Just Like Lizzie Borden and Caligula

Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. I have done the unspeakable. I have killed.

Yes. I am a murderer. And I feel horrible about it. But I can’t undo what I have done. It can’t be reversed. I can’t bring that cockroach back to life.

In my defense, I must say, though, he was huge. Ginormous. He was three feet long. At least. Maybe five. But there he was on the kitchen counter, frozen by the sudden illumination created when I turned on the light, shattering the pre-dawn darkness. Or maybe he was petrified by my sudden shrieking. Who knows? Nevertheless, I was able to compose myself enough to grab the Raid so slowly and carefully my movements did not trigger that behemoth’s fight or flight response. I sprayed him, not once, not twice, but 417 times with what is the napalm of the insect world. The burning chemicals sent him in a frantic, helter-skelter run to the nearest cockroach-serving hospital or funeral home.

I dashed to my bedroom, glanced at the 5:08 alarm clock, and climbed into bed, shaking and whimpering. OK. I was full-out crying. I had, after all, killed. I was a killer and would now be forever lumped with Lizzie Borden, the one-armed man on “The Fugitive,” and Caligula. But my sobbing did, eventually, cease and I fell asleep. When I awoke, daylight filled my room.

Thank God, it was daylight. I would be able to see the dead cockroach, whether he still was on the counter, on the floor nearby, or sprawled across my current read, “How to be More Masculine in the Time of a Cockroach Crisis” spread on my La-Z-Boy armrest. He wasn’t, however, in any of those places.

Where could that monster be, then? I wondered. In my slippers? Oh, God, I hope not. I was wearing my slippers. My coffee cup? Oh, hell no. I was just about to guzzle my morning margarita from my coffee cup. I didn’t know where he was, but I wasn’t about to examine either of those things. I just kicked off my mauve, velvet Gucci mules, grabbed my morning margarita mug, and ran them to the garbage where I tossed them faster than I had shrieked at 5 a.m. Neighbors stared out their windows as if they’d never seen a lemon-yellow baby doll negligee with taupe knee-high nylons before.

I returned to my casita and continued looking for my murder victim. And then I found him, lying on his back in the kitchen sink. To my surprise, he had shrunk while dying. He now was but two inches in length. I studied him for a moment and then realized he deserved a more dignified burial than being washed down the drain or flushed down the toilet. It was then I realized he, with his Raid-induced lack of bodily control, had urinated in his multi-legged pants.  I needed to change them for his garden interment. I gently lifted him from the sink, using my eyebrow tweezers, and delicately removed his wet skinny jeans. It was then I realized he was, in fact, a he, for that cockroach was hung like a…like a…like a horsefly. He apparently was a Jewish cockroach, too. This was confirmed when I noticed a small Star of David dangling around his neck.

I continued assessing my victim and noticed a tiny square item lying next to him. It was a wallet, opened, exposing pictures of his family, his wife and children. He had, it appeared, wanted to look at his family one final time before going to the Great Insect Inn in the sky. Oh, my lord, I moaned to myself, I killed a family man. His kids…Cookie, Corky, Ckhaki, and Carkey Cockroach…were darling. But his wife, Kardashia, was beautiful. She could have been a former competitor in the Miss Cockroach Pageant.

I studied his wallet a bit more. There was his blood donor card; he was nearing 1,000 milliliters. There was his military I.D. “Oh hell,” I cried out loud, “I killed a veteran.” He had fought to make this world better for all of us… cockroaches, humans, politicians…and survived, only to be killed because he had trespassed on my damn faux-granite counter. Another card peeked out from behind the military I.D. It was his Barbra Streisand Fan Club card. I was wrecked. How could I have killed another Barbra-fan? I didn’t know what to do. Then it came to me, the right thing to do after killing a cockroach who is a Streisand fan. I sang “People,” albeit an adapted version, because cockroaches are people, too. I can still hear the melody and lyrics lingering in my head as I grieve. Roaches, roaches who need roaches are the luckiest roaches in the world, I sputtered, drowning the words in tears.

I needed to find some dry pants and make him presentable for his burial. I checked the walk-in closet of my Ken Doll. No luck. Everything was too flamboyant. I was at a loss. Where am I going to find pants that fit a cockroach? A mental lightning bolt struck me. OMG! OMG! OMG! Amazon!!! I did an Amazon “search” and, sure enough, they have an assortment of cockroach clothes. I ordered the green pants, because the color was called Evergreen and they were described as “soft as an easy chair, fresh as the morning air.” Barbra would have liked that.

So, here I sit waiting for the Evergreen pants to arrive. I have placed the cockroach in a safe place until then; he is resting in a still-unwashed margarita glass from a Cinco de Mayo Party last May or June. I’ve hidden his temporary casket in my microwave. No one can hurt him there.

If there is one thing I have learned from this ordeal, it is that cockroaches, no matter how large or small, have families, have made contributions to the world, share more with us than we realize, should be respected, and deserve to live as they please. It has been difficult acknowl—oh, there’s the bell. My coffee is ready. I just zapped it in my microwa—oh, damn!

Does anyone need a pair of multi-legged Evergreen cockroach pants?

2 thoughts on “Just Like Lizzie Borden and Caligula

  1. I’m LMAO here! I can’t wipe the ear to ear smile off my face. That’s good. It doesn’t look bad.
    Thanks for the best morning read in ages and ages Tom.

    Liked by 1 person

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