The roach motel

I'm not scared of spiders, or mice, or the dark, or moths. But I don't like cockroaches. I don't think I'd ever seen a cockroach before I lived in Japan in my early 20s. They used to be very uncommon in Melbourne - not so much now.

Anyway, there were plenty of them in Tokyo. My flatmate and I used to squeamishly trap them in a jar, carry them outside and then squish them with a shoe. Until one day my flatmate found one in her bed, and something had to be done.

This is a cockroach trap, and, typical of all Japanese household paraphernalia, it's a work of art. You have to fold it all together and open the "windows" and poke the little birdie weathervane out at the top. Doesn't it look awesome! What a lovely house. And look at that friendly cockroach at the window. I'M HAVING A LOVELY TIME AT THIS PARTY, he's saying. WHY DON'T YOU COME ON IN? I like this guy. I call him Judas Cockroach, because once you venture into the house, towards the big plate of food in the middle, your little cockroachy feet are FROZEN INTO PLACE, stuck down and the only way you can escape is by ripping off your own leg!

Tragically, the joy of the Roach Motel didn't last long. Our cockroaches were savvy and clever and after a while they'd walk up to the Party House, take a good hard look at the sticky floor, then turn and scuttle away. So we got the far less cute and far more nasty kind, which worked a treat. Sorry, cockroaches.