My Friend the Gokiburi
Frozen prey on spotting gokiburi hunting party - Photo by Tranmautritam from Pexels
Japanese people often say that Japan is different. The people are different, the snow is different, business is different. Well one thing is definitely different. The cockroaches have evolved way beyond the ones the ones back home.
When I first arrived in Tokyo I was out walking one night and had to cross a busy road. I was with my girlfriend so playing frogger with the traffic was out of the question. It was either find some lights or go over a walkway. A walkway was nearer so walkway it was. Sigh steps, running across a busy road is so much easier. Anyways, half way up there was this enormous, fuckoff cockroach being followed by three tiny ones. I just stood there, eyes unblinking in amazement. Girlfriend screaming trying to stomp on the poor fuckers. Cockroaches scattering, avoiding every panicked stomp.
When you are roach sized it doesn't make sense to leg it across a six lane highway. Six lanes will seem like 6kms. Even if the cars do see you they are not going to swerve to avoid you. The smart thing to do would be go over a walkway. Yeah it's common sense. You can see this momma cockroach (yes I know they are hermaphrodites but....) saying to it's offspring. “Now kiddies if you don't want to get squished you go over the footbridge”.
It's not the only example of a gokiburi being smarter than your average roach. While watching a DVD one night out the corner of my eye I noticed one crawling in through the aircon duct (their favorite meams of entrance to a Japanese home). I casually reached over to the can of chemical obliteration, and making no sudden movements, get up. After making sure the nozzle is pointed in the right direction (yes this dumbass has gassed himself before today) I sprayed ......and the bastard leaps of the wall falling about 2 meters, and scampers off before engaging it's cloaking device. I mean .....How ..... the fuck .....do they DO that!
So, you are standing there in a chemical haze, thinking “is it ok to sleep in here or should I move into the other room?”, sigh, reach down for your beer and discover another little fucker, ass up, head in the can, drinking your beer. You end up tipping the little bastard in. I mean what is going on here? Just what.... the fuck ..... is going on? They are running diversionary tactics so they can get at your beer. I'm going to have to check the fridge.
In the past I'd always assumed cockroaches were British. Same sort of way that in American, French and German movies that the Devil or the sinister evil character is British. The cockroach would brush it's hand casually along it's slicked backed oiled antennae, point it's nose slightly to the right/upwards at 60 degrees, rub the tip of it's finger along the underside of it's chin to it's adams apple; and say, slightly looking down it's nose at you, in an immaculate accent, “YeeeeAAass, would you like a sherry mate?”
Well they might be British in the movies but the cleverest are definitely Japanese.
Endnote: God is a cockroach ......period. The logic goes like this. In the event of a nuclear war it has been said that the only survivors would be cockroaches. The bible says that the meek/his children will inherit the earth. God made his children in his own image. Therefore God is a cockroach. *)