back to the Black Table

The brownstones that fill whichever ghetto are gorgeous, yes. But they have fallen into the clutches of certain people not as desireable as the Yuppie overman. It is therefore your job to pay the market rate for a family's rent and reclaim the floor-through as your own.

One of the things that you will encounter is a myriad of insect species in your home, as the building is almost 100 years old and there are holes in the floor and wall, despite the renovation. And sometimes you will see roaches the size of lighters.

It's all well and good to be emo out there; if you're "obviously a fag" the neighbors won't bother to try to converse with you. But in your house you are the man, THE MAN, and never forget that. (That goes double for you hipster chicks; the barettes fool no one.)

In one sense the roach is your friend since it keeps rent down. But only in this little sense. It is an unwelcome guest in your home, the enemy, and as such you must destroy it. Dude!

There's the hard way, and then there's my way. (There's also the highway, but that's over on 3rd Avenue.) The first step is to capture the bug in a cup whose circumference is only slightly larger than that of the bug itself. This is much, much harder than it looks and it looks fucking hard. But despite my effete demeanor, never forget that I am an m-fing ninja.

Now your job is to spin the cup around, first quickly, now slowly, until the slightest bit of roach limb or antenna is sticking out from under the lip. Then you pull.

Eventually (we fast forward like the cooking shows) you will have a pile of limbs and antenna. Be careful with the back legs, as you can feel those spikes. They are sharp, but not as sharp as those wicked ninja skills. Zing!

At this point the roach will start panicking and try to fly. As anyone who knows anything about roaches knows, they almost never ever ever fly as their running speed is much faster. But then, right about now your roach has gone from Bruce Jenner to Christopher Reeve. (Although, unlike Jenner, roaches can read.)

You are to start trying to pull the wings and wing coverings off. They will be waxy, lined and thin, almost feeling like grass. As you do this, remind yourself that this hubristic insect is Icarus and you are the Sun.

All that remains is a legless thing desperate to die. It might be on its back, unable to upright itself. Gloat over your victim. Don't put on The Postal Service. That's for outside. Here we listen to R-E-O.

Quickly lift the cup and scoop up the roach with a paper towel. Crush it on the way to the toilet. Wash your hands.

Celebrate with a Newtons snackable dessert!


Ego & Hubris: the Michael Malice Story, will be published by Random House in 2006. He also edits