DAY ONE, 10:38 PM
Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, members of the house: tonight, August 24th, 2008–a date which will live in infamy–our pet cockroach suddenly and deliberately flew across the fucking living room, nearly landing on my goddamn face. The inhabitants of our apartment were at peace with the cockroach and its kind and, at the solicitation of the Cockroach Ambassador, were looking toward the maintenance of peace in the bathroom. Indeed, one hour after their forces invaded the living room, our diplomats were negotiating an agreement in which the cockroaches would stay the fuck under the fucking sink and not come into the goddamn living room, shit-damn EVER.
I ask that the apartment declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by the roaches at 10:28 PM, a state of war has existed between the Smackdown and any and all insects living in the walls.
Now, we’ll take questions:
- Have you ever noticed that FDR uses the word “which” inappropriately in the first sentence of that speech? Isn’t “that” the correct word? Didn’t FDR go to college? I assume he didn’t, but I mean didn’t they read his speechwriters’ resumes?
- Cockroaches can FUCKING FLY?
DAY TWO [aka DAY ONE, but 1 minute later]
Previously, I was just trying to chill out and watch Hard Candy without thinking Ellen Page was cute when she’s pistol-whipping people. (It’s hard!) But after the cockroach flitted within a few inches of my face, we brought the entire apartment to a state of high alert.
The full array of anti-cockroach defenses were enlisted. These include:
- David Harp’s Instant Blues Harmonica, sad tale of a talent I never managed to develop.
- Taal vitaal vols. 1 and 2. Although it’s a pretty good Dutch textbook, it’s also heavy and flexible.
- Jill Thompson, The Little Endless Storybook. My Sandman phase has been over for … ten years. (Fine, five years.)
- Fine, three years.
- The last six issues of The Believer. ‘Nuff said.
The search of the room then began. Let me tell you, mo’fucker, roaches are smart. First it hid on our big canvas mural — on a brown patch, no less! I thew Taal vitaal in its general direction, thereby waking up all the neighbors. I was pretty sure that knocked it unconscious, behind the file cabinet. I declared victory, on the deck of a battleship.
DAY THREE [10:44 PM]: Operation Soaring Hawk-Eagle
Slowly but surely, I removed every book from the top of the file cabinet, checking each individual page to make sure there wasn’t a cockroach in it. Then I removed the file cabinet from the wall.
I called back the reserves from the flood in the bathtub, stranding thousands of refugees. Suspended habeus corpus in the entire west wing of the apartment. Sent the DVD player into the extraordinary rendition program and had it tortured by Romanian black ops agents. Socialized the oil refineries and sold them to front corporations for big-ticket G8 investors. Searched one in every eighteen bags on the subway. Smacked random parts of the mural with a magazine, hard. (This was not effective.)
Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something moving behind the expensive cello. And then I saw something leap on the other side of the bookshelf. Very clever, Mister Cockroach, to land on a copy of Artforum. But not clever enough.
Would you like some more lame allusions? No? I’ll cut to the chase, then: I whacked it with a Dutch textbook, then dropped the book on it, then (quite literally, I’m afraid) jumped up and down on the book for several seconds. I trapped it in a giant stack of paper plates and flushed it down the toilet.
No longer shall we live in fear, ladies and gentlemen. Of course, now we have to pay for the Cockroach Marshall Plan, but it’s a small price to pay for hegemonic domination of the apartment and the cash money to finally build some suburbs on Long Island. There is nothing to fear but fear itself… and other cockroaches. But we’ll deal with that in thirty years or so.