Monday, October 6, 2008   6:46 AM

Penguin 3, Cockroaches 0

I'm sure you don't the start of your week, as the start of mine did, to involve the Creatures That Shall Not Be Named (hereafter CTSNBN), so in consideration of your sensitive feelings and possible lack of Mind Bleach in your medicine cabinet I have hidden the story below the fold.

I awoke around 6:30am to what appeared to be a wonderful Monday morning with sunlight filtering through the shoji (those indoor wood-framed paper sliding screens), which in a fit of general joy to experience the start of a fresh new day I threw open.

There was a tiny but distinct thud as something fell from behind them onto my pillow.

Something dark and vaguely lozenge-shaped.

Something with legs. And tendrillic feelers.

I spontaneously emitted a sound which could best be rendered textually as "WAAH WUUURRGH!".

There was a three second standoff before I leapt for the balcony door and Mr. Cockroach (fortunately I have nil experience in sexing cockroaches so I am just guessing here) scrambled for a fold in the pillow cover.

Your mistake, Mr. Cockroach.

I am not a morning person but adrenaline does wonders for one's reactions.

Without pausing to think, in one swift pillow-flicking move Mr. Cockroach was describing an arc up and outwards towards the balcony. Another swift move had me diving out onto the balcony, twisting down to pick up the Cockroach Slipper Of Death and the Cockroach Slipper Of Death was suddenly describing another arc this time downwards with a considerable application of kinetic energy and BAM! Mr. Cockroach was removed from the gene pool.

Which on further reflection is cause for concern because I may well be contributing towards the evolution of a breed of superroaches which are aware of and know how to avoid slippers but as long as they stay away from my balcony that's fine by me.

Posted in Life in Japan
I should certainly hope you have nil experience "sexing cockroaches"!

Heh. Ehhehhehheh.

Oh, yes. I'm a clever one, I am.
Posted by: john turningpin | 2008-10-08 02:19
I was recently walking down the hall at my guesthouse, and a big one ran out from my neighbors room, saw me, and ran back in. In America we had a natural, organic repellent that I would spray around windows and doors, it kept out all insects.
Posted by: Brian | 2008-10-08 06:06
@John Turningpin: ever thought of a career in stand-up comedy? ;)

@Brian: are you sure it wasn't a paying guest?
Posted by: ThePenguin | 2008-10-08 22:56
And did Ms. Penguin manage to sleep through the battle?
Posted by: VanillaGuerrilla | 2008-10-11 00:14
I would've thrown that pillow away! I'm serious, I'd just have nightmares of roaches crawling out from it and laying eggs in my ears or something!
Posted by: Mr. Salaryman | 2008-10-13 10:46
@VanillaGuerilla: Mrs. Penguin was (and still is) on another continent, fortunately for all concerned (including the CTSNBN).

@Mr. Salaryman: believe me, the cover went directly into the washing machine together with half a box of washing powder.

In the meantime the score is now 4:0.
Posted by: ThePenguin | 2008-10-13 16:11
Thanks for the reply on Mr. Salaryman's page. I read your cockroach stories, and though I am happy for you that you got rid of them, I can't do what you did because 1) no balcony and 2) I'm too afraid of squished cockroaches leaving their eggs to hatch on my shoe to smash them.

I've decided to go the chemical route. Unfortunately, by the time I got a smoke bomb, it was 6pm. The label said to wait two hours after using it, so I'm in an internet cafe right now. I'm a little worried that when I go back and try to sleep on my poisoned sheets that something terrible will happen to me. What is your opinion on this?
Posted by: Michelle | 2010-09-08 12:08
Err, all I can say is that I hope things worked out. What I meant with my comment on Mr. Salaryman's blog was that the odd cockroach is pretty much a fact of life hereabouts, though provided you keep your apartment clean (food in sealed containers! floors vacuumed and spillages cleaned up!) and unattractive to the cockroach race, and vigilantly repel any advance scouts, you won't suffer a plague of the things.

Advice does not apply if you live above a restaurant.
Posted by: ThePenguin | 2010-09-09 23:57