I was in my teeny Japanese kitchen, washing dishes, and probably howling along to the radio when I reached over to grab a dirty pot. There was something a little crunchy on the handle, and I looked down to see what on earth it could be. There, in the palm of my hand was a behemoth, a colossus, a leviathan – a cockroach of epic proportions. Perhaps he was a friend of the Zombie Cockroach come to seek revenge.
I resisted the urge to throw my hands up in the air and scream. I’d tried that last time and it hadn’t helped. Made me feel a bit better but it had done nothing for the cockroach.
My heart in my throat, I carefully flicked beast into the dirty pot where he scurried around madly trying to find a hiding spot amidst the lumpy stewed tomato remnants. Frantically he tried to scale the walls of the pot. Apparently he had forgotten his species could fly.
Desperately I scanned my apartment for the can of bug spray.
“#*@*%$!” I muttered under my breath, as I held the pot out as I could. “Where the (*&#$*&#$ is the !#(*&@# spray???”
And then I remembered. I had used up the remainder of the bug spray on the Zombie Cockroach. What to do? First things first, I put the pot in the middle of the floor, then put a lid on it. Then I found a large bowl to upend over the pot. And then I upended my empty garbage can over the bowl and the pot.
I needed to scrub every last particle of cockroach off my hands; I was still in shock that I’d actually held the monster in my hand. Goosebumps erupted as I remembered the soft brush of each of his wee disgusting feet.
As I scrubbed, I came up with a brilliant plan. I would take the pot on to the balcony and shake the cockroach out into the night. Perfect. Feeling secure in the enormity of my intelligence, I grabbed the pot (and its offensive inhabitant) and rushed to the balcony. I opened the door, went out and attempted to shake out the cockroach.
Sadly, I’d forgotten to dry my hands first and so the pot slipped out of my hands and flew out into the dark parking lot. There was a muffled “thud” from somewhere in the bushes near the neighbour’s house.
Oops. There was no way I was going out into the dark to fetch my pot. Who knew what happened to gargantuan cockroaches when they were exposed to the night air? What if they grew bigger, or worse multiplied?? What if he had friends out there?
I decided to retrieve my pot in the morning.
The next morning, I had forgotten all about the pot. As I sat reading the paper and drinking tea, there was a knock on my door. I opened it and there was my neighbour with my dirty spaghetti pot dangling from his outstretched hand. He looked very confused.
“Carrie-sensei,” he asked. “Your pot?”
“Um… yes…” I muttered, mortified.
“Here,” he announced, handing me the now thankfully cockroach-free pot.
“Thank you!” I said cheerfully, deciding to brazen it out. “See you later!”
That’s the best thing about being the only Canadian in town- if I do something dumb (which happens more often than I care to admit) I can pretend it’s a Canadian custom and no one knows the difference.