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La Cukaracha

Cockroaches can live for ages after their heads have been cut off. They only die because they eventually starve. They can also survive high doses of nuclear radiation. All well and good, but frankly, no one likes a smart arse insect, and although running around without a head and basking in some post-apocalyptic hell-hole might sound cool I have it on good authority they don’t like it one bit if you pour boiling water on them, then twat them with a size 8 walking boot. It doesn’t kill them but it really pisses them off.

To rid yourself of the beast you then have to scrape the soggy mess off the floor, bag it, then bag it again, throw it in the bin and set fire to it - to the whole bin. You then have to find a priest, have the house exorcised, abandon it for two years, go and live in Florida, and then come back. It’ll be dead by then (it may be quicker and cheaper to cut the heads off but then you’d have to actually touch them).

It was with all this in mind that I watched, transfixed in horror, as one of the hideous creatures skittered across the hallway floor last year. By the time I came round it had gone and I’d no idea where to. I took the approach that it had clearly been around for some time and it hadn’t bothered me unduly and as long as I didn’t have to look at it again we could agree to live and let live. I mean, these things are like rats, or solicitors. We know they’re there, and they know we know they’re there, and as long as we all stay out of each others’ way we can get along kind of fine-ish can’t we?

Nigh on a year has passed since that sighting and so far so good. I keep the house clean and I have two psychopathic cats who I hope have a penchant for insect extermination, though in fairness the signs relating to these skills are not good. They knock seven bells out of one another for fun but to see them scampering after house flies or wasps is like watching a pair of toddlers (or, come to think of it, the entire Real Madrid defence) trying to take a football off Leo Messi.

Still, the nefarious unfolding of life’s events is such that I shall be leaving this domicile very shortly, (largely against my will), but no matter. I shall consider it an achievement of the highest order should I negotiate the remaining time here without seeing another one of those scuttling little savages from Hades. The kettle’s on and I have a walking boot at the ready. Does anyone know a priest who does exorcisms?

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