Commentary: I Think Cockroaches Need a Competent Public Relations Manager

Common household roaches A. German cockroach, ...

Image via Wikipedia

Stop! Before you stomp on that cockroach, think about things from its perspective. He is just trying to eke out an existence the only way his miniscule brain knows how, by sneaking out into the kitchen at night and snacking on crumbs left on the counter, appliances, floor, table, and chairs. What does he get for being eco-friendly (e.g. eating all the food you’re obviously not planning to finish and drinking water being squandered from the tap), quiet, and always willing to scurry away to some creepy dark corner of the kitchen when you enter the room, thereby showing the respect due you as the head of the house? A look of disgust and the brutal slap of a rolled up newspaper, that’s what. If she’s lucky, you don’t try to use some half-assed envelope, subjecting the poor thing to a mutually terrifying and needlessly prolonged “slap–pause–quivering antennae–slap–stillness–antennae twitch–scurry scurry–damn thing!–smack–SLAP!” drama. There’s no honor in that.

In short, I think cockroaches need a positively minded public relations professional capable of putting together some kind of image improving campaign…clearly as a species they have a public relations deficit that so often finds them subjected to the panicked spraying of half a can of Raid under the fridge despite the fact they’re now far out of the aerosol’s reach. Such a professional could help put a more friendly spin on this robust yet gentle creature that fears you more than you fear it (probably) and can’t help it if its stomach has disgusting teeth-like barbs the creepiness of which is unrivaled in the animate world.

Persistent Myths About Cockroaches
If you’ve got one, you’ve got a million of ’em. Probably false. Let’s face it, no one has ever uncovered their innermost “somewhere behind the counter back by the sink area” lair (much less seen the feared “Grandpappy” roach), so this claim is patently incalculable.

They’re dirty and filthy. Okay, fine. You don’t want them prancing around and shitting on hospital equipment just before your corneal transplant. But it’s been scientifically proven that mice (of which it has also been claimed you’ve got a million) are much filthier and their droppings much larger. But you don’t hit a mouse with a rolled up newspaper. Why? Because they are just the tiniest bit cute. And because it takes one big-ass newspaper.

They don’t contribute anything positive to society. Untrue. Just by their mere presence, without even doing anything, they have helped create a multi-billion dollar industry in trying to obliterate their own kind from the face of the earth.

They can only be controlled by mass fumigation techniques used by multi-billion dollar pest control industry. Not a fact. They can be just as effectively controlled (if not more) by simple introduction to the home of certain breeds of centipedes. Why this hasn’t caught on is beyond comprehension (unless, could it be, oh say the Big Fumigation Lobby?!?).

Cockroaches are hideous. Subjective at best. Beauty is only exoskeleton deep.

Positive Spins for the Common Cockroach
Possibly the only chance we have of establishing U.S. dominance in a post-nuclear holocaust world (we should begin training immediately)

Dedicated to hygiene (this is why boric acid is effective in combatting them, they literally will clean each other to death by spreading the acid around)

Masters of “Hide and Seek” who are always game to play!

Untapped potential in interrogation techniques

Delicacy in some places!

Couldn’t care less about that crappy music you always play. But let’s face it, everybody loves “La Cucaracha.”

Peace lovers—unlike that big hairy spider in the corner, does not show aggression toward other creatures or employ dirty tricks (like webs) to ensnare crumblies underneath oven

Very careful climbing in and out of baby’s mouth at night (only joking!)

Well I won’t belabor the point. But you don’t survive for hundreds of millions of years without having at least some positive attributes. Sure, you might stink, creep the living shit out of people, and generally be a disgusting, unwelcome nuisance to society, but the same could be said of Mrs. Jones down the hall. Have you been inside that place? Can you say smell of creeping death? Just thinking about it gives me the heebie jeebies. Ew.

Next up in the Commentary Series…Carp: Even Bottom Feeders Have Feelings

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