Big Roach Pet

Peter Lorre Entomologist!

part of: Entirely At Random

by Madame Oracle

Just a little heads-up about real scientists and roaches—don’t ever taunt an entomologist!

Yes, my foolish, coffee-freaky colleague and I were boasting to a young entomologist about a recent roach experience (see: An unscientific report on le cucaracha). We regaled him up and down about our long and intimate contact with roaches. We went so far as to say (yes we were, and quite possibly still are, complete idiots), “Nothing you could show us would bother us!”

The budding entomologist got an evil look in his eye, which under any other circumstances besides the ego-flush I was in the helpless grip of, would have made me run screaming like a seven year-old child for mommy. Then he said, Peter Lorre slipperiness dripping from his lips, “Well, I could show you some amazing roaches, if roaches are what interest you!”

Yes, we felt ready for the tiger shark of roaches and foolishly said, “Lead on!”

In retrospect, I swear this guy actually rubbed his hands together, cackled, and for one stupifying moment exactly resembled Gollum about to lead Frodo and Sam into Shelob’s lair!

In about to be smacked hardspect, we innocently followed our scientist to his Zoology lab. There, perched inauspiciously in a far corner, was a medium-sized aquarium. From a distance I could see it contained a bowl, a largish branch and a bunch of leaf-like things.

“Ah, here are my little darlings,” the Peter Lorre entomologist sighed, almost ecstatically. He seemed to be deliberately blocking our view of the aquarium as we approached. With a flourish, like the swish of a cape, he stepped dramatically aside, waved his arm, and hey presto, they appeared before our staggered eyes: six hissing wingless roaches from Madagascar. Like Woody Allen in some barely-remembered frantic epic of years gone by, for one horrifying moment they seemed the size of a Buick, but no, really, they were only three or four inches long!

Peter Lorre reached inside the aquarium and picked one up, cradled it in his hand against his chest, stroked its back lovingly for a moment, then offered it to us, the leer obvious on his face.

At that moment, we did indeed run, not screaming though. His laughter followed us gaily all the way out of the building. Later that day, we had light blue pansies tatooed our left butt cheeks, for indeed, we had been royally bested, and it seemed the only honorable thing to do.

c. 2003 Madame Oracle

For all the Best of le Cucaracha on the Web? Google ‘cockroach’ or the titles below:

Humans, Cockroaches, and the Laws of Physics
All About Cockroaches
Cockroach Art Gallery
The Cockroach Homepage
How to Kill Cockroaches
The Compleat Cockroach (step into a world that until now you’ve just stepped on!)
Yucky Roach World (for kids)
US Pest Management Guidelines
Metamorphosis: The Miracle Roach Hormone Cure
The Missing Shoe and Cockroach Conversations
Cockroach Art Car
Blue Chilies Cockroach Computer Game
Spiritual Cockroaches