Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Bugs' Life

Back in The Countryside, it is quarter past 12 at night when I discover the cockroach scuttling towards my toilet.

Who needs carpets anyway?
It's my first night in the non-Childhood Home back in Oundle. It would be difficult to imagine anything less likely to make me a fan of the New Place Down The Road (NPDTR). The place is quite short on carpets. And curtains. Also kitchen comforts, food, floorboards and doors. One thing we do have is - to MD's delight - one of those 'futuristic' [MD] ice-and-water dispensing fridges. 

But something else we seem to have acquired  is a pet cockroach. The house is dark and sinister. I retreat from the loo, feigning casual indifference lest it senses my fear. Dogface is in bed and, in any case, would be no use in the face of such a monster. The room is pretty short of useful bug-trapping accoutrements, crammed instead with boxes of childhood tat.

Eventually, tin in hand, I face the nonchalant bug. Cramming it inside, I lop off a couple of legs in haste. I assure you, dear Kate in the Countryside reader, the beast could hardly fit, so large was he. 

The following morning, leaving the bug beneath its box (with an additional bowl over that, for reinforcement), I tell MD: 'There's a cockroach in my bathroom MD.' 'No there isn't,' she says.

The good end. Fact.
Our former neighbours are visiting the NPDTR (see how friendly it was that end of Oundle...). 'There's a cockroach in my bathroom,' I repeat. 'Is it dead?' asks Lovely Neighbour 1 (LN1). MD shoots angry looks behind his back Mrs Bennet-like - don't mention the cockroach -which become frantic when LN1 offers to rescue the beast. 

Moments later, beetle unveiled, we all laugh at my bug-illiteracy: 'That's not a cockroach!' MD - who had been transfixed from fear at thought that The Countryside would know of her cockroach concerns - is nearly crying with relief. LN1 liberates the nonchalant bug onto some rubble, while Dogface skips about awkwardly, uncertain where he fits in the bug hierarchy. I can't concentrate: the rubble is a bit near my room for my liking.

Nearby Dogface is now worrying a wasp - my beetle is too tough. Stoically trying to munch the stingy beast, he gets whimpery and irate each time it fights back. Finally, the frustration is too much. He uses his last and most potent weapon. As MD squawks horrified, Dogface confidently pees on the wasp. In the middle of the new kitchen floor. He smiles his success.

Put outside, he barks at MD's new car. I know how he feels. We neither of us like change. A NPDTR neighbour pops his head around the corner, ostensibly to say hi, but with a virulent glare at noisy Dogface. Meanwhile, a duststorm arises from the building site chaos and I'm instructed to re-move removal boxes.

That night - Easter - the reincarnated beetle finds my room for the second time. A homing cockroach. Frankly, the new place needs to try harder if it's going to ever win me over.

Next episode: Back in the Gym Agane.


  1. might the beetle, rather like jesus, resurrect itself repeatedly to pester you? i am jealous of your futuristic fridge that makes cold water and ice, especially as i am currently sweltering my way through sinister and terrifying 'revision' lecture of stuff i never visioned in the first place. wish i were dogface instead.

  2. i suspect that is the case, Mysterious L. we all wish we were dogface.

  3. why is just L and not Letty?

  4. Df discovered a colony of masonry bees today. Yes, that's what they're called.

  5. no one believes you MD. oh well.