Saturday, January 23, 2010

A cockroach story

I need to record this for posterity to warn myself and anyone who reads this to AIR OUT ROOMS AFTER KILLING LARGE INSECTS.

Here's why.

The other day I was sitting, as I am wont to do, on the white tiled floor in my room chatting with a friend on skype. A scurrying movement across the room and against the wall caught my eye. As much I as desperately do not want to know about any rodents in my midst, if I see one I can't very well pretend I didn't notice.

So I turned around and focused on the brown mass that had caught my eye. Not a mouse: sigh of relief. Nope, it's just a cockroach that is the size of a mouse and runs like a mouse.

Wait a second - a cockroach the size of a mouse just wandered under my bed! I asked my poor skype friend to hang on because something very important and urgent had come up. I crawled up near my bed to investigate. It was wandering around the corner of the room, under my bed. Out of my reach. How could I beckon it out to kill it? I hesitated to take my eyes off of it, because I kind of wanted to know exactly where that creature was. More specifically, I wanted to know it was NOT climbing into my sleeping perch.

Oh how I was relieved when it continued its journey around my room and popped out from under the bed. It was now within attacking range. I put on my shoes and prepared to stomp.

Lifted leg, aimed, and when I started to pouce, the thing sprung wings and flew! This was not good. It landed two feet away and I tried again, but flying cockroaches are hard for shod feet to defeat.

But glory be, it flew into the bathroom. So I slammed that bathroom door shut, checked the crack at the bottom and determined that the roach was bigger than the crack. Either it was going to crawl down the sewage where it came from, or it was going to wait for me there. But eventually I was going to have to use that bathroom, so I needed to find a way to kill it. All I'd done was buy myself some time to think.

Bug spray was the answer. Spray that bathroom full of poison and the guy will faint, shudder and decease. Too bad I didn't have any and hadn't seen any lying around the hotel. So I decided I'd better start knocking on doors. And I lucked out: the first colleague whose door I knocked on had a can.

I marched back into my room and staged a bit of a military sting operation: rapid yet slight open of door with left hand, spray with the right hand reaching in.

Failure. The mouse-sized flying cockroach was still there, wandering around the bathroom floor. And completely unfased by the spray. Then it hit me: it's too big and buff for this little spray to have any impact. Must... spray... more...

And so I did. I emptied half that can of bugspray on the bugger. Finally, after pushing it a few laps around the bathroom, it jumped back out into the room, but I could tell its defenses were getting weak. It was not as perky as it had been. It was time for me to try the shoes again.

Stomp - landed square on the target, who shook a bit in response. Stomp 2 - again perfect aim, this time the target's legs seemed to sprawl a bit. Stomp 3. Stomp 4. That did it. Wait, no, still moving. Stomp 5 and grind that baby into the floor. Finally, it was over. Throw a tissue over the corpse and ask the hotel guy to help me clean up tomorrow.

I returned the spray and went back to my computer. My room smelled of bug spray, but that was normal, right? So for a few hours I typed and websurfed and went about my business. Then I was about to get ready to sleep, so went out to the kitchen to put my dishes for washing. When I got back into my room, I realised that the smell was still pretty awful. Yuck. That bug spray makes some strong lasting odour - and considering how much of it I used, it could be toxic. But it was bed time and the hotel was quiet. I wanted to go to sleep. So I sat out in the lobby and read for 10 minutes while I left my door open, but it made little difference. I decided I'd better go ahead and toss the cadaver, as it was certainly drenched with the stuff. Then I fell asleep with the sheet wrapped around my nose so the smell wouldn't keep waking me up.

The next morning I woke up nauseous and with an awful headache. And my eyes were all watery as if I were crying. I guess bug spray really is poisonous.

But then I mentioned it to a colleague as I stumbled through the work day, and he reminded me that dead huge cockroaches emit an odour, and that it was probably as much dead cockroach smell as it was bug spray fumes that poisoned me.

So just remember. Killing the bug isn't the end of your responsibilities. Clean up after yourself.

1 comment:

Joybird said...

No, I did not know this. Not sure I wanted to know this. Definitely hope I never need to know this. But if I do ever need to know this I will forever bless you for telling me. ;)

Post a Comment