An unexpected guest


Sitting on the sofa this evening, indolently recuperating from the day, I saw what appeared to be a very fat, round bodied moth fly up above our sideboard and then flutter down again.

"What was that?" my wife asked.

"A … moth?" I suggested.

We went over to look. It wasn’t a moth, it was what my wife had expected: a ginormous cockroach, standing on top of our pet rock.

Now, despite the much-vaunted educational system of Singapore, the average cockroach doesn’t seem to have taken advantage of the opportunities available to them. Or they’re not very bright. Whereas Hong Kong cockroaches industriously scuttle continuously, your average Singaporean cockroach moves around until it’s in full view of some humans, and then stops and waits to see what happens. I’m sure this is a highly insulting metaphor for anyone who likes being compared to invertebrates.

But it keeps happening. There was the cockroach in our old place who hung around on the wall long enough for me to go and fetch a shoe and come back to wallop him. There was the one that parked itself on our front doorstep and waited for me to beat it to death with an umbrella. And tonight there was one that just sat there between a few ornaments and waited.

We didn’t kill it. We’re very soft at heart, so we got a cup on top of it and then flung it out the window, hoping it wouldn’t fly back in again. Then I had to pour boiling water into the cup, so disgusted was I by the thought of cockroaches.

Other than that, a quiet evening. Well, apart from putting the child to bed. Tonight I figured it was time that I tried to do it on my own, as preparation for our two-child future. That meant thirty minutes of hate filled screeching and demands for Daddy to pick her up, after which she flumped down in her cot and went to sleep. Well, that’s better than an hour, I guess…


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