Cockroach CSI: Death by Coffee Drowning

As mentioned before, I am a total cockroach magnet. At my old job, the cockroaches LOVED my corner cubicle and now, we share our tiny SoHo office space with a very fertile family of miniature roaches, who have been spotted anywhere from my desk to the cubicle walls to the secretary’s phone.

Luckily, the mini roaches mostly come out at night when we’ve all gone home for the day, but sometimes the next morning, we’ll find them in the strangest places — like in our coffee mugs. Yup, one morning, I found two dead roaches in the bottom of my coffee mug when I was rinsing it out, andย I’m guessing it went a little like this:

Big Roach tells Little Roach how nice it would be to go skinny dipping in a creamy cup of Hong Kong style coffee.

Little Roach struggles to keep afloat in the coffee, while Big Roach relishes in the fact that there’ll soon be one less mouth to feed in the “megaherd” of roaches, meaning more crumbs for him!

Big Roach loses his footing while laughing and slips into the coffee as well, where both of them die a slow and painful death since they are highly caffeinated and do not slip into unconsciousness until about an hour later.

Moral of the story? Roaches should wear slip-resistant footwear when walking on slippery surfaces like coffee mugs. Crocs, take note, you’ve got a new set of customers (with six feet each)!

Cockroach CSI: Death by Tobacco

No matter what time of year it is in Hong Kong, you’re likely to see one of the city’s most infamous tenants crawling around: the cockroach. In the summer, they are out in full force, scurrying along sidewalks, climbing up the walls, and sometimes (if you’re unlucky) flying right into your line of sight.

Now that it’s winter though, cockroach sightings are much more rare, but that doesn’t mean they’re gone. In fact, most of the times I see cockroaches these days is when they’re dead. Squished, flattened, stomped on, or worse, have you ever wondered what actually happened right before the cockroach was killed?

Introducing … Cockroach CSI: an investigation into the lives (and death) of our city’s rampant roaches. First up is a cockroach I saw in Wanchai last year, an image that I will never forget as it was such a vivid one.

I was on Jaffe Road right across Joe Bananas when I looked down before crossing the street. And, there, right next to my foot was a dead cockroach on its back, clutching onto a cigarette butt. I kid you not, his six legs were literally wrapped around the cigarette butt!

It’s clear how this cockroach died: death by tobacco. After a long night of partying with the call girls in Wanchai, this roach thought of winding down with a still-lit cigarette butt that landed just a few inches from him. After taking one long puff, he choked to death on all the nicotine, smoke and tar that filled his little lungs. So, the lesson here is, hanging out in Wanchai will kill ya!

I’m a cavity; come and get me

There are some things you’re just supposed to know, like: never touch a hot stove, date a guy who lives at home and wear high heels to go hiking. Another thing to add to this list, which I’m guessing most other people know already, is: never move into an apartment that’s under construction.
I have no idea why this never occurred to me before, but as I sit here in my godforsaken apartment listening to the sound of 3-4 industrial drills hammering away at all four walls around me, I finally understand now what it feels like to be a cavity.

The entire building is going through a renovation right now starting with the exterior, followed by the entire lobby, and of course, the landlord and agent conveniently showed us the place in the evenings when the dirty and dusty construction workers were nowhere to be seen.ย 
After moving in, we discovered that the drilling is daily and usually starts at 8/9am on weekends, the lifts are often crammed with smelly garbage bags and various other crap, and the sky literally rains concrete clumps that hits our windows on the way down. Because of that, all our windows have been covered by a thick and opaque piece of white plastic, which means we can’t even look out to check the weather for the next couple of months.
The expected completion date of the renovation is supposed to be July 23rd, but that’s just for the exterior. After that, they’ll get cracking on renovating the entire lobby downstairs, fml. AND, if that wasn’t enough, the cherry on top of all this is: there is now a band of miniature flying cockroaches mating outside of our apartment door as we speak (which turns out to be quite a good story in itself…stay tuned!).

Me vs. Tea Lady – Round 2

The latest battle between me and the office Tea Lady came about after yet another cockroach decided to rear its ugly face on my desk. This time, a rather large, yellow roach was caught creepy-crawling on my office telephone receiver. But by the time I hollered “ROACH!” at the top of my lungs, that little bastard had disappeared, making me look like a total idiot in front of all my colleagues.

For those who know me, you know that I’m a magnet for cockroaches. Somehow, they always seem to pop up around me, no matter if they’re on the street, outside my door or crawling on my cubicle walls. So, it’s totally not my fault that I have cockroaches on my desk.

However, the Tea Lady thinks otherwise. She had already been commenting a lot about my eating patterns, for one.

“Eating AGAIN?” she’d say every time she saw me take out a snack from the fridge. It didn’t matter if it was a box of blueberries or a small cup of yogurt, I was still a pig to her.

“Make sure it doesn’t spill!” she’d say if she saw me reheating a cup of milk tea in the microwave. *rolls eyes* “Yes, ma’am…”

This morning, she cornered me in the pantry and told me how she had sprayed my cubicle down with insecticide and wiped my desk off with bleach.

“Do you know how much crap fell out of your phone when we turned it upside down?” she exclaimed. “You’re eating too much! So many food particles came out!!”

“What!?” I said back. “What are you talking about? I don’t eat over the phone! Plus I keep everything I have in sealed bags!”

Wanting to prove her point, she grabbed onto my upper arm with a death-grip (I’m SO not kidding, her bony hand closed in on my arm like a cold, mechanical robot’s) and led me to my cubicle.

“Look! All this FOOD fell out of your phone!” she said. I looked down into the waste basket and saw what appeared to be black bits of crap, sort of like coffee grinds.

“What?! That’s not food, that’s probably cockroach eggs!” I shouted at her. “How could you think this is food, geez, I told you, I don’t eat stuff over my phone! Ugh!” At this point, she was still gripping onto my arm so I pushed her hand off me and said, “LET ME GO!”

My arm felt properly bruised and I had to rub it for the rest of the morning to get it feeling normal again. I can’t believe her! Wtf!

Can’t we all just get along?

Last night, I contributed to the death of the biggest cockroach I have seen to date. What had he done to deserve such a cruel execution by way of flipping, scraggling and drowning in a never-ending stream of RAID poisonous spray? Nothing, really. He was simply in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

You see, if you’re a giant cockroach who happens to be hanging around on the doorbell outside my apartment, and by the time I actually notice you, you’re a mere 2 inches from my face, I have no choice but to (shriek like a banshee and then) KILL YOU.

Obviously, I didn’t kill the guy myself. After letting out a shrill scream, I backed up slowly, froze for 5 minutes and then threw my house keys against the front door. There was no response, so I called for back-up.

Another 5 minutes passed before C came out of the apartment armed with the almighty poison spray, which he used to blow the roach off the wall, onto the floor and finally onto its back, where it struggled for a good 30 seconds before his hairy brown legs eventually stopped kicking around at odd angles and folded slowly into their final resting place.

Apparently, I had been screaming all the way through because one very annoyed neighbour poked his head out with a WTF!? expression. I explained that there was a giant cockroach, but his facial expression remained the same.

Staring back at the cockroach corpse, I wondered… Why did we just kill a seemingly innocent creature? Is it just because he looks so damn frightening and ugly? It’s not really his fault he looks that way, is it? I know we don’t want roaches inside our apartment, but did we really have to kill it so brutally? Do all cockroaches deserve to die?? If so, why?? Why can’t we all just get along??

Still, I’m kinda glad it’s dead.