Best Friends with a Cockroach

You find a cockroach in your locker—how do you get rid of it?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Cover Image
By Celeste Hoo

As the new school year begins, we all start to open our lockers, a safe haven that doubles as our personal trash can. This will soon be a place that is overflowing with textbooks we were supposed to take home three months ago, certain tests that cause such anguish and should never see the face of the Earth again, and everyone's favorite COVID tests. I felt a sense of dread as soon as I saw the closed lock. Last year, after an embarrassing encounter that involved three different people trying, and failing, to open my lock, I vowed to always leave my lock open in an attempt to avoid such a situation again. Alas, a new school year meant a new, closed locker. I sat there, sweat dripping down my face, as I looked for a Big Sib, a teacher, anyone, for help, but the hallway was empty. On the bright side, at least no one would be there to witness my humiliation. Slowly I turned my lock to the correct numbers, and 10 and a half tries later (my personal record), the lock opened. This was going to be a great year, I thought to myself as I forced the locker door open. Everything looked good: three walls, two hooks and…

The biggest, ugliest cockroach I’ve ever seen.

Now, you could look at this in two different ways:

1) Wow, a new best friend


If you are interested in becoming friends with your new cockroach, then there are definitely many benefits (as long as the smell doesn't bother you):

1. School wide domination. Every villain needs an origin story and having a cockroach as a best friend is a great way to get started on your plans to take over the school. Your cockroach will be able to go undetected while collecting as many locker combinations as possible. You never know when you're gonna need someone's locker—it may come in handy if you ever need to hide a dead body (and frame someone for it). I'm sure you could fit a freshman in a locker if you tried hard enough.

2. Watch your enemies crumble. Your new best friend would be more than happy to help you deal with anyone you can’t stand, especially if you reward it with treats after. Having a cockroach following and tormenting your enemy with jump scares will make you feel a lot better.

3. Get an extra week off school. If you can find another fellow cockroach, be sure to introduce it to your bestie! As long as you keep your cockroach healthy and happy by feeding it and keeping the temperature high, your best friend will have the ability to provide you with many new friends. Before long, your number of friends will continue to grow, resulting in a serious infestation, allowing everyone to get some much needed rest and relaxation while the school calls for an exterminator. Be sure to warn your cockroach friends of the danger!

4. Get out of a test. Every Stuy kid has longed for extra time to study, especially the last minute before the test. Invite your agile cockroach friend to sit in on one of your classes on test day. Your new classmate is guaranteed to buy you at least five extra minutes of studying once the teacher sees your friend and runs out of the room screaming.

5. Make a little extra cash. You’ve heard of rent-a-car and rent-a-girlfriend, but now you can rent-a-cockroach for a small fee. For a limited time your friends can have a cockroach too! One cockroach a day—no questions asked. Be sure to have a contract ready, since you don't need any lawsuits because of your small side hustle (taxes and fees may apply).

Now, for those of us who would prefer to stick with humans as companions (how boring!),

here are some suggestions for how to rid yourself of the cockroach:

1. Steal your friend's locker. I know you already have a best friend in your locker, but hopefully you have some human friends as well. Sharing lockers with your friends could either be the best thing that's ever happened to you or the worst. At best, you will be able to keep your things cockroach-free and at worst, you might discover that you’re friends with a psycho who likes to keep rotting eggs in their locker.

2. File a complaint to Mr. Moran and/or Mr. Simon. They will be more than happy to help you with your problem. Rumor has it that the deans have an extra supply of lockers just for storing the AirPods that they take away from students. Mr. Simon has to be popping out of somewhere to confiscate those AirPods—perhaps he has his own hidden locker warehouse? Hopefully they would be willing to give up one locker for you to use. Best of all, we would be able to confirm the rumors!

3. Transfer schools. Try Bronx Science or Brooklyn Tech. I heard they also have lockers. Who knows, their lockers may be better than ours. Take this with a grain of salt, for their roach problem could be worse. Who knows?

4. Hire an exterminator. For those of you who have a little extra cash to spend, here are the numbers of a few famous extermination companies who wouldn’t mind sending a person or two to help you with your little cockroach problem.

(212) 555-2538

(212) 555-2078

(212) 555-3448

5. Finally, if all else fails, accept your fate as someone who will forever have a best friend cockroach.

Whichever method you choose, I wish you well. Please don’t get me involved if you ever get into any drama with your new bestie.