Which would you rather fight, one horse-sized cockroach or a hundred cockroach-sized horses? Before I had a chance to answer that burning question, heart attack on toast! Horse-sized cockroach scuttles out of closet and down the hall!
I run for my trusty weapon of mass gokiburi destruction, the intrepid rubber rain boot, but alas, by the time I’m armed and ready, the monster has holed itself up in a crevice. Oh no, Frankenbug, don’t think you’re coming out as soon as I turn out the lights, lying in wait for my bare foot when I get up in the middle of the night. NO NO NO NO NO.
What to do, what to do?
I know! I’ll trap it! Snip, snip, a baggie is turned into a device that I hope will live up to all those warnings Don’t Put This Over Your Head, Danger Of Suffocation. In my self-appointed role as Divine Instrument of Cockroach Fate, suffocation is exactly what I have in mind. I carefully apply extra-wide packing tape to the edges of my cockroach asphixiator and slap it down over the corner where my nemesis is hiding. I quickly seal all the edges with more tape.
I survey my handiwork. Yikes, is it really secure enough? That sucker was big. More tape. And just for good measure, MORE TAPE. Now the cockroach trap has at least three inches of tape all around. I retire to the kitchen. Ten minutes later, I check. Ew ew ew, it ‘s scrabbling against the front corner, trying to escape! How securely is that tape stuck to the carpet? What if it burrows out in a monumental act of cockroach strength?
Need something small and heavy. Yay, Japanese-English dictionaries to the rescue! OK, barriers in place.
I’m totally tempted to smash it with my rubber rain boot now, but I stop to consider what might happen when cockroach innards meet carpet. Would they become Forever One? Come to think of it, I’ve never seen a household cleaner that claims to remove cockroach stains.
Now I’m wondering if it’s even possible to suffocate a cockroach? Do they even breathe? Wikipedia to the rescue: Hallelujah,the answer is yes. But naturally, cockroaches can survive for 45 long minutes without oxygen. But it only takes 30 minutes to drown them. Maybe I should flood the apartment just for good measure…
Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Tokyo
Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!