Every apartment I move into, I layer Raid on the doorway like I’m preparing for Passover. Godspeed, Liz. I’ll remember you fondly.
There was a cockroach in my kitchen tonight and I was all alone because my roommates were asleep. Thankfully, the New Orleans ones seem to be about half the size of the Mobile ones and the cleaning supplies happened to be between me and the cockroach this time so I could grab something with ammonia and kill it, but I’m still seriously questioning why I voluntarily moved move this godforsaken place called the Gulf Coast.
If you have an OCD-level clean roommate and still somehow get a cockroach in your third floor apartment, you will probably never feel safe anywhere ever again. I know I won’t.
I’m pretty sure now I have to update my list of boyfriend/husband minimum requirements because I honestly didn’t think that having a cockroach in an apartment like this was possible and I just assumed that I’d always be able to find safe places to live.
#11: A potential boyfriend/husband must have grown up in a southern state and therefore have encountered enough medium- to large-sized cockroaches in his formative years to not be afraid of them whatsoever and therefore be willing to fiercely kill all of them on demand.
There is also nothing hotter than a guy saving your life in a badass super masculine way, so the boyfriend/husband will of course be rewarded handsomely. 😉
I can think of about 10 hyperfeminists who would totally call me out for wanting to be rescued, but if my options are to either let my gender down and set us back 200 years or continue to kill cockroaches by myself for the rest of my life, I’m totally going with the latter because, quite frankly, I am sick of this cockroach shit. Sorry, ladies. I will never ever ever be able to not totally freak out when I see one.
I’ve only encountered one in my apartment and one outside since moving here, which is considerably less frequent than what I experienced in Alabama. I seriously think that Mobile has an official Cockroach Welcome Wagon for kids that move from up north.
One crawled out of my bathtub drain while I was brushing my teeth on like day two of living there and I had literally NO idea what to do about it. I think I cried. I’m not overexaggerating for once. I really think I cried. Then I filled up the bucket I had recently used while deep cleaning the bathroom in order to get it up to my super high bathroom cleanliness standards and washed the cockroach back down the drain (thank the heavens there was enough water and my sneak attack was fast enough that it couldn’t crawl up the sides of the bathtub because I had no backup plan), put the bucket over the drain, filled it back up with water so the cockroach couldn’t tip it over from underneath and escape, then Drano-ed the drain the next morning. It worked… I think.
If that cockroach did outsmart me and entered my apartment that night, I’m really glad I never had to know about it. Maybe it came into my room and crawled on my face in my sleep like I’m pretty convinced the dead one I found in my hamper that one day a few months later must have done before it died. I don’t know. I’ll never know. I’m happier not knowing.
Anyway, since that first cockroach encounter was eons ago and I’m a pro at this now, I broke it down for yinz….
The 6-9 Stages of Seeing a Cockroach in Your Kitchen and Dealing (or Trying to Deal) With It
1) Experience total body numbness while your life flashes before your eyes and your sympathetic nervous system kicks in, somehow causing your body to back the fuck up and jump around enough to save your life
2) Panic from a safe distance while you mentally review all known cockroach killing methods and scan the scene for whatever potential weaponry is available to you based on the positions of yourself and the cockroach
3) Prioritize kill methods based on effectiveness and proximity while you make noise with your feet any time it moves to scare it enough to stop moving again
4) Pump yourself up and GO FOR IT. Yeah!
5) Regret that you didn’t live life more fully while you spend several minutes trying to kill it, knowing that it will probably win and you will probably die
6a) If it has escaped: Wish you were dead and realize that you won’t sleep soundly ever again until you move
6b) If you were successful: Stand still for a minimum of 20 minutes from a safe distance while you wait to see if it moves. If it moves, select your next option from step 3. Repeat steps 4 & 5
7) Muster up the courage to approach it then grab at least five paper towels (which is the minimum acceptable hand-to-roach barrier… 10+ paper towels is better) to surround it while you pick it up and throw it away
8) Stand still for a minimum of 20 minutes from a safe distance while you see if it moves in the garbage can. If it moves, approach the garbage area with your weapon(s) then attack again while simultaneously closing and tying the bag as fast as possible. If it doesn’t move, cover it with another paper towel so you never have to see it again
9) Sit around for hours thinking about every potentially unfortunate decision you made in the kitchen for the entirety of your residency at the location. That time last week when you ate the peanut M&M off the floor after it had been there way longer than 5 seconds? SO MUCH REGRET
If you’re wondering why I don’t skip step 8 and flush them instead, it’s because they can’t drown. Mythbusters proved it. I trust those guys.
If you flush cockroaches, you risk them re-infesting your house and the second time around, they have a serious vendetta against you and dirty poop water on them. No thanks. I prefer to watch them with my eyes until I can confirm that they will never move again.