Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A Bug's Death

This is kind of an old story, but I was looking for some interesting pictures to post so I thought I'd post this one from last month at the Beijing Film Academy dorms.

At this point, I would like to make a disclaimer:

If you plan on eating anything in the next 12 or so probably don't want to look at this picture.

Here's the backstory:

We were all living on the third floor, but the kitchen was on the sixth floor. Apparently it was pretty gross; people would just leave messes overnight, and in a stroke of brilliance, the cleaning schedule mandated a morning cleanup instead of a night one, which gave the cockroaches ample opportunity to feast the night away. So there were cockroaches on the sixth floor. Big, fat, healthy cockroaches. Midway through July, most of the foreign students at the BFA started moving out, except for us. One of Marilyn's classmates ominously foretold: "The cockroaches will find us..."

One day, we saw a huge dead cockroach near the service counter on the 6th floor. Gross, but tolerable. A few days later, there was an even fatter cockroach dead on its back on the stairs between the 4th and 5th floors...casualties of the search for edible remnants of human life. (Now it's getting a little close for comfort.) Another few days pass, and the same friend who spoke so portentously before announced that she had killed one of the suckers in the hallway in front of her room. Oh no! They were upon us...(and I, for one, will not welcome our new insect overlords.)

A few days before we were scheduled to move out, we were sitting around in our room when I looked down at the ground and spotted one of the buggers. I shrieked and looked frantically around for something to kill it with, but missed my opportunity as he ran under my bed. By now everyone else was in a panic; Marilyn and our friend Liz had jumped onto beds, chairs, whatever they could find. "It's a three inch cockroach under my bed," I yelled. Armed with a shoe, we gingerly moved my bed aside, only to watch him scamper past me into the corner where Marilyn's open suitcase lay. As he ran past me, I screamed like a little girl and jumped up and down in hopes of randomly killing him. I'm about 60% percent sure I landed on him, only to glance off his armored exoskeleton.

Our quest became even more frantic, as we feared he would hide in Marilyn's suitcase. I zipped up her bag, then chased him away from the suitcase; this time he hid under Marilyn's bed right next to my open suitcase. I quickly grabbed my suitcase to zip it shut...and (I shudder remembering it) I''m 75% sure that he ran onto my hand. I screamed in horror and shook him off my hand...onto my suitcase (all the while Marilyn was screaming, "I'M SO MAD AT YOU!!! I TOLD YOU NOT TO LEAVE YOUR STUFF ON THE FLOOR"). By this time, reinforcements had arrived. (Somewhere in here, I kicked a hole in Marilyn's bed while trying to scare the roach out from under the bed) Stan was standing on Marilyn's bed poised with shoe in hand. As I shook my suitcase, he came flying out and ran along the wall. We chased him back around to my bed (yelling gibberish versions of military strategies..."Flank him, flank him! Code blue. Omega, foxtrot..."), where we cornered him. Stan, oh great warrior, slammed my shower slipper down onto the roach, momentarily stunning him. "He's still alive!!!" I screamed as his myriad legs and antennae wriggled vigorously. **BLAM** a second swing split him open, white cockroach guts spilling onto our carpet.

As the dust settled, we stood around him, hearts pounding, stomachs churning. A round of high-fives and some commemorative photography later, one of our friends suggested we add something for a size comparison and lent us a cigarette. The roach's corpse was unceremoniously flushed down the toilet. Marilyn and I slept, uneasily, ringed by haloes of Off bug spray. The following morning we had the unfortunate dilemma of showering with the bug gut shower slippers, or braving the tub with our bare utterly disheartening decision.

Now we're just praying that none of them laid any eggs in our suitcases. I don't think I could handle an 'incident' in our own place...

PS: The following night, an enraged retaliatory cockroach warrior breached Stan's room. Only this time, Stan, oh great warrior, was ready for him. Armed with spray can and a lighter, he scorched the roach into oblivion...


Tawny said...

...ew. hahaha, i want to see pictures of the roasted cockroach. do ppl eat cockroaches like they do other insects? or are they too disgusting?

my cousin, in taiwan, loves playing with cockroaches. he catches ginormous ones, pins them down and then rips off their legs while laughing with glee. we don't call him a great warrior. We would probably call him something more like great rip-off-legs-er. this leads me to be a great worrier.

J.Dou said...

great worrier...haha nice

they do eat cockroaches. at wangfujing I've seen them next to the scorpions on a stick. totally disgusting. cockroaches are so dirty!

i don't remember if i got a photo of the scorched guy...i'll take a look.

i bet the cockroaches your cousin catches are huge!

Florence said...


I woulda freaked out like no other. That roach is so huge and juicy... Eew. haha.

Happy Birthday Josh!!

(btw...Im pretty sure 8/8 is also father's day in china .. u know.. "bah-bah")

Amy said...

that's kinda like me and mosquitoes...i'm at the point where i think i'm seeing things. paranoia has set in.