I Know this Pegs Me as a Pessimist, but I Can’t Think of One Situation Where More Cockroaches Might Actually Enhance My Life
Yesterday I realized that dead cockroaches in the house are the perfect metaphor for my life and got to experience my heart leaping as it always does when I discover a perfect metaphor while it simultaneously plummeted in disgust – a not uncommon reaction when contemplating dead cockroaches in the house.
This emotional paradox was precipitated by my encounter with a dead cockroach in the living room yesterday. Actually, it was not completely dead, just nearly dead (a stage of expiration which I find highly amusing in The Princess Bride and Spamalot, but is much less laughable when I’ve grabbed an entire roll of paper towels to pick up a cockroach and he vehemently begins to protest from his prone position with legs waving violently in the air and somehow manages to wedge himself into the perfect position in our plumbing to clog up the toilet which I used to dispose of him – although I might grudgingly admit that the roll of paper towels that encased him might have contributed to that situation.)
Anyway, this reminded me of what the pest control dude told me a few weeks ago when I called him to take care of this exact problem – the regular sighting of upended arthropods within our abode.
“I’m going to put out some poison around the perimeter of the house. In the next couple of weeks, you’ll probably find some more dead cockroaches in here,” he informed me.
“So, let me get this straight. I called you because I keep finding dead cockroaches, and you are telling me that your solution is to give me more dead cockroaches?”
“But they’re dead. Dead is good.”
“No, dead outside is good. Dead inside is a problem. And dead insect corpses littering my floor and crunching every time I walk is a bigger problem that will result in me relocating to the mental hospital – and probably canceling your contract.”
Of course I didn’t say the last part. That’s whatimeant2say. But I knew the results of prolonging the conversation…
“You’re lucky you have dead cockroaches. Some people live in huts with live ones crawling all over the place, spreading disease and laying eggs in their ears.”
To which I would reply, “Some people go their whole lives without seeing a cockroach. Some people have other people who work for them and never try to persuade them that more cockroach cadavers is actually an improvement to their living conditions.”
Why can’t I be those “some people” just once? Why do I always have to be the in-between “some people” who don’t have it great, but could have it a whole lot worse?
Just once, I would like someone to say, “Everyone has it worse than you. There is no better-than-this.” Just once I would like to be the happy cockroach, racing freely through an open field without a care in the world, instead of the somewhat dead cockroach counting his blessings that he hasn’t been flattened by a shoe – his last comforting thought as he is flushed down the toilet.