Cockroach execration

I truly loathe, hate, abhore and detest cockroaches. If ever Sol Trujillo and his merry men want to get to me because my robust constructive criticism of Telstra has pushed their buttons one time too many, it won’t be the severed horse’s head they’ll be putting in my bed to freak me out; it’ll be an infestation of cockroaches.

I was waiting at the optometrist today for the hard contact lens guru to see me, along with about five other people, when a bizarre cockroach marched out in front of us. It was FRE—EAKY… it was like a cockroach crossed with a spider. Its body was unmistakably cockrochean but it had big, thin, skitting spider’s legs.

It scuttled out from under the line of waiting room seats, then did a U-turn, and to my absolute horror, scuttled back towards me. The woman sitting next to me shreaked, “what is THAT!?” and clutched her 12-year-old daughter close. The guy next to me who had been sitting in an odd sort of daze tried to kick it away with his foot and then when it scuttled towards him at twice the speed, he lifted his foot and crunched its body with a single stomp.

The roach was smeared into the carpet in front of my feet with its yellow and red entrails hanging out but intact, like the yolk in a semi-fertilised cracked egg.

By this point there was a fair bit of commotion from people waiting and the receptionists, and the opthalmologist emerged from his consulting room. He pragmatically kicked the smashed carcass of the dead roach under my chair, at which point, I said, “I’m just going to move chairs.”

Yes, I’ll admit it, I felt like a wuss. But then came the guilt-trip tirade from the glazey-eyed guy sitting next to me who said, “I can’t even move chairs, mate, I’ve just had corneal transplants and I’ve got hard contact lenses on my eyes… I can’t move them. You should go and live somewhere like Africa and see what they have to put up with. This is nuthin’! SHEESH!”

I laughed politely and popped in my headphones and continued watching my episode of Prison Break… I just notched the sound on my Powerbook up a few dots to block out the ranting guilt-trip guy. Wuss geek prevails once again.

Anyway, I’m bamboozled about what this bizarre cockroach actually was. My Google and Wikipedia searching have as yet turned up nothing, though I am sure glad that we don’t have Madagascan Hissing Cockroaches or Monster Cockroaches in Australia.

We do on the other hand, have the Rhinoscerous Cockroach which can be up to 8cm long and weigh 35g. Some people in Queensland reportedly keep as pets. Oh those wacky Queenslanders. They did breed Joh I suppose.

Here’s an interesting FAQ on cockroaches from a scientist who is more interested in mating cockroaches than killing them. Shudder.

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