Saturday, July 01, 2006


When I’m on a deadline and get into a zone, I sometimes forget to stop for personal hygiene. I know it sounds gross, but I’m in air conditioning, on the computer, with no one around but the dogs, and let’s face it, they have no room to complain. Late yesterday afternoon I had reached a stopping point and decided that it had been 30 hours since my shower and I was feeling gross.

Looking forward to hot shower and several minutes away from the thesis, I cranked up the radio and turned on the water. Ready to step into the tub, I looked up and saw a cockroach the size of my thumb. Shrieking, I leapt away from the tub, letting the curtains fall. Of course, the dogs came running to see what was wrong. Normally, I’m not a girly-girl, but when it comes to creepy, crawly things, I am. Snakes, cockroaches, rats, anything icky, I’m out of there. So here I was with a dilemma, I really wanted this shower, but it was blocked by a bug the size of Rhode Island that looked like it could eat a cat whole. When this has happened before, I’ve been able to do what any brave-hearted woman would do – get my man to kill it. But Doug is in KC with his dad, so that wasn’t an option. I did the next best thing and got my camera phone, took a picture of it, and sent it to Doug, but he chose to ignore it and let me figure it out myself.

I thought for a minute. I couldn’t just use the other shower, as Doug had it filled with blueberry wine, thinking a shower was easier to clean than the kitchen. I did think about waiting until Doug’s return to shower, but I don’t ignore my hygiene to that degree. Standing there, wrapped in a towel, I realized that this was one battle I was going to have to fight on my own. Steeling my nerves, I picked up my weapon, my Executioner, and hoped that I didn’t electrocute myself doing battle in the tub.

This cockroach, which given its size survived the comet that killed its neighboring dinosaurs, was just above the tile, in the corner of the shower. Standing on rim of the tub, the Executioner in one hand, balancing myself with the other, I took the first swing. I heard a small zap and saw a blue bolt of electricity, but knew it didn’t work. The location of the cockroach in the corner didn’t allow for full electrical grid contact with the bugger – he got as much of the plastic racquet as he got the electricity. Pulling back, I saw Goliath twitch, so I went after him again. This time, when the electricity hit him, he jumped off the wall, into the shower caddy and then jumped again. I didn’t see where he went as I was too busy screaming and trying to get off the tub and away from the shower without breaking a leg. The dogs stood there dumbfounded, trying to figure out just why I was acting like a crazy lady.

I wait a few seconds to see if this monster is going to emerge. Nothing. I gingerly pull back the shower curtain, ready to step back if I see him. When I don’t, I think maybe he’s playing hide-and-seek in the shower curtains, so I start batting them with my Executioner racquet, daring him to come out. After several minutes, I think maybe he’s crawled down the drain, so I turn the water back on to see if he’ll come back out, or, better yet, if I can drown him.

A few more minutes go by and no roach. I start wondering if it’s safe to go back into the shower. I decide to take a chance, timidly stepping into the tub, but leaving the door to the bathroom open in case I need to make a quick getaway. I look around as I start to lather my hair, making sure the beast is not going to jump out at me. I’m startled as I feel something nudge my big toe; looking down, it was only water splashing off the bath mat. The water feels good, but I am unable to relax, worrying that creature will come back. I shower quickly and step out of the tub, shaking the towels before I do to make sure he’s not hiding on one of those. At that moment I couldn’t think of anything more gross than drying off with a cockroach. I’m safe for the moment, but spare no time getting dressed and getting out of the bathroom.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Now that your thesis is done, you need to get busy on that great American novel!!! THE COCKROACH CHRONICLES...Great breakfast reading here in the 108 degree San Fernando Valley morning as I sip my coffee and dunk my biscotti...

Boy, is Doug going to be pissed when he gets home and finds out you've killed his pet cockroach!

You shoulda' sicked your cat on do still have a cat, no?

Pancakes and Schmoofie love nothing more than to capture a cockroach to play with and to bring to Tim and Risa as a wake-up surprise gift. Pancakes even captured a rat one early morning. Boy! Did Tim and Risa shower him with glory when he dropped it in their bed!

My advice--bomb the bathroom. As if you asked for my advice...isn't advice always welcome from dear old Auntie M.???