The Cockroach God is very angry

Cockroach illustration on handmade paper

Cockroaches are a highly disrespected group, that is very true, and this could be why when I let the cockroach god enter my head and possess me there was so much anger there I had to stop. I was very surprised, hadn’t expected so much aggression to suddenly enter me, it scared me and I had to end the ritual before something dangerous happened, before I lost control of myself and hurt someone. Instead I lite candles on fairy cakes and gave them to the audience to give as offerings to the god, along with the moulding mushrooms and banana skin brought by participants earlier ( thanks to Dr Cos for the cockroach like sound track). I’m told cockroaches are particularly fond of slightly rotting sweet foods.

Cockroach’s are exceeding useful creatures in the wild. They are scavengers that eat almost anything. They are the dustbin men of the Forest cleaning up everything’s waste, transforming it so it can go back into the ecological system. Like dustbin men they are unappreciated. We all like to turn away from our own dirt and what happens to our waste, which is possibly why it is now causing such severe environmental problems.

I admit to killing cockroaches myself. I’d moved into a new flat which had concrete floors and no carpet. I couldn’t afford to buy carpet at the time, so a friend said he was clearing out his old shed and there was an old carpet in there I could have. Great, I thought, but I had not appreciated the wildlife that came with it. The cockroaches were huge! And it seemed they just wouldn’t die no matter what I did. I remember trying to wash them down the sink and flush them down the toilet, but they just kept climbing back out.

It is thought that cockroaches would survive a holocaust they are so tough. In tests they’ve been found capable of surviving far more radiation than a human ever can.

They have been around for millennia, they are well evolved into their job. But humans are very talented at laying waste to whole species and insects are dying off.

We all rave on about the bee now, and how she must be saved, but what about the humble cockroach? Without ’em to clean up the forests are in big trouble, and without the forests we are in big trouble. Yet I don’t want cockroaches wondering around my flat. Even though tests have shown they don’t carry all the disease popular culture bestows upon them, I still don’t want them crawling across my kitchen. Somewhat of a dilemma.

I remember reading once the writings of an anthropologist who stayed with a family in a remote part of the world. Every morning the family would leave food outside in a particular spot as an offering to a god, by the next day the food would have disappeared. Curious about this the anthropologist stayed up one night and watched what happened to the food. He discovered that ants were meticulously taking the food away. On further inspection he realised that the family home was in fact on top of an ant colony and that leaving the food out every day made sure the ants did not come into the family home and take the family food. Cunning.

Perhaps a similar solution could be found for creatures like the cockroach by giving them more forest to inhabit?

Yet as we all know this is an old request, more local woodlands would help solve many problems, but seeing as my council seems to particularly enjoy chopping down trees, even in parks ( to stop homeless people from sleeping there apparently, though me thinks finding them somewhere to sleep in, say, those very many empty buildings, might be a better plan) I can’t see this happening fast.

Last night I dreamt I was riding through a forest on the back of a giant flying cockroach. It was very good fun. Here is a poem/riddle that an anonymous blog reader sent me, in a further attempt to placate the Cockroach God:

In my kingship I like gold, in my kingship I am armoured

little forest lord, 

                         

drunk on cochineal.

Like the wafer I am each and I am all

Indissoluble

In my kingship I like it here, to defile your homes with my russet.

 

From the bulb a golden rain,

and a black one.

Altar to the Cockroach God

1 thought on “The Cockroach God is very angry”

  1. We had cockroaches in our maisonette a few months ago. We’d find scouts sitting in the bathtub or by the thin cracks in the toilet. We presumed they’d been sent out by the colony, which had doubtless been as disturbed by the council’s endless drilling into the walls of our tower block as we were. Despite thwacking and flushing them down the toilet, a few nights later a new recruit would appear, so it seemed their failure to return from the mission was a signal to send out further reconnaissance. Eventually, fearing an invasion, we called the bugman.

    He arrived a few days later, a dreamy, slightly dishevelled man, who casually distributed folded insect traps around the maisonette in the bathroom and toilet, but also on the floors of cupboards – anywhere the cockroach scouts might use to travel between the floors of our tower block. I asked him about the indestructibility of cockroaches, and he was happy to share his knowledge of entomology. When I repeated what one is always told about cockroaches surviving a nuclear explosion, he told me that this is an urban myth. Though once difficult to rid a home of, advances in efficiency in the procedures of insect killing make them relatively easy to kill nowadays. Cockroaches, he explained to me, are primitive insects, far down the scale of evolution, being hatched from eggs; while the more advanced species, which undergo metamorphosis in a cocoon, are the real inheritors of the earth.

    I can’t remember now what the killing procedure was, but I think it had something to do with starving the colony until it consumes itself in its great hunger. I never did find a single cockroach in the traps’ shag-carpets of glue. But the cockroaches never returned.

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