Forgotten, again. Poor cockroaches.

Any cockroach will tell you that it was inevitable. Being an arrogant human being, of course I would completely overlook cockroaches when I wrote my last post.

Of course, cockroaches can’t type, and if even they could, they don’t have little cockroach sized computers. Maybe we are lucky that they don’t, because otherwise they would no doubt write their own history of the universe and conveniently leave out humans, who, after all, have only popped up to annoy them in the last 100 thousand years – they’ve been around for more than 300 million years!

Cockroach costume

I knew she would forget about cockroaches! Aaaagh! I’m really f**ing annoyed!

For those who haven’t tried it out yet, my last post was an extensively researched history of the entire universe so far. It differed somewhat from Stephen Hawking’s attempt to do the same thing, by including literary references to help the literary minded reader put things into a familiar perspective, and by coming in at less than 700 words.

Unfortunately, however, my research assistant neglected to give me any information on the cockroach. It was only when watching Hungry Beast the other night that I was reminded that the cockroach has been on earth for over 300 million years, and immediately realised that this was a serious omission in my post on the history of the universe!

(To anyone who wishes to lodge a complaint at my omission, I can assure you that my research assistant has been severely reprimanded. As she is imaginary -and in keeping with the theme – I have threatened her with extinction if she doesn’t pick up her act.)

So anyway, apparently the cockroach should have been included a long way back on my time line, as apparently those pesky little buggers were scuttling around on Earth even before the dinosaur emerged. Dinosaurs of course were large, fearsome creatures, still admired by little boys all over the world, and their lives have been mythologised in thousands of stories and films, (none come to mind right now) –  yet they couldn’t even manage to make it through the ice-age/ asteroid impact/ volcanoes (the jury is still out on what caused them to disappear off the face of the earth)! Cockroaches, meanwhile, are tiny, ugly, infamous, unloved, held in contempt and considered as vermin, yet they scuttled their way right through the ice age with barely a shiver, thought the asteroid impact made a nice fireworks display, and found the volcanoes to be a cosy spot for holidaying. Hundreds of millions of years later, they are still zipping jauntily across our kitchen floors in much the same form they took 300 million years ago!

Obviously, like jellyfish and  some of those other weird deep sea creatures I mentioned in an earlier post (for this very reason) cockroaches also got it right way back at the start of their evolution. Unlike humans, they had no need to continue to evolve just so that they could develop thumbs, lose excess body hair, express themselves in crude wall drawings, learn to cook, ponder the meaning of life, develop the internet, and finally culminate their evolutionary sophistication by being able to simultaneously write a blog while making a playlist on itunes. They were already right where they needed to be.

When I think of cockroaches like this – a creature that connects us with some primordial past that goes back hundreds of millions of years before humans existed, they suddenly gain some extra kudos, although even so, I am still not keen to accidentally put my hand on one when I’m looking for the vegemite.

Fake cockroach

Just to make it up to cockroaches, I thought I would attempt to transcribe the words from a song by Melbourne musician Kim Salmon, who obviously had a similar revelation about cockroaches. It’s hard to find the lyrics to his songs anywhere so this is my interpretation. Salmon envisions cockroaches surviving on Earth long after humans are gone. As do scientists, according to that report on Hungry Beast. Apparently scientists are thinking about turning cockroaches into human time capsules via genetic coding. That would be a weird twist in the evolutionary graph, for sure! Humans recognise that cockroaches are superior, in an evolutionary sense, so we  inprint our genetic coding onto them, so that when we are extinct, some other creature might be able to turn to cockroaches to find out all about our history.

But what if the only creatures left are cockroaches, who is going to be interested in the information?

*

Cockroach (Kim Salmon and the Surrealists)

Nature has provided

Nature has provided some people

they did my cooking

they built me a home

I might not like their cooking at first but I can learn how to eat it

Cos when they get round to poisoning each other I’ll have this whole place to myself

and I’ll have learned how to live in it, when no one else can

I’ll have this whole place to myself

because I am the cockroach

I am the cockroach

you can look up to heaven

you can look for a sign

you can look where you like 

but I’m the ultimate design

I’m what he had on his mind

I’m the best that you’ll find

I am the ultimate design

I am the cockroach

I am the cockroach

I’m the natural conclusion of God’s evolution and it follows that I’m what he planned

You fools! you don’t realise

this planet wasn’t meant to be manned

I’m what he had on his mind, I’m the best that you’ll find

I am the ultimate design because 

I am the cockroach

I am the cockroach

*

cockroach repellent

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2 Comments

  1. Loved you post. And I cannot believe that I, a cockroach hater, would like a post about cockroaches. There are cultures out there where people consider cockroaches as delicacies. Even though I wonder what made them try eating these creatures in the first place, I wish someone would eat them all up. At least from my house.

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    • Thankyou for the compliment! I’ll use you as a reference if I go for a job that requires persuasive writing skills: “Ritu, a confirmed cockroach hater, enjoyed my post about cockroaches.” Actually I’ve always liked that post too. It’s time someone gave the cockroach post some recognition. So a hearty thank you, from me, and cockroaches everywhere. (Sorry!)

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