Scritch, scritch, scritch…and a cold, prickly feeling

Posted on April 26, 2010


It’s incredible how quickly a night can go downhill. One minute I’m in my study, diligently working on a grant application for the school (yes, they put ‘sucker’ on my name badge at P&F functions these days), the next I’m standing by the fridge hoovering down Cherry Ripe chocolates (if The Builder is reading this, just one, and I left the Turkish Delights), not working, just waiting.


The cause of all this debauchery instead of duty? A cockroach.


The Fibro is a very quiet place at night. Very, very quiet. The kind of quiet where the hum of the fridge sounds like aplane taking off, and a car driving past after 10pm is cause for comment and, yes, curtain twitching.


The kind of quiet where the scritch, scritch, scritch of cockroach feet crawling across cardboard makes a girl sit up and take notice.


When I first heard it, I thought maybe it was a bat outside. They’re hanging around (boom tish) eating the fruit from our big tree (and excreting it all over the deck, pavers and outdoor furniture). That’s how loud that scritch, scritch, scritch was.


I opened the blinds. No bats. Scritch, scritch, scritch.


I looked up to the top of the bookshelf, where I keep my tasteful collection of cardboard storage boxes -you know, the ones that allow hoarders to hoard in peace and prettiness. There, attempting to haul its sorry thorax – or possibly its abdomen – from between two boxes, was the biggest, blackest, shiniest roach I’d ever seen.


I’m not sure how you are with roaches, but they make me retch. I get a cold, prickly feeling up the back of my neck and hold my breath. Automatically. Not ideal.


I also run straight for the environmentally heinous insect spray.


The worst part about those sprays – and there are many bad parts, I know – is the agonising dance of death that follows. I sprayed. It ran left. I sprayed. It ran right. I sprayed, long and hard (possibly overzealously, now that I think about it). It rolled over.


I left the room. I couldn’t bear to watch. I had a drink. I paced. I crept back to the door and put my head around the corner. The roach was back-stroking along the bookshelf.


I went back to the kitchen. It was at this point, 11.05pm, that the chocolate indiscretion occurred. I paced. I crept back to the door. The roach was now sliding behind a vintage Star Wars poster (long story), scritch, scritch, scratching along the paper.


I had to leave again.


I read three pages of The Great Gatsby (which I will need to re-read as I was not concentrating on West Egg, let me tell you). Surely, I reasoned, it would be quiet now?


It was. The roach was laid out in the middle of the floor. I sidled past, figuring I’d leave a post-it for The Builder (and possibly a Turkish Delight) requesting he remove its remains in the morning.


I sit here now, typing, working, happy with my little world once more. I turn to reassure myself that the roach is toast.


Uh-oh. The roach is gone.


Cue cold, prickly feeling…


  1. Ivan M

    The grasshopers were so thick across the soccer field today that when they jumped out of the way it sounded like it was raining.

  2. A-M

    Oh I’m a roach retcher. Got chills just reading this post! A-M xx

  3. Kelly


  4. Cate Bolt

    LOL dude…it’s a cockroach, it won’t kill you. Harden up, woman.

  5. brismod

    How funny! If the spray is handy, I spray until it’s coated with stuff. And if it’s still moving after that, I squash them with a thong to end its disgusting life. There is no mercy.

  6. Annieb25

    Oh my goodness how brave of you! I would have run screaming, woke the entire house and not rested until it had been flushed down the toilet. They come back to life – I don’t trust them! I have a totally irrational fear of cockroaches – if one were to land on me or crawl on me I would pass out on the spot. Oh I have a plethora of cockroach tales to tell – but I won’t hijack your excellent, if not rather scary, post. Thanks, I think.

  7. Seraphim

    Ugh,ugh, ugh! I hate the suckers too. And the dance of death? Isn’t it exactly like that? I am sure the cherry ripe in no way eased your suffering, but at least it provided a welcome distraction from the scritch, scritch….

  8. PinkPatentMaryJanes

    My loathing of the horrid critters reached a peak the day I realised they can fly. That’s it – whenever I see one I run from the room while husband has to chase after it with a thong {erky – but at least a fast death}. Chills…

  9. Shauna

    Living in FNQ made me fairly chill about cockroaches but it did reveal a rodent phobia. This morning the cat came in my bedroom window with a mouse. Im kind of pleased because its the first time in ages ive leapt out of bed with such gusto. Lucky Ive got Tom to remove them for me.

  10. Megan

    Yuck yuck yuck!
    Great description – a bit too good though; I have shivers up and down my spine now.

  11. allison t

    Well, there’s no sign of it this morning, so all I can do is wonder… much like your mouse forearm conundrum Deer Baby. One can only imagine!

    Yes, first reading of TGG. Not sure why it’s taken me so long, but loving so far. My Year of the Classics is proving more fun than I imagined.

  12. Stacia

    Oh, those things just don’t die! And you have to use the spray because the sound their guts make when you squish them is just unbearable. Now I’ve got that cold prickly feeling … Shiver.

  13. deer baby

    Scary! They are the worst. Can handle mice, spiders etc but not roaches. It’s something about their shininess and blackness and the way they scuttle. What purpose do they serve? Don’t get many around here thankfully. Last one I saw was at the public swimming pool. Yuck! Can’t read Metamorphosis without shuddering. In our little holiday house by the sea, we woke up one morning to find the perfect forearm and paw of a mouse hanging off a ledge. Nothing else. Just its forearm. We’re still working out what happened to it.

    So you left the Turkish delights. They would have been first for me. And you’ve never read The Great Gatsby? You have a joy in store.

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