Monday, February 9, 2009

Cockroaches and Crustaceans.

Last night I was kicking back watching a show about Aussie crime gangs and thinking about stuff in general. Stuff I'd done as a kid, like the time we went on a prawn trawler on the Hawkesbury River. That got me thinking about prawns and crayfish. I grew up close to bushland and there was a creek which ran down to the Berowra catchment. It included this nice waterfall where we'd jump from the top into the billabong below. Daredevil stuff, probably stupid but a lot of fun. One time I was hanging around the billabong with my brother and other kids and saw a yabbie (freshwater crayfish). After a quick conference I wrapped my half-eaten Mintie in a bit of foil for later, grabbed the yabbie and an hour later I was hoeing into fresh yabbie on bread and butter, in the kitchen at home.
Damn, I'd left my half-Mintie on the rock back at the billabong and there were no more left. Oh well. At least i'd had delicious yabbie.
While I was thinking about this I noticed a few cockroaches zapping about the loungeroom. These are locally called "Bondi Butterflies". Damn, my roach baits must need renewing. These things were acting like they were in some sort of rutting frenzy, wildly launching themselves around the place on darting, strafing missions. I waited until they came to a stop and whacked them with a sandal. Got two in one blow. Problem is there were more of them. I've never had this problem as bad before and was getting rattled. Eventually I'd sprayed and bashed them into submission with the same murderous intent and ferocity as displayed on the TV re-enactment of gangland killings in Sydney's south-western suburbs. Very puzzling where the roaches came from and why, all of a sudden this invasion. Getting new baits and spray today.
Crustacean Crime Scene (A Yabbie's Tale)
Yeah, that's me in one of my photo shoots. That McCormack guy really nailed my good side in this one. But let's step back a while. Back before the media got hold of me, when I was just a regular working bloke trying to do his best in a world of con men, killers and saucy females.

It was a lazy summer afternoon, one of those days which send even the sleep cells to bed. I was half dozing in my rock den when my junior assistant clattered up, waking me with his clumsy, youthful noise. The kid could never be quiet. He was nervous but managed to speak.

"H-Hey boss. Gotta sheila outside wants to see you. Says its a cold case going back generations."

He scuttled away and in walked the femalest yabbie a bloke's ever clapped peepers on. I played it cool, keeping a rogue feeler in check;

"So you got an old shell needs scraping? What's the story?"

She sidled closer and I got a full broadside of her body. Man, her shell was tighter and shinier than a clean opal and had bumps in all the right places. She didn't waste time in bringing me back to ground.

"Mind on the case, not the carapace."
I looked up.
She went on, "Goes back over twenty generations. Its a Wild Killer." The way she swung her tail showed she wasn't to be clawed with, but what she said next set my feelers flying around like those Crazy Stalks kids get in the joke emporiums.

"I have an artifact. Original evidence. Here!"

She flung down a piece of foil.

"We've been preserving it for decades. Open it!"

I excitedly clawed it over and unwrapped the thing. It was a soldified mass, some sort of human food. I was vibrating and it wasn't just the babe running my engine. I was eager, maybe too eager;

"The Killer's? You have to be kidding me. That's unheard of!" She just blinked back,

"It's true enough matey. I'll leave you with it. Don't waste time on this one handsome." She swayed her way out of my den, maybe out of my life forever. Didn't even let me tell her my rates. That didn't matter, I had to get to work. It was a rare chance and I wasn't going to let a rock roll over this one.

"Hey junior, get in here." The young bloke scrambled in, kicking up a few pebbles in his haste. "Get this down to the lab and take good care of it. Its an original. Tell 'em to pull out all the stops. We're after a Killer!"

He jetted out and down the creek beed, Down to The Cave where we sent all of our hard stuff. They have blokes down there in the Crustacean Crime Lab can tell you what tree a leaf came from fifty years ago. They can pick out a speck of sand from a creek bed and send it back to the coast where it started out as a piece of cliff. Yeah, they're good. The best.
It would be silly to say that I'd forgotten her but a month later I was resting back at the den after a tough couple of weeks sorting out what ended up as a suicide case. Some teenager had decided to ride a Yabbie Pump and landed as dinner for a whiting, out near Lion Island. You couldn't pick these ones and I was flicking a few thoughts across my mind on the temptations, wildness and occasional stupidity of youth. Something a bit tastier flicked across my vision and set off all sorts of lust alarms. It was Her. You couldn't miss that sexy slide of hers.

I reached down and pulled out a package. It was stamped "CCL". Below it in big red claw marks was "Confidential." I casually flicked a stray rock across my desk. It clattered to the floor just as the young bloke clattered into the den, all legs and feelers still not under control. He took one look at the sheila and almost boiled himself into a stew as he stammered,

"B-B-Boss, she's b-back. Ya know the one ...", then he gasped. She was looking extra shiny and her bumps had taken on a life of their own. What a sort! She just had to be ready to roe. Her voice was huskier than I recalled and there was a tough set to her peepers.

