I am the woman who saves spiders from my daughter’s sound barrier breaking screeches. I am the woman who distracts my husband long enough so that he cannot stomp on the lizard in the shower. I am the woman who grabbed a live rat snake at the back of his head, walked him to our back door, and flung him into the back yard – probably bruising only his ego.

I am the woman who becomes a boneless lump on the floor whenever I spot a cockroach.

I do not know why I am so completely unnerved by only these creatures, but they are definitely my Kryptonite. (Except for hissing cockroaches in the Science Lab next door to my classroom. For some reason, those do not overly concern me.  Probably because they are in containers…)

But 6 foot long cockroaches that hide in my moving boxes in my brand new (to me) classroom, and leap into my face when I lift up a book, and are obviously planted by terrorists with the intention of dismantling the United States’ educational system one terrified teacher at a time, have a hard time getting on my good side.

I do not like squishing cockroaches. This is not out of any kind of concern for their well-being; it is because the last time I tried to squish one, it refused to die. My fear of live cockroaches is only rivaled by my fear of live cockroaches that will not die – reminding me that when I die they will crawl in my ear and have babies for the rest of eternity.

So, I did what I considered to be a very well-thought-out maneuver. I grabbed the box with the leaping cockroach, and ran outside my classroom so I could fling it. Away. From. My. Ears.

My classroom is in a portable building. For security reasons, we must keep our doors locked at all times.

As soon as I ran out of the room, the door slammed behind me. Locking me out.

I set down the box. The cockroach flung himself to freedom.

Toward the hole in the bottom corner of my door.

The cockroach was in and I was out.

I weighed the benefits of quitting my job and walking away from the classroom forever or walking to the office to get someone to let me back into my room.  Say my room is Texas.  The office would be Mars.  That’s how far the office is from my classroom.

I knocked on the door to see if the cockroach would let me back in.

Apparently, he does not welcome unsavory characters like me in his living space.

I sighed, and walked down to the office.  I did not tell them that a cockroach locked me out.  But I made certain the burly custodian entered my classroom first.

She did not seem too worried about terroristic cockroaches.

She showed me how to keep my door unlocked so I could avoid the re-occurence of absentmindedly walking outside and allowing the door to slam irrevocably shut.  Even though I can’t keep it unlocked because it’s against the rules.  Another moral dilemma that I get to debate in my head.

Then she left.

I think that, if we sell the car, cancel our cable, and stop eating, I could probably afford to stay home.

Or, I can just walk around with cotton in my ears.

It’s a tough call.

Posted by my cockroach on my classroom door. His name is Neumo. And I am not his guest.

Posted on August 26, 2012, in Humor, Phobia, Terrorism and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 60 Comments.

  1. Use steel wool. It even keeps out rats!

  2. Funny story but I bet it’s not a funny experience. I know how stubborn cockroaches are, especially the fact that they refuse to die. I normally squash their heads because that’s the only damage that they can’t recover from. They also seem to have away around insecticides. Rather than get locked out by a cockroach next time, lock yourselves in and trash it out. That way, you won’t be getting lectures from an office representative.

  3. A classroom cockroach! *shiver* They’re the second worst kind! OMG! Yes. Quit your job immediately. Living in a cardboard refrigerator box could be….. Fun!

  4. Chancy and Mumsy

    Yuck!! Now you will be keeping an eye out for Neumo the whole school term, how will you ever be able to concentrate? This was so funny, not that you were locked out but the humor with which you related the story kept me laughing. Hugs

  5. In fairness, I feel I should inform you that in addition to poisonous snakes and spiders, not to mention a seemingly disproportionate number of shark attacks, Australia also has GIANT FLYING COCKROACHES. They are heinous creatures.

  6. Thank you for not posting a picture of one, but I will not be happy if I dream about this tonight. And I already sleep with my ears covered at night. For a childhood fear of things going into my ears.

  7. I think moving is a reasonable alternative.

  8. Yikes. Are you allowed to have the lizard as a classroom mascot?

  9. Let me know if you need help packing.

  10. OMG I so would have also been weighing the possibility of walking away from the room forever, as those freaking things are truly the grossest/creepiest/most evil. I had never seen one until my first NYC apartment, and I was so scarred that it literally caused me to break the lease 11 months early. Needless to say, I did not get that deposit back.

  11. I hate bugs. Cockroaches are awful but I’ve never encountered one here. I have encountered giant spiders that seem to have their heads and bodies by a little line. And they’re always right above my bed

  12. I hate cockroaches…not as much as June bugs, but I would have freaked out too. Hopefully all the kids will scare it away.

