Friday, October 25, 2013

Cockroach Karma

Last month I was looking through my large desk calendar, counting down the days until Christmas, making lists of things my siblings should buy me and wondering how I could get Satan* to leave me the Christmas Tree dishes in her will, when I had a rare moment of clarity. Next month is Halloween. Amazon is going to have all sorts of awesomely gross stuff!! 

My joyous, unclouded moment was quickly followed by a fugue state and a lost afternoon that ultimately resulted in multiple packages showing up in the mail room full of face paints, mohawk headbands, doggy costumes, zombie-arm candle holders, and of course, a package of plastic cockroaches... the perfect revenge for my cockroach-hating, mask-scaring husband.
For weeks I carried the package of plastic cockroaches around in my purse, waiting for exactly the right moment to scare Mr. Kate in front of everyone. Several times, I had a cockroach in hand, ready to strike when I would realize-- No, now is not the time. Soon, it will come.

Last night we went to a new restaurant in town. Surrounded by about 15 of our friends, I knew-- this was the moment I had been waiting for. Halfway through dinner a friend called down the table to Mr. Kate. "Bla bla bla, something about work," he said. I didn't really care. All I knew was that in this moment, I had my chance.

I pulled the cockroach out of my back pocket, slipped it over his arm and under the rim of his plate, with just the antennae sticking out.

He saw me leaning over. "What are you doing?" he asked me.

"Just stealing a bite of your food!" I quickly responded as I jumped back, looking away quickly so he wouldn't see the gleeful, evil laugh forming in my throat.

Mr. Kate never noticed the cockroach that hid under his plate during dinner.

After dinner, as soon as his plate was lifted and the cockroach reared it's ugly head, both Mr. Kate and the server jumped and let out small gasps. It was so subtle, no one noticed.

I was devastated.

Worse, the server was mortified. He looked like he was about to cry and quickly scooped up the cockroach. "No!" I called out. "It's just a toy!" I quickly grabbed the cockroach back from him, held it up to my mouth, bit down on it and pretended to gnaw on it's head, to prove my point. "Look!" I exclaimed as I pulled the unharmed plastic cockroach out of my mouth and presented it to him."C'est plastique!"

I realize that while I was trying to assure the staff that the bug was actually a safe, fun non-disease carrying toy, all they saw was a foreigner with a potentially incomprehensible accent ("what is she trying to say?"), eating a cockroach and trying to convince everyone it was delicious.

In retrospect, it might not have been the best way to get my point across. The server turned and ran away, almost taking out one of our friends in the process. He never came back.


That night, as we were sleeping, I was awakened by Mr. Kate. "No. NO. NONONO!" he screamed.

I immediately woke up and panicked. "WHAT!?" I yelled.

"Right there! Get it! Right next to your head!!" He kept yelling over and over again and motioning to the headboard on my side of the bed.

Since it was dark in the room, I clearly thought one of the guards I had victimized by wearing the mask and jumping in front of the peep-holes had finally snapped, or that my neighbor had finally found out who was terrorizing his turkeys by chasing them up and down the street gobbling. I started screaming. "I'M SO SORRY!"

Mr. Kate jumped out of bed, ran to the door, flipped on the lights and then ran back to the bed, pulling all the sheets and covers off the bed, searching frantically for something. "Get it! It was right here, next to you!"

I sat in the middle of the bed, screaming and crying, covers piled around me, still searching the room for my assassin, when Mr. Kate found what he was looking for-- my iPhone. He proceeded to frantically bat at it, sending it flying. Next he chased and, finally, trapped my phone.

As the fluorescent lights in our room became brighter and Mr. Kate became more coherent, I was able to piece together the dream he was currently having-- one in which I had been hiding a giant West African scorpion behind my pillow that I was going to drop on him in the middle of the night.

Sweet dreams are made of these.
Moments later, Mr. Kate was back asleep and I lay awake, wondering if I had won this round of scare-war since I had so obviously gotten into his head with my prank. But as the night drew on and I couldn't sleep for fear of giant insects and retributive neighbors, I began to doubt it. 

*I've assured my mother not to worry and that I'm actually pronouncing it Sah-Tahn. It's a cute nickname that has nothing to do with the fact that she makes babies cry for fun.


  1. Mr. Kelly from Nouakchott says don't scare Mr. Kate that's means. Your posts crack me up! Thanks for the laugh.

  2. Ok, This made me laugh out loud for fully 10 minutes (or however long it took me to read it) and now that Roland has shaken baby syndrome, before ever making it out of the womb, I'm going to thank you again for making me laugh so hard. I really needed it.