There’s one bug here that looks like a sassy three-inch maroon cockroach. Now, when you see it dead in the pool, that’s okay. However, when alive, they have four-inch antennae that manage to flick both lazily and with menace at the same time.
I found one this morning in the bath. It had flipped onto its back and didn’t seem able to right itself. The antennae just twirled and flicked silently.
Needless to say, I washed quickly, with many furtive over-the-shoulder glances. Back out in the main room, I noticed a couple of things:
1) The ‘scamper factor’: the fear stemming from the bug’s ability to move really quickly. I call it ‘scamper’ to make it sound cuter but really it’s ‘scurry’; bugs move fast and with seeming intent. The cockroach could have righted himself; he could be making his way across the bathroom floor right now. And even though he has a brain the size of a rice krispie, I’m convinced that’s big enough to hold the co-ordinates of my whereabouts, and to target straight for me.
2) The really irrational stuff: because on top of the little scamper fear, I also cleverly imagined a six-foot sized bug stepping quietly out of the bathroom – like something from Mimic. This one’s brain capacity was more like a bowl of rice krispies. It was a bug that knew I hadn’t helped to flip it over while it lay helpless in the bath. It too moved with intent.
Also needless to say, I scampered out of the room, and left my growing phobias to the cleaning woman (cue: Rigby Reardon). She’d have a whole bunch of chemicals for defence.