  13. I almost couldn’t read this because I have such a horror of cockroaches – brave writing!

  14. Ugh!! Cockroaches are seriously the worst. So nasty. I would have done the same thing. I wouldn’t have squashed it because they are crunchy and I would have just been seriously grossed out. I hope you got all moved in and are ready for tomorrow!

  15. I’m with you on the cockroaches – I read this with my face behind my hands like I was peeking out at a scary movie. I hope Neumo discovers a new classroom to hang out in soon – or that a fearless student “takes care” of him. (I thought that sounded nicer than “squishes” him, which is of course what I meant.)

  16. Spiders are my worst fear but cockroaches are DEFINITELY the creepiest of bugs. I do not like them. At all. And they are crunchy. When you do kill them they CRUNCH and it freaks me out. FREAKS. ME. OUT. Totally relate to this.

  17. I don’t mind roaches that can’t successfully reproduce in my climate (hissing roaches). I do not like the kind that can invade my house with their nastiness. I enjoyed my stint on the electrophysiology research team in college. I did unspeakable things to roaches. In the name of science, of course.

  18. did you really mean a 6 foot long cockroache or was it only six inches but might as well have been 6 feet..
    I don;t like them either..they are too quick

  19. Yeah, best not to tell the office that a cockroach locked you out of your classroom. That could be frowned upon… I’m with Dimples, spiders scare me more than anything else. The cockroach phobia is understandable though, especially when they’re attacking your ears! Maybe you need to post a “Keep Out” sign for the roaches.

  20. I read the first part of the post, but not the rest, because yes, cockaroaches scare the crap out of me.
    And you said there was a
    6′ long one.

  21. ha! fabulous post. another thing we have in common. a cockroach will make me scream like a crazed woman on meth. AND i saw one in my kitchen friday. i freaked out and it’s my m.o. that i cannot rest until i see the dead body. poor hubby. he had to pull out the stove (and clean under it with a mop because it was disgusting and i don’t think it’s been clean under there since the 80’s), empty two cabinets next to the stove (because those suckers can creep through a freaking crack that’s less than a millimeter wide), and then pour boric acid all over everything in the kitchen (but not anything we would touch or eat, so that was hard). the cockroach slowly crept out a few minutes later like he’d had a fifth of tequila (i screamed again) and hubby whacked him. i was RATTLED all freaking day. my kids think i am nuts. i truly hope your first week will be roach free (and i hope mine will be, too).

  22. Typist took on a killer slug the other day (her words not mine!!) However as she flung it into the neighbours garden (the neighbour has passed away so this was not as evil as it seems), away from her dog (typists not the dead neighbours, and to keep slug from dog was the whole motivation for this situation) the slug went thud when it landed n typist shuddered!!

    She has taken a picture tos how people how massive it was (which we can’t post here annoyingly – but it was massive) and when she went to pick it up it turned it entire head inside out!!!

    As you can tell she still hasn’t got over the experience!!

    • I save snails from the Cap’n, but I’m not sure I would save a slug. That’s one of those gray area things – particularly if it turned its head inside out in front of me. That’s very rude.

      • It was horrid!! Well they do say that they could contain ring worm and typist is a bit of a worrier she would have panicked all day had she not moved the thing!!

  23. Miranda Gargasz

    Cockroaches are the worst!!!!!!!!!!! They can live for up to a week with no head so squash the entire thing!!!! Gross!! I’m telling you right now, I will shatter glass with my screams when I see bugs. I have no problem with them living outside, but invading my comfort zone is grounds for quick and painful murder. Now my skin is crawling. Ewwww. Quick! Quit the job! Sign on with Orkin instead!

  24. Ugh.. I hate those things!!! The only thing worse is those wood cockroaches that are about 4 times their size!!! Luckily they hate being inside and like the woods…. Ginger says take a flame thrower to work.. hehehe

  25. I think arson is your only viable option, although I’m quite certain the school board will disagree. My condolences on your ucky surprise. Hopefully this hardly little fellow was only a scout who, finding your classroom completely inhospitable to his species, will tell the others to go back from whence they came.

    Of course, I live in a city with neither roach nor rat nor poisonous spider, so I write from a place of relative safety.

    Can you keep napalm in your purse? Maybe in comes in a travel size, like Static Guard to go.

  26. Anything that scurries that fast should only come in the form of a sales clerk. 😉

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