RIP Flaky


It was my first day on my Environmental Elective and I was already running late and needed to shower.

I flung open the curtain as I normally do, and there it was. Sitting in the corner of the wall of my shower: A LARGE FLAKY CRUSTY ROACH! I'm not talking about one of those little regular hood roaches that come out of the crevices when you have company. I'm talking about one of those big suckers you see running the New York City streets and subways. What I was trying to figure out was how it got into MY apartment. Ironically on this environmental health elective I would be learning all about pest control and the impact of environmental factors on the health of my patients. I just wasn't expecting to get a first hand experience...

Of course the first thing I did was panic, screaming, jumping up and down in nothing but a towel and a shower cap, like something out of a cartoon. I begged Wes to kill it, because I was too traumatized to even go back in the bathroom. He of course was my knight in shining armor and hit it with some bug spray that we had bought several weeks before and disposed of it in the trash can.

It all reminded me of the first time I saw a roach that big. Y'all know I'm a jersey girl so I've seen the little ones before even though those gross me out too. But moving to NYC, the roaches here are on a whole nother level. It was back in medical school when I was living downtown. Once again I was innocently minding my business, blasting some reggae and cleaning up my apartment like my mom used to do. Once again I had confidently flung open the curtains only to see a HUGE black flaky greasy roach in my bath tub (hope you are starting to get the gist that I dislike these critters very much). Similar to today, I panicked, started screaming and hyperventilating, ran out the bathroom and slammed the door shut as if that would prevent him from leaving. I paced back and forth trying to come up with the best and cleanest solution to kill it. Wes wasn't there to save me this time so I had to handle this on my own. I decided I would spray it with some random cleaning spray and then drown it in hot water! So I mentally prepared my self, strapped my self with the weapon, took a deep breath, and barged into the bathroom like I was on the SWAT team. I probably sprayed out half the bottle trying to kill this bug. When it was clear I had won the battle and he was no longer moving, I continued to let the shower run with hopes of washing it down the shower drain so that I wouldn't have to touch that awful thing. But it was so big, it got stuck in the drain!!!! So now what was I supposed to do?

I decided to go to my next resource: the maintenance guy Yinka. I knew it seemed like a strange task to ask of the maintenance person, but we were cool like that. He was from Nigeria and put me up on all the latest African Tunes. So when I asked for his help, he was happy to assist.

So I explained the whole situation to him and prepared him for the battle scene he was about to see. We get to my apartment, I open the shower curtain, and THE ROACH IS GONE! Was it playing dead and decided to escape when I left?! Was it somewhere crawling around my apartment?! Did it go down the drain?! Was it gonna come back up?! So many questions and no answers smh. Yinka laughed at me and probably thought I was crazy, especially since I had so thoroughly prepped him on the elevator ride up. To this day, I still don't know what happened to that roach. But I do know what happened to the one this morning, RIP Flaky.


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