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The Relation between Cockroaches and Panic

 

[The following is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to anyone, living or dead, other than who this story is about, is purely coincidental]

This is a true (??) story of a day in the life of A-Person-Really-Scared-Of-Cockroaches. Let us call him, say, … Appu. Appu was a simple man who led a simple life. He only had a few possessions, which he treasured – his refrigerator (food inside included), his scooter and … his cockroach sprays. In fact, he had a whole cupboard full of various sprays to exterminate "those vile pests". In addition, he always carried a "pocket-sized" cockroach spray can with him, WHEREVER he went.

It was a cold, winter morning. 5:00 hrs to be exact. Being the "Nerd" that he was (Apart from being the man who was most afraid of cockroaches, he was also a computer nerd), Appu was hacking away on the Internet. He had hacked into an airline system and was making reservations for people who did not exist and, thus, would not fly (His fear of cockroaches certainly drove him to the edge). While reserving a seat for the hundredth passenger, it happened! A cockroach sneaked into his room. However, Appu was not the least bit worried. He jumped out of his chair, turned around, took out his hand-dandy cockroach spray and aimed. He fired! He was aghast! There was no spray left. In desperation, he shook the can, did what he could, but it was no use – he had run out of cockroach spray. Appu was on the verge of a nervous breakdown, but tried to stay calm in the face of danger. The cockroach moved towards him. In one final move, Appu jumped across his room to the door and slammed the door behind him as he left it. He covered the gap between the door and the floor with the dining table cover and heaved a sigh of relief. He would disinfect the house before he left.

As Appu was ready to leave he opened his cupboard of spray cans and was amazed. He had only one can left. Mr. Appu wasn’t worried. He was going to get his monthly delivery that day. He’d just spray the room that day. He removed the cloth beneath the door and fired. Fortunately for the cockroach, Appu had no bug spray left. What else could he expect if he disinfected his whole house before he left everyday? However, Appu was not perturbed. He’d spray his room in the evening and sleep on the couch.

Appu was Mr. Cool as he walked into the garage, whistling some ridiculous tune. With sheer clumsiness, he started his scooter and zoomed off … straight into the wall. Well, Appu thought, it was a nice day to take a walk. Out Mr. Cool stepped onto the footpath and started his 300-metre hike to work. He started of well, but by the 100th metre was pooped. He decided to pop into the place, which he called his second home – the bug spray store. He popped in and asked for a "pocket-sized" cockroach spray. Instead of handing him the spray, the shopkeeper shook his head and pointed to a sign above him. Appu looked up with dread. The sign read "Be-kind-to-cockroach-week! Cockroaches are our friends". It was time to panic. "No shop in this country is going to sell any cockroach spray for a week, sir", the shopkeeper explained "In fact, I think it’s a good idea. We shouldn’t be out to kill them just because they’re vile and disgusting." Life as Appu knew it was over.

Appu ran to his office, to the safety of his cubicle. He ran as fast as he could. In fact, he ran so fast that he covered the 200 odd metres in 10 seconds. Once he reached his cubicle, Appu knew he was safe. He jumped into his chair and relaxed. For a while he just sat there appreciating his workplace and then got up to see what was going on. He knew it was going to be another "fun" day of sitting in his cubicle and … working (Appu was not the most popular guy in the office). Appu, once again Mr. Cool, took a peek of the outside. His jaw fell down faster than … he did while trying to save a floppy disk. Outside were posters of Be-kind-to-Cockroach-week. He was speechless. Suddenly he realised that the manager was in front of him … smiling. "Well, Appu! Isn’t this great? We’re going to make a big thing out of this. I know that you’re probably speechless with joy. Your enthusiasm is an inspiration to us all. That is why I have decided to put you in charge of handling this. You’ll even get to pet a few cockroaches. I feel like crying with joy". The boss walked away sobbing. Appu thought: I think it is DEFINITELY time to … PANIC!