago, it was a viable building and became my
workshop. The pump house measured ten feet by ten. It had work benches on three
walls. These were work benches built for real men. They were at a height between
your navel and chest, the perfect height for working on things.
Over time, the old pump house started to sink. It really sank. I mean the
foundation was sinking into the ground. When it rained, water pooled on the
floor of the building. It wasn’t much of a building, but it did have a concrete
foundation. Other than that, it was a frame, tarpaper moisture barrier, and
textured plywood siding (grooves cut into exterior grade plywood to make it
look like planks, but it was still plywood).
Every time it rained, the pump house slid further into rot and decay. First
thing to go was the siding. Rot started at the bottom and moved up the 8X4
sheets. Then the frame started to rot. Although the bottom (toe) plate was
treated wood, water wicked up the treated wood into the untreated wall studs.
It was all downhill from there.
About this time, the well pump that lived in the building decided to go
south, far south. My wife and I figured that it would be better to drill a new
well with new equipment and better water than to repair the old well. You see,
the old well was only 125 feet deep. In some parts of the country this well
might give right tasty water, but not here. We live in the Brazos
in Texas, southwest of Houston.
Anyone from this area will tell you that the water at 125 feet will make a dog
vomit. The water doesn’t taste bad; it just smells like rotten eggs and sulphur and poo poo.
So we hired the local Czech drilling outfit to put in a new well at 525
feet. This is the level of pure sand that yields crystal clear and delicious
water. After $6,500 for the well, I have to say that the water is pretty damn
good. Yes, I know that I have $6,500 invested in it, but it really is good. No
chlorine, no skunky flavor, no rotten eggs.
After the new well was in place, the old pump house became a place to toss
things that had no other home. Boxes of old electronic components from my
college days, boogie boards and other beach toys, derelict blow torches,
chicken feed, hay, or used motor oil containers. And
cockroaches. We didn’t put them there, they just showed up.
Then I built my shop. Behind the house I built a 1500 sqft shop with an
office, a room for my drums, and over 1,000 sqft of shop space. Redneck heaven. Tools everywhere.
My buddies came over just to gaze at it.
The old pump house became rightfully neglected, and the cockroaches
multiplied. I mean, who would want anything to do with a moldy flood zone like
that when there were 1,000sqft of shop space just 75 feet further back on the
property, unless they were a cockroach. To me, the old pump house became
invisible. It did not exist. I was happy with my new shop and all the space and
the tools and the toys and the retreat from the kids and the peace and the
quiet and the…. Well, you know what I mean.
So the old pump house fell into ruin. The cockroaches flourished. It was
basically empty, except for all the shit that needed to be thrown away. It
became a danger to the kids.
So I decided to tear it down. There were two windows in the old pump house.
I used a cat’s paw to take the nails out of their nailing fins. After that, I
took it down with my bare hands. Yeah. The testosterone flowed through me like
morphine. I ripped siding away, kicked out the studs, and reduced it to a
fragile shell. Then I tied a rope around one of the remaining studs and put all
my weight into it.
It fell over hard. The only thing intact on the ground was the roof structure.
Hundreds of cockroaches ran in every direction. They tried to climb up my leg,
but I was too fast. Every tree was a cockroach Stairway to Heaven. Then I let the chickens loose from their pen. They formed a
line along one side of the destruction zone and devoured every living thing
that passed their way. Six chickens ate about 300 cockroaches, 25 lizards, 750 rolly pollies, and 4 snakes.
I had never seen such carnage. Chickens are formidable predators. I’ve seen
them eat the aforementioned roaches, lizards, snakes, and rolly
pollies, and also moles, mice, spiders, bacon, steak,
chicken, and dogfood. Our chickens make the tastiest
After the cockroach bloodbath, we hauled all of the pump house materials out
to the pasture and put them in the burn pile. While loading and unloading we
swatted off numerous roaches from our arms and legs. After lighting the funeral
pyre I sat back and reveled in the thought of those thousands of cockroaches
dying in the flames. Justice.
Two weeks later my house is infested with cockroaches. They are crawling on
the walls and floors. The other night I was sitting on the couch and my wife
started shrieking that there was a cockroach crawling on my arm
I guess when you make 3,000 cockroaches homeless you have to deal with the
I’m going to Tractor Supply Company tomorrow and buying a ton of cockroach