Okay, to be honest, this challenge should be called Jason vs. Cockroaches, but I’m the one writing this, so too bad for him.
So, I hate cockroaches. To see part 1 of how much I hate cockroaches, go here. I know that some people deal with this as a natural part of their daily lives, and don’t write maybe 120,000 words about it, but those people are clearly superior to me. Congratulations! It’s not hard, so don’t feel too great about it.
I was in the southern part of Thailand for 10 days at the beginning of January and I was in the sticks, people. I was staying about 30 km outside of the city of Surat Thani, in the middle of nowhere, where apparently they have buried nuclear waste that produces a ridiculous number of huge insects.
One night, I’m in the bedroom and Jason’s near the front door of the apartment, and he says in this certain tone of voice, “Stay in the bedroom.”
This ‘stay in the bedroom’ had an incredibly serious—yet casual!—tone to it, and I just knew I should actually listen to what I was being told for once. Because I just knew.
I just knew that meant there was a ginormous mega-mutant tropical cockroach in the apartment.
I stay in the bedroom, my heart slowly sinking to my toes, and I hear some cursing and running around and Jason says, “Shit. It got away.” I’m like, OH GREAT. Now there’s going to be a giant tropical cockroach running around the apartment and I won’t be able to see it. GREAT.
In my infinite wisdom, I decide at that point that I should pick my suitcase up off the floor of the bedroom and move it onto the desk in the bedroom because giant tropical cockroaches obviously do not make the effort to crawl up that far (SHUT UP, PERSON WHO IS GOING TO CONTRADICT THIS. I KNOW I’M BEING DELUSIONAL). When I pick up the bag, Jason’s eyes get big and he says, without realizing it, “Oh.”
“WHAT ‘OH’?” I’m so bad I’m hoping he’s going to say it’s a mouse. That would be awesome.
“Uhhh…” he says, clearly trying to think up a lie, “there was a spider.”
“Really?!” I ask, feeling hopeful, my heart lifting in my chest. I don’t like spiders, but at least they serve a purpose in life, which is to kill other insects, and I respect that in a bug. (Dear Nerds: I realize that spiders aren’t bugs. Now go back to your D&D game and learn how to talk to girls, thank you. And, NO, your mom is not an acceptable substitute.)
“No,” he says, with finality.
Dear god. For those of you keeping count in our viewing audience, that means there are now TWO giant cockroaches loose in the apartment we’re staying in. And those are only the ones I can see.
So I screech, “Oh my god, you have to kill it!”
And he looks at me and says, simply, “I kind of don’t want to.”
Let me say, this man is not a wimp about this kind of stuff. When we were walking through the jungle and heard there were leeches everywhere, he said, ‘Hey, will you let me take a picture if one gets on you? It’ll be awkward to try to take a picture of myself.’ I was like, ‘Have you lost your mind?! If a leech attaches to me, I’ll be freaking out and flailing around.’ Which is exactly what happened. I freaked out and flailed around, so he had to take a picture of the leech on himself.
He’s routinely taking pictures of bugs he finds interesting while I’m standing 10 feet away, staring intently at my water bottle, just kind of hoping I won’t have to act like I want to see the bugs, because that is a challenge I routinely fail, and it doesn’t make me feel good about myself.
Anyway, Jason’s that kind of guy. So when he told me he didn’t want to kill the roach, I figured that it must be a real doozy. Like, a rape-and-pillage-the-village kinda roach. The kind that would just look you in the eyes and steal your baby for fun and you wouldn’t be able to do anything about it because you wouldn’t want it to also take you away and hold you for ransom.
But at this point, I’ve reached panic mode and I’m like, “OH MY GOD! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? YOU HAVE TO KILL IT!” I even jump up on the bed to illustrate how serious I am about this.
So, he gets a kitchen knife and grimly goes after the cockroach that has now run into the kitchen area. I don’t know why he chose the knife and I don’t care. He’s like Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men, and I’m like Tom Cruise, only I’m not a Scientologist: I’m not going to question his methods because I’m just glad he’s there.
There’s a thwack thwack thwack…and a few more thwack thwack thwacks…and finally it’s done.
Repeat this scenario again a few minutes later, only with me first running shrieking back into the bedroom after spotting the first roach near the front door, which was far bigger than any roach I’ve ever seen in my life.
And go ahead and repeat it a few more times over the course of the weekend. Before I could leave the bedroom, I would throw open the door with my eyes kind of half-closed and say, “Is there anything out there?”
This goes on for a day or two until Jason buys bug spray and also goes on a cleaning rampage in our temporary apartment. I begged him not to tell me about the carnage until we left.
Turns out it was a serious horror movie. You know the movie Arachnophobia? Like that, only with roaches. There was this weird digester box under the kitchen sink that the water drains into (I don’t really get it), and apparently when he opened it up, it was completely full of what seemed to be hundreds of cockroaches. He bombed it with the spray and when he closed the lid, he could hear them scuttling around, trying to get out.
Oh god. I am not exaggerating when I say I feel a little faint right now.
After that, they tried to escape from the shower drain and the other drain on the floor in the bathroom, so he had to hit the drains with the bug spray, as well.
It seemed to help. And by “help” I mean “I still have nightmares about it”.
Cockroaches: 0 Megan: 0 Jason: 1 (Jason just informed me I might want to make that number bigger, but I’m ignoring him. DENIAL, PEOPLE! It’s not just a river in Egypt; it’s a way of life!)