Adjusting to a roachly routine was perhaps one of the greatest hardships of Randy Griffith’s transformation from Emory student to Emory cockroach. As the sun rises in the early hours of the morning, Randy rolls out of the crumpled sock he sleeps in and whispers to himself, “I am Randy the Roach, Defender of Dobbs Hall.”
He then proceeds with his morning routine which consists of scrubbing his mandibles and rolling around in some shoe polish to really make his shell shine. Then it’s off to work. Randy patrols the outskirts of Dobbs looking out for any unwanted tomfoolery. Although it doesn’t pay as well or have the glamorous benefits of most on-campus work studies, it pays a roach’s bills. Making people feel safe, secure, and at ease are a roach’s specialty.
On this particular day, as Randy scurried through the corridor and out into the foyer, he noticed a girl passed out on the floor, her hair mere inches from a pile of her own vomit. Randy cringed. How could anyone stand to be around something so unpleasant and disgusting? he thought. Just as Randy spotted the mess, the girl let out a groan and started to roll towards the puke pile.
“Not on my watch,” Randy proclaimed as he zoomed to intervene. He perched himself between the barf and the girl, mere centimeters from her nose and let out his best roach chitter. The girl’s eyes shot open, and at the sight of Randy she let out a scream of horror.
“Well that’s not very nice,” Randy protested as the girl leapt to her feet and sprinted out of the room. “All in a day’s work, I guess,” he sighed. “At least I saved her hair.”
With that, the clock struck nine and Randy realized it was much too late to sneak into the DUC for his usual breakfast of floor crumbs. Luckily, the girl had clearly downed an entire Domino’s cheesy bread right before the peach Schnapp’s, so there were plenty of pukey pieces to choose from.
Next Randy was off to his 11am class. What people fail to realize is that despite his six speedy little roach legs, navigating campus is hard for a roach. The campus is hardly insect accessible. It takes Randy an average of an hour to get around campus, scurrying along the edges of buildings and in the shrubbery to avoid the stomping human feet.
After a rough day of class and trekking through campus, Randy heads to Cox for a quick lunch before bio lab. He finds a table outside to avoid being crushed by the door. Nobody holds those open for fellow humans anymore, let alone roaches. Randy only managed to suck up some Twisted Taco queso before clambering up the stairs again to avoid the stampede of the lunch rush.
Upon entering lab, Randy saw Professor Cole arranging the lab for the day. They would be crushing beetles to evaluate the bacteria within them. Randy started to feel a little queasy. Upon his transformation, he had felt an unprecedented connection to bugs of all kinds, especially his close relatives who looked so similar—beetles.
Randy then realized that he forgot his roach-sized goggles and had to borrow a human-sized pair from a fellow classmate. With his whole body behind the plastic, Randy watched his lab TA, who was talking to a group who hadn’t gotten a beetle, scan the room with her eyes, and wondered, with a sinking feeling, if this would be that last day in the life of Randy the Roach.