1. The First Rule of Cockroach Fight Club is—
don’t talk about Cockroach Fight Club You get the wicked jeebies talking
about Cockroach Fight Club
2. The Second Rule of Cockroach Fight Club is—You never leave Cockroach Fight Club with all of your limbs.
If you have all your limbs, you have to fight.
How much have I complained about our first apartment on the island? That’s a rhetorical question. The answer is always not enough. Aside from the mosquito massacre (1,000 dead mosquitoes in 19 weeks) and the tick-infested, matted dogs owned by a landlord who told me my bout of illness (complete with roaming hives and fistfuls of prescriptions) was a figment of my imagination, we had bug issues. Ants are annoying, especially barely visible sugar ants that can find a molecule of oatmeal on a countertop and will withstand persistent bleaching. Millipedes are crunchy underfoot and a pain to clean up. But cockroaches? No amount of the most heinous obscenities you have ever heard can possible match my loathing of these shiny garbage-munching ^$#&*^@*&! Probably the biggest influence in my abhorrence is the implication of filth that goes hand-in-hand with cockroaches. Having never lived in an environment where cockroaches would be prevalent, I assumed cockroaches are only a nuisance for those people who practice subpar cleaning techniques. As I have been known to kick people out of my house for leaving crumbs on the counter (that’s a hyperbole, but you get the point), I had a hard time not taking the bugs’ presence as an insult to my cleanliness.
One of the strangest aspects of their visits was the legs we’d find every morning underneath our wooden knife block. Peculiar, right? Once I’d gotten over my complete horror at the daily cleanup of bug crumbs, I began wondering what on Earth was happening in my kitchen while I slept. Ivan and I came to the conclusion that the cockroaches had organized a Cockroach Fight Club and were holding meetings under the knife block. For as much as I detest the revolting soft-bellied beetles, I was actually pretty entertained at the thought of them gathering for the spectacle of their own brothers dismembering each other. I even mentally added cartoon cheering every time a limb was snapped in half or gnawed away at the joint.
I never used the knives from the block because… gross! But I didn’t throw the block away because I liked to think they were killing each other under there. And maybe every time a cockroach croaked, a little insectile chant flooded the countertops: “his name was Cockroach Paulson… his name was Cockroach Paulson… his name was Cockroach Paulson…”