I was over at a co worker’s desk when she looked up and pointed out the biggest cockroach I’ve ever seen outside those silly little petting zoos that are hired to come into elementary schools and children’s birthday parties. The ones that have a guinea pig, some sort of tarantula and a hissing cockroach. Those petting zoos were dumb.
OH! But I forgot that back in 4th grade, Mr. Gravini kept a pet cockroach in the class. Dozens of ten year olds formed the lasting habits of many a food disorder during that year just so they could dump their lunch in the cage and find it magically gone in a week’s time.
Anyways, those situations were different, as they called for cockroaches in cages and away from my living and working space. This one broke what I had ALWAYS believed was an unspoken, cardinal rule between myself and cockroaches. You stay away from me and I stay away from you. If you violate this, I will kill you. This goes for a lot of things that have more legs than they do eyes. Exceptions include, but are not limited to, nice dogs, cats and hamsters in cages.
So when I look up and see, sitting right on the fire alarm light, this disgusting brown THING, I freak out.
Slight workplace history. We have mice. And not just mice that are content to run around on the floor away from you and everywhere you go. These are ninja mice that find ways INTO OUR DRAWERS in our DESKS. Keeping some nice Rice Krispies in your desk for breakfast every morning? Better check it for mouse droppings. Like to make some popcorn around 3pm everyday to satisfy that hunger? Well, the mice not only found a way into your desk cabinet, but they opened up the popcorn, ate it, and left. These mice know how to do things.
The last thing I need is a cockroach infestation. Because the only thing worse than one cockroach is many cockroaches. This could have been a mommy roach. Or a flying roach. Or a mommy roach that flies and lays eggs as it flies so that wherever it goes it just is crapping out babies all over the place. No one. Can know. For sure.
So with a small audience [who did NOTHING to help in this crusade…help came in the form of suggestions like ‘Trap it in a cup and tape it to the floor!’ or ‘Cover it in white out!’…nothing ever before has made me think that I work with C students more than those suggestions], I approached the cockroach with a golf umbrella in one hand and a whiffle ball bat in another.
This was the plan. I’d use the umbrella to whack near and about the cockroach. I only wanted to get it to crawl up the wall and away, or, God and Jesus help me, fly AWAY from me. Then, while the cockroach was on the run, I would hit it with the whiffle ball bat. I saw no flaws with this plan.
The cockroach was sitting on top of the alarm, just sitting there LICKING things while the feelers moved all over. Jesus, Mary and Joseph all my skin is itching like I have bugs on it, just TYPING this. So I took the umbrella and began to swing it around, hitting the wall and the fire alarm in the process. The cockroach moved a little towards the wall, getting ready to climb, when BAM.
I hit it. Right smack dab on the head. It didn’t fly away from me. It didn’t climb up the wall. It fell. It fell about 7 feet and people, I shit you not, landed ON THE FLOOR with an audible THUD.
I just stood over it with my golf umbrella and whiffle ball bat, staring. The thing wriggled, got to it’s feet, and ran underneath the closet door.
You guys, there’s a several pound cockroach living in a closet around the corner from my desk and Olympic level mice athletes breaking into our desks. I have no idea what to do next, but safely assume it involves girlish screaming and the standing on high objects. Possibly erratic stomping of the ground as these things cartwheel around me.