If anyone had told me prior to living in NYC that I would be forced to kill the caliber of bugs that I have killed, I would have laughed in their face. Prior to 2007, I considered a spider the most menacing foe in the insect library. While those 8 legged creepers still know how to paralyze me with fear, they aren't anything compared to the bug repertoire I've encountered in the Big Apple (think Arachnophobia, but on a Godzilla sized scale) …. gross.
Last Friday at work, all of the sudden I heard commotion coming from down the hallway only to discover that a cunning cockroach had decided to come out to play this Friday. (Please note, this was not the first cockroach in my new office .... that my friends is a whole other story). People started messing with it and trying to get it to go in certain directions while I sat perplexed and disgusted. The moment I had enough composure to speak, my first utterance was “WELL SOMEONE KILL THE THING ALREADY!” Everyone looked up and must have seen the crazy written all over my face. But that wasn't enough for them to condone murder on this Friday. Suddenly the group dispersed and the cockroach went on his dandy way walking that hallway as though he owned the place.
Was I hallucinating?! Were my colleagues truly at a place in their NYC lives that they were willing to just pass a cockroach, play with it for a minute or so and then keep on walking. BLASPHEMY!
Despite my outrage, I was clearly not going to man up and kill it myself. I willed the cockroach to do something to prompt someone else to kill it, but alas he just darted into someone’s empty office instead. My mind was going a mile a minute ….
(inside the OCD mind) “That cockroach is probably in there plotting. I bet you he knows what I’m thinking and is going to dart out of that office and beeline right towards me. And now I can’t go to the bathroom because he’s right in my path. Oh mylanta, how will I pee? Alright first things first, I need to stop drinking water ASAP because there is no peeing here ever again. And now I can never go down that hallway. Ugh, that might make this job a wee bit trickier but I suppose I can find ways to be resourceful. Come on cockroach, do something bold, act a fool, it’s gotta be in your nature …. be the darty little menace that I KNOW is in there!”
Being a cockroach and all, he clearly didn't disappoint. Next thing I knew he was outta that office and terrorizing another cubicle. A group of guys was coming back from getting lunch and were asking why so many people were surrounding their desks. My cube mate had also gone over to see what was happening. All of the sudden out of a mountain of binders the cockroach that could RAN out realizing that this may very well be his last chance to go on living his cockroach life. With lunch bag in hand, one of the guys stomped Mr. Cockroach and the nightmare was over (insert sigh of relief here).
My cube mate made his way back to our area and I immediately asked for all the details. I don’t know why, but for some reason, knowing the play by play always helps me feel better about buggy situations. He told me everything step by step, proudly noting that he was the one who picked up the smushed cockroach and threw it away. Hold up …. I was immediately repulsed and more importantly, “Ahhhh did you just touch my desk with those hands, GO WASH YOUR HANDS IMMEDIATELY.” Knowing how crazy I am, he naturally obliged. (Sidebar, are men born with a gene that women don’t have where particularly gross things just don’t bother them? There would not be enough hand sanitizer and Lysol wipes in the world to make me feel clean again after only having a paper towel barrier between me and a cockroach.)
Once my coworker got back from washing his hands I was finally able to rest my mind and go back to the task at hand. I needed more details on what happened. He told me the guy killed it by smushing it with his shoe. I immediately panicked again.
Me: “Smushing a cockroach is the worst way to kill it because then it spits its baby sack out! Hence why cockroaches always survive! They have the perfect defense mechanism!”
Coworker: “How do you know so much about cockroaches?”
Me: “Know thy enemy ….”