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Zur Originalfassung: »Der Kakerlakenschlappen«

April 29, 2006

Michael Meyn

Translated from the German by Michael Meyn

The cockroach slipper

If you live in the US you have to face a certain reality: Cockroaches live here, too. They are everywhere. No matter how often you have the exterminator spray poisonous chemicals throughout the whole house, it's impossible to get rid of the annoying roaches. They come, they stay, they drive my Little Rib insane.

As far as I'm concerned, I have almost gotten used to them. I lived in New York for a while and the bug problem was much worse there. The cockroaches even crawled around in my bed. I had a hard time dealing with that and I used to sleep at the kitchen table, always leaving the lights on because I noticed that roaches like to spread out under the cover of darkness.

Compared to New York the problem isn't as bad here in Vegas. Actually we only have two critical areas in our apartment: the kitchen and the bathroom. While the kitchen makes sense to me I have no idea why any kind of bug would want to spend time in the bathroom. I ask myself that question every time I hear a crunching sound from under my feet.

An ordinary Las Vegan cockroach comes in sizes between one inch and eight feet. When sighting one of the bigger specimen you get intimidated, of course, but then you grab the slipper. The cockroach slipper! It's a powerful weapon and my Little Rib has transformed into a competent killer machine. She has developed an extremely sensitive eye for any kind of enemy movement. Easily she can hunt down 50 roaches in an hour and every execution is followed by a disgusted »Ewwwww!« She hates cockroaches. Yes, she hates them so much that she mobilizes all her strength, and should you accidentally walk right into the line of smashing you can expect serious injuries.

The roach problem has been getting out of hand lately. It seems as if they are trying to expand into new regions, for example into my coffee cup, on our dinner plates or on my left hand while I'm writing this. All areas where the cockroach slipper would cause more damage than results. That's why my Little Rib lost her patience last week. Highly enraged she stormed into the leasing office to let the manager know that we would move out, should management not be able to get rid of the roaches.

»You're not going anywhere!« prophesized the manager, and she pressed a secret button under her desk. Seconds later a tall and frightening looking man appeared and positioned himself directly in front of my Little Rib. She was just about to smash him with the cockroach slipper when the manager announced in a conspiratorial voice:

»May I introduce you to Rocky, our George W. of pest control! He will take care of all your problems.«

Immediately my Little Rib curtsied politely and then dropped on her knees in awe.

»Thank you, mighty Rocky! Thank you so much!«

Rocky came over to our apartment the same evening to check on the severity of the situation. He inspected every single room, including a small closet that I had never noticed before, making notes on a little pad. For a short while he completely vanished which was a pretty impressive phenomenon, considering the small size of our apartment.

After the inspection, Rocky let us know that we weren't dealing with ordinary roaches. According to him we had fallen victim to the so-called German Roaches, stubborn creatures, which were given that name because once they've invaded a place...

Rocky was certain to successfully parry the German invasion.

»Give me one week and the bugs will be gone.«

In strategically important zones he set up poisoned peanut butter traps. He also sprayed a top secret mixture of deadly bug poisons all over the place. »I'll see you in one week«, he informed us when he left.

That was last Wednesday. One day later I climbed out of bed with a terrible headache. In addition to that I felt really dizzy, I had rashes all over my body and a slight loss of teeth. My Little Rib must have had similar problems; I found her laying on the ground in front of the bathroom, clinging tightly to the cockroach slipper.

»Be honest, Schnuckie,« I asked her when she came to. »You tried the peanut butter, didn't you?«

»Nonsense!« she hissed at me with bleeding gums. »It's that damn stuff that was sprayed here.«

She was right. Rocky hadn't looked like an Iraqi, otherwise I would have known where all the weapons of mass destruction had gone. I opened all windows in the apartment, hoping the fresh air would do us good.

»Your eyes are swollen!«

»Don't worry, Schnuckie. I see all blurry anyway.«

I fell back into my bed, totally exhausted. The last thing I heard was the loud slam of the cockroach slipper and a disgusted »Ewwwww!«

The week is almost over. I can't wait to tell that Rocky what a total loser he is! The German invasion is still ongoing. We are contemplating getting some kind of fire insurance and burn the whole place down.

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Michael Meyn

Geboren wurde er irgendwo in Oberhausen, und zwar am 11.11.1968. Berichten seiner Mutter zufolge begann Michael im zarten Alter von drei Jahren, die Tapeten seines Kinderzimmers mit Fäkalien zu [..]

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