Tokyo Tales #9. June 17, 2000
The Gokiburi Comedy Show
After 9 months Ground Zero.
Of all the shitomachi-joints in Tokyo, he had to pick this one. Yes, Spring has come and with it the chase renews. I'm convinced there is only one gokiburi in Tokyo and he lives in my apartment. His sole purpose is to terrorize me. Below is my list of sightings of Mr. Goki for Year 2000.
February. Dead of winter. Pull down a stack of hand towels secure in the knowledge that it is Winter and all bugs are asleep somewhere else. Put towels on table and Mr. 2-inch Gokiburi scuttles out in astonished panic. (My reaction: jump back about 6 feet, spin once in the air). By the time I land he is gone. I wash all towels and put them somewhere else. Result: Bug spraying the apt and surrounding environments comes early to the Miffy Pad.
June 14. My office pharmacy knows what I need. Purchase The GokiBomb. A smoke bomb of repellent that was the only answer last year. Forget my natural Californian ways. This is war.
June 15. Mr Gokiburi awaits me at the bottom of the steps to the Minato-ku Sports Center. It's tsuyu, the official Rainy Season, so he is sleek and thin, not yet having eaten his fill of my MegaDeath pellets. He must be just out trolling Tokyo.
June brings just a few shadowy zips darting late at night around the kitchen sink...I don't pursue.
JESUSGOD, How big do these things get?
July...Come home late at night...a scuttling, chitonous sound that makes my skin crawl. Lights on! There the little bastard is, bigger than before. I keep this place spotless, what's he finding to eat? What to do? I hit him with a burst from my DeathCloud ammunition, now always right by the door in anticipation. Goki-chan literally leaps straight up in the air about 4 inches. Spray spray spray and pray pray pray. Go buy a packet of delightful "Roach Hotels" printed with great cartoons of a barn, with little barnyard animals. However, I suspect Mr. Goki is too wise to place his 6 little feet on the Sticky Doormat of Death that beckons within the Roach Barn. What to do?
August...another night foray, a swift scuttle, only he's heavier than before. And I swear 3 inches long. Does Sir Goki live on spray? I'm finding out! Full sustained Gattling Scorch the Earth Dead Center Non-stop Cloud of Sweet Demise. Ah! He's paralytic and drops feet up into the kitchen sink. Sacrifice a magazine and a pencil to touching the thing. Just the hard-shell tactile crunchiness of his shell through the pencil makes my skin wish mightily to be elsewhere. Eeyew. The kitchen window is open...Koki stirs...more spray while I cojole his spasming shell onto the paper...3 rounds of this and then, oh bliss, Gokiburi-chan is launched into air trajectory with one direction only: OUT OF MY KITCHEN...light incense open doors and then wait.
August 15th: no sign of the Big G. The stray can of new chemical death from above awaits. What a horrible bug. Result: when I encounter his smaller cousins, I don't even flinch. As long as they aren't sighted in my precious quarters.
September...wait a second, what was that? A shadow the size of a rice grain moving in that oily covert fashion...a few days later, it's the size of a lentil. This morning I find 3 of them around the washer. Still moving slowly enough that I can pounce on them with a kleenex and flush them away to multiple within the plumbings of Tokyo. So, the little bastard replicated on me before I tossed him/her out the window, eh? No wonder I thought I heard a chitonous laugh in the distance.