I like to think of myself as a brave person. I am not actually a brave person at all, I just find it helps me sleep better to think of myself in that way. So, innocently I walk out of my room on my day off to shower, when I spy a humongous (average sized) cockroach swagging it up around our living room. I would, at this point, like to point out that I absolutely hate cockroaches. They give me the shivers. I’m not going to lie, upon initially seeing it I did full on retreat because those rascals can really move when they want to you know. So, I slowly back into my room, eyes never leaving the cockroach. After I while, I figure the pest isn’t actually paying rent so he has no right to be wandering around our living room like he owns the joint. At this point I psyche myself up to try and get rid of him. My initial decision was to do the usual thing of getting a bowl over him, sliding a piece of paper under it and possibly transporting him twenty floors down to be released to wreak havoc on ladies market. This did not work because every time I got near him he ran under the sofa and this was how I discovered that he was in fact the Bolt of the cockroach species. I then took to throwing the bowl towards the cockroach in the hope that my magnificent aim could ensnare him but it turns out I can’t throw half as well as I think I can…
I’m not actually sure how much time passed with this repetitive scenario of me launching crockery across the flat only to go and pick it up nervously in case the roach decided to attack, but I imagine that it was too large a portion of my life. Should one’s life actually flash before their eyes before they die, I imagine I’ll regret the amount of time this particular scene flashes up for.
In any case, I decided to change tactics. If you want to really conquer something then you have to be willing to get to know it’s weaknesses and you have to be willing to be in it for the long haul. Great things take time. Know your enemy. *Insert another slightly relevant proverb here*. So, I took to just observing the activities of the cockroach when he thought he wasn’t being watched from the comfort of my own bed. Cockroaches are actually incredible creatures. It had no trouble scaling a vertical wall, falling off, hitting the table on the way down, bouncing on to the floor, flipping off it’s back and then continue wandering around like nothing had happened. I bet his cockroach friends would have laughed but I honestly thought it was truly remarkable. I was dealing with a creature that had a relentless ambition for survival. This didn’t make me feel much better about the fact that he was fast becoming a fourth housemate. We only just evicted the last one (Marcel’s huge tub of protein). I did notice however that it would occasionally do little flips in the corner and land on it’s back unable to flip back again for at least ten seconds. To me this translated as prime time to get rid of him.
My next step, upon realising this, was to go and grab some roach killer spray as I had decided that I didn’t want any roach contact and those things release eggs when you step on them. I did not want that. Upon returning to the flat, said housemate had disappeared. I searched for him for a short while but I think he saw the Raid and chose to stay well hidden. Smart kid. Fortunately, I had some places to be otherwise I might have madly sat and waited for him to reappear for most of the day. I had completely forgotten about him by the time I came back later that afternoon. Once again, innocently I sat on my bed wrapping some presents to send home to my family when who should rudely wander into my room, or crawl under my door, but the roach himself. I was not armed with roach killer. Hesitant to jump over him, (because I am a massive wuss) I waited until he’d gone out, ran for the spray and carefully timed my attack for the next time he failed one of his circus tricks. (Solid half an hour later). His death was much swifter than the time I had devoted to calculating his movements and end. All in all it was a day that really tested the limits of my patience but was very satisfying, not least because I went out later (to celebrate) for the most amazing Indian I have ever tasted. RIP roomie number 4. You will not be missed.