"That it?" she asked, jabbing a claw at the parcel.

"All yours, sweetness." She jagged it open and there sat a file. It had a picture, a name and an address. Attached was a hundred sheets which listed places been, crustaceans killed and current haunts. The boys down at CCL had done a bloody good job, one of their best yet. Problem was it definitely was Human and this was going to be tough. Very tough. Humans were impossible to kill but we could still make trouble.

"A dirty Human! Just as I thought." she started to sniffle. Then the blubbering started. I motioned for Junior to go grab some water. I handed her a tissue box. This happened a lot with clients.

I slid around and put a claw on her shoulder, giving her a gentle stroke at the same time.

"Don't worry. We're gonna nail this guy if it takes the last claw standing. He won't know what hit him."

She looked up, shrugged and drew her features back into resolve.
"Sorry, but this is pretty big for our family. We've been waiting for justice for generations. I just, just, you know ...". She shuddered but quickly regained composure.

"We'll fix this. Starting now!" I emphasised my determination by hooking up the blower and asking the switch for a direct line I'd used before, "Get me Bondi Roaches."
An hour later I found out just how much gratitude she felt. She sure was ready to roe!


  1. What the hell is going on in your head?????

    That's a classic!

  2. Naut - it was funny. That stuff from last night was true. All of a sudden there was a whole bunch of the fuckers needing serious smackdown and I couldn't figure out why there were so many. I was thinking maybe its karma for something I did or they're getting payback. Just happened that I'd been thinking about that yabbie I'd caught and cooked when I was a kid, so I drew a long bow.

  3. You are now the Bin Laden of the Yabbie and Roach world. Watch out for Roaches dressed in black wearing little balaclavas.

    Be Alarmed not Alert!

  4. Insects and crustaceans ARE kinda related. They're all arthropods, had a last common evolutionary ancestor about 500 million years ago.

    (This bit of Random Evolutionary Waffle was brought to you in association with Darwin Day.)

  5. Its dangerous isn't it when you let your mind wander. Fun, but dangerous.

  6. Al - I have armed myself accordingly and cranked up the threat boards
    Dr Y - Thanks Doc for the scientific back up
    Mr Barnes - this sort of shit crops up in my head quite frequently but usually I let it die in the arse through sheer laziness.
    Nat - been missin' you babe. Glad to see you hanging in. How did you guess I had you in mind when I was talking about bumps? Heh heh heh ...

  7. I had never realised that the humble yabbie was such a vindictive bastard. So I'm now going to gourge myself on crayfish tonight - thank you for the inspiration. And if the roaches retaliate & want the Cesspit - they can have it.

    As a side point - your blog seems to take a couple of days to come across to my blogroll after it is updated. I don't know what the issue is, or if anyone else has that particular problem.

    Whatever the cause, I'm tacking it with a tumbler of Lagavulin in hand - I hope that by this stage on a Friday you are doing likewise.

  8. Lermy - indeed I am. James Boag Premium and Heineken are on offer here at the bureau plus gourmet mini pies and other tasty morsels. Afterwards we have our quarterly awards night in a bar down in Martin Place. Booze and food provided plus those of us who are tops get awards. Then its time to help raise the esteem of female folk. Races are on at Randwick tomorrow so the princesses will be out in force.
    Dunno why my blog holds itself back. I'll give it a clip behind the ear and tell it to man up.
    Good luck on your mission!

  9. If cockroach attack teams subcontract out to vindictive yabby homicide squads, who do the cows get to do their dirty work? And what about pigs, because apparently they're pretty smart. And chickens - well i think they have magpies. But what about fish.
    If what you're saying is true we're screwed. This is just too much

  10. I had a pet yabby for a while. They make interesting pets, what with all their digging and tunneling and so forth. Didn't know they had nearlyso much going on upstairs though.

  11. uamada - cows don't get anyone. They're under the misapprehension that bulls will protect them. Silly cows.
    Chickens do try the magpie alliance but it doesn't always work. Chickens are pretty stupid. Fish have sharks and poisonous jellyfish.
    Abe - that's what yabbies haveg oing for them. Tunnels, just like Hogan's Heroes. They need to be watched (and eaten).

  12. just goes to show that you can never have too few organophoshates around the house.

  13. Therbs - just dropping by to offer my belated congratulations on what I'm certain was a very solid win at your awards night. Hopefully you have had the opportunity to put the resultant lucre to good use at your local Wine & Spirit merchant's emporium.

    And doubled the rest at the track!

  14. Thanks Lerm. I needed to restock my bourbon store so Makers Mark was the choice.
    The track was a bust. Only ended up even. I usually do better than that at Randwick. Even the princesses weren't as sparkly as usual.