Friday, February 17, 2012

That which is Pretty, Like Unicorns and Roaches and Stuff

A few weeks ago, my son was watching me work on my laptop when he remarked, "Mommy, you should get a prettier mouse pointer for your work computer. Like a unicorn or cockroach or something." 

After laughing uproariously over my son's definiton of 'pretty', my sister proceeded to post this picture on my Facebook wall.  Isn't that the cutest roach you've ever seen?  She looks all whimsical and twitterpated. 

I know that no sane person likes roaches, but I am scared to death of them.  I guess this isn't such a shocking trait considering that a repulsion to "icky things" is a trait that society generally associates with the female population.  But for me, it really doesn't make sense that I'm scared of roaches, because other critters don't bother me.  As a little girl I had no fear of spiders, and would often pick up eight-legged intruders with my bare hands and let them go outside.  Likewise, a few years ago I was in Mexico leaving a rehab center late at night (we had just finished delivering clothing and medicine), when we came across a tarantula.  I scooped her right up (I've decided she was a girl tarantula), cradled her in my hand and let her crawl up my arm.  Meanwhile, the men in our group gawked and took pictures.  In October, during Community Clean-up Day, a group of kids found a small snake out in the desert, and I picked that up, too (now's a good time to mention that I'm not particularly smart when it comes to animals--I was the kid who'd shove my hand in a rabid Rottweiler's mouth because I wanted to 'pet' him).  Now I'm not saying that I'd be thrilled to find a spider crawling up my bare skin at 2:00 a.m....I'd do the same Oh-shit-what-the-hell-is-crawling-up-my-leg dance as anyone else.  But as long as I can see exactly what I'm dealing with, I really feel no fear. 

So what is the deal with roaches?  I don't know.  I really don't get it.  When I see one, I freeze, and my heart starts beating really fast.  During my prep on Tuesday, I walked over to my classroom sink to wash my hands, and guess what was scurrying around in there.  Uh huh.  I screamed and jumped back, and then crawled on top of a chair and refused to move (cuz, you know, the little bastard could fly out of the sink and lunge at me).  S.P., my student teacher, jumped up to see what was wrong.  And here's the kicker--she's massively afraid of roaches too!  Like, seriously, one of us couldn't be a normal, stable person?  So she shrieked and jumped backward, and at this point, we were sort of at a stand-off with Mr. Roach.  He was stuck in the sink, and we were stuck in our self-inflicted paralysis.  After several minutes of being frozen in space and time, I told her in a shaky voice that one of us was going to have to do SOMETHING.  She agreed.  But then neither one of us moved.  It was rather ridiculous.  Finally, I mustered up enough--well, I definitely wouldn't call it courage; let's go with willpower--to move toward the sink.  I grabbed a giant paper towel from the dispenser, and as fast as I could I threw the towel over the sink and ran away.  Even though the bugger was still alive, at least we could no longer see him.  About five minutes later, the bell rang for second period to start.  I whispered to a couple of the boys that we had an "issue" in the sink, and to please take it as far away as possible.  That was that.

What it boils down to is unless the roach is adorable and pink like the one illustrated above, you can keep that thing far FAR away from me.  And even a pink swooning one would be pushing it.

On that note, join me some time in the next few days for part 2 of the roach saga:  My Valentines Day.  Yes, the two do relate.  Scary, I know.  

By the way, crickets are just roaches with hind legs.  But they get to live because I can't give a death-sentence to something that chirps.