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mr. roach and the bic of death

Mr. roach and the bic of death

I dreamed of birds last night. They were trying to get in the bedroom window and I was shoving them out as fast as they came in. I couldn't get them all and birds rested everywhere in the bedroom; blue birds and brown birds and birds that could speak. One tilted his head back, his beak pointed in the air like a gun and laughed at me. A cackling, horrifying laugh.

A big fat crow tried to get in the window and I slammed the window down on him, catching him halfway between in and out and his neck twisted like a rope. He begged me to open the window and let him go but I preferred to watch him suffer. After a few minutes I made a move to push him out the window, but my hand brushed by his beak and he bit me. I flew into a rage and held him by his neck, began thrashing him around the room, banging his body into walls and furniture. He screamed bloody murder while all the other birds furiously flew out the door to get the hell away from me before I came for them next.

I woke up and there were crows outside my window, making a racket and causing the other birds to yell back at them. I hate when life pervades my dreams.

Yesterday (and this is real now, we finished the dream sequence), I killed a cockroach. My neighbors have this problem with getting their garbage into the can, I think they just have bad aim or they could be very lazy. I was sitting outside having a cigarette when a roach crawled from underneath my neighbor's garbage can towards my feet. I waited for him to get close to me and then I burned him to death with a cigarette lighter.

I am not an evil person. I only kill crows in my dreams. And I don't make it a habit of killing bugs, much less torturing them with flame. If I see a spider in the house, I take it outside rather than screaming like a sissy girl and then stomping on it. I try not to step on ants or swat bees so hard that they fall dead to the ground.

But this was a cockroach. Sure, I could have just stepped on it, but I was barefoot. I could have just flicked it away, but that would have meant touching it. Oh yes, I could have just let it go. But I'll be damned if I'm going to let a roach get anywhere near my door. Besides, I was in a terrible mood. So I flicked my Bic and touched the flame to the roach's shell and he stopped in his tracks. I suppose if I could have seen it his face it would have been frozen in a look of horror and pain. His legs went first, practically melting under the heat of the flame. His little insect body twitched and convulsed and I think his head exploded. The flame died and I squished the roach with the end of the lighter just to make sure he was dead. I didn't want to leave him there, half baked, half alive, sending telepathic messages to his 10,000 relatives that lived in his one bedroom apartment under my neighbor's garbage can and they would all come after me in the dead of night, making nests in my hair and crawling into my ears to get to my brain.

I really felt awful afterwards. I remembered when DJ was about 5 and he put an ant in the microwave just to see what would happen. I gave him a long lecture about being kind to our fellow earth inhabiters and how I was severely disappointed that he would do something like that and that maybe next time I would stick him in the microwave "just to see what would happen."

I started thinking about Mrs. Roach and Baby Roach and Grandpa Roach and how they were all waiting for Mr. Roach to come home from his trip abroad with news of a fresh new food spill on the porch next door. But Mr. Roach never comes home. And the headlines in the Daily Roach News say something about his lifeless, scorched body found on the stairs next door, a crushed cigarette butt laying next to it. They would use their roach DNA labs to secure the evidence that it was that monster lady that killed their beloved Mr. Roach, who was doing nothing more than hunting and foraging for food for his family. I would be tried and found guilty and I would have to surrender all my cans of Raid. And the roaches would take over my home and make me their human slave and I would have to feed them scraps of leftover Krispy Kremes for the rest of my days.

After I spent ten minutes thinking of that scenario, all while watching Mr. Roach twitch towards his death, I spotted another roach coming from underneath the garbage. I went into the house for the can of Raid, determined to wipe them all out before they could pin the murder on me.


Obviously, you have wussy little Yankee roaches and not the good, robust Southern kind that are longer than two inches and can fly. I can't envision attempting roach murder-by-arson with one of those. It would probably run away (or leap towards you) before you could set it properly afire. (When Southerners read Kafka's Metamorphosis they know exactly what kind of bug he turns into.)

Whoa. Okay, that post was a little too imaginative...

oh yes - I can confirm those southern divebombing powerlifting roachs down here... the ones that shove your foot upward and yell "get the hell off me" when you attempt to squish them. they grab gas masks and laugh when they see a can of raid. and they're everywhere. and the cats catch them and carry them in their mouths into the house so they can play with them inside...
no mercy to the bastards I say!

I just woke up and was eating breakfast when I read this post.

My sensitive hangover-stomach especially liked the description of the exploding cockroach head.

don't feel bad. it was either you or him. you did what you had to do.

Maxim Magazine recently did a comparison of the four leading bug sprays, rating each on effectiveness, price, aim, and how much of a show the little fuckers gave before they bought the farm.

Wacky, wacky dream.

I remember my first apartment sans roomates, back in '87 when it was almost acceptably glammy cool to share a bathroom with 4 other apartments in a Victorian rooming house. The studio had a kitchenette, in which there was a sink, which had a drain from which a nightly parade of cockroaches would stream.

I remembered that age old passtime of angry teens with fashion sense: the aqua net blowtorch.

Very effective.

yeah, i hit one with crazy glue once, and as he crystallized, told him to tell his friends. roaches are awful. especially the flying ones. twitch

Being a Louisiana resident, I am informed that flying roaches are in fact called "palmetto bugs."

This science moment has been brought to by Bill Nye the Science Guy.

once last year i was all alone during a horrifying rainstorm (also from louisiana, so i can relate to the flying-cockroaches. the bastards are straight from hell.) and my parents' house was filled with lots of multi-coloured candles. and there was a mosquito hawk flying around the room i was in. i was watching it as it landed on one of the candles and a piece of wax dripped onto its leg and it got caught. i watched it thrash around and make this scary insect noise as it tried to free itself. and instead of helping it out, i took another candle and set it on fire.

i don't know what entirely posessed me to do something like that, since i generally let a bug (except cockroaches. the fuckers can roast.) outside instead of killing it. but it made me so sick afterward that i spent the following half hour in the bathroom throwing up.

i dunno, your story just reminded me of that. and if it makes you feel any better, i was also convinced they'd be coming after me for retribution while i was asleep. :)