Fordham Cafe Cockroach: Who Was He?

Article by Keith Rose

By now many of you have seen the Instagram post by Barstool Fordham. And unless you are an innocent, wide-eyed, virgin freshman, then you already know that Fordham’s cafeteria is, like, super fuckin’ gross.

Upon seeing that little fellow drowned in maple syrup and pinched between a guillotine of French toast, Fordham students are asking: “Who was he?”

The Rival does not operate within the amoral parameters of speciesism. We interviewed the feline friends of our campus, we dove face-first into the mind of a campus gutter raccoon existing on society’s fringe, and - yeah, we interviewed that cockroach the morning of its syrupy demise. Good timing, we know.

For closure, we now present you with a glimpse into the life of a Fordham cockroach - nay, the Fordham cockroach - who was stretched across a sea of sugar maple to pay for the sins of Fordham’s cafeteria.

I met him in a neutral spot: Fordham’s cafeteria. I was sitting in a chair, tape recorder in hand. The cockroach sat across from me on an upside down cup. This was different than a usual interview. I received a letter asking me to conduct the interview on this day. The letter had no return address. It was my interview, but what transpired was far from my story.


KR denotes interviewer Keith Rose

FC denotes Fordham Cockroach

KR: “So, let’s start off with the basics. What is your name?”

FC: “Cockroach.”

KR: “Oh wow, that’s…”

FC: “Yeah I mean… I am what I am.”

KR: “So then, what was your father’s name?”

FC: “Papa Roach.”

KR: “Like the band?”

FC: “Not really, no… He was much more like the Papa Smurf of the cockroach underworld than some shitty rock band.”

KR: “Oh, you got zingers. I see you.”

FC: “Yeah, well, when you insult the infallible legacy of my father, Papa Roach, whose exoskeleton remains encased in our hall of legends to this day, you have to get the zingers out.”

KR: “This might sound crazy, but I am feeling some great vibes… How do you feel about a chest bump?”

FC: “Alright, I will appease your silly demands. But then we must speak of important matters. Let’s do this quickly – just aim for my thorax.”

(Interviewer and Interviewee share chest-to-thorax bump.)

KR: “Alright, so, the reason for this interview is just to sort of get a feeling for what you -”

FC: “Silence.”

KR: “Uhm… what?”

FC: “I wanted to talk to you today, Keith. You were chosen.”

KR: “How do you mean?”

FC: “My collective has survived on Fordham Manor since the beginning of insect-time. But the moment has come to tell the world what it is we do.”

KR: “Wowwww, what’s insect-time?”

FC: “It’s like an ordinary clock but instead of numbers we use lint of increasing size and instead of hands we use antennae.”

KR: “Woahhh, that’s crazy. Why not just look at a regular clock?”

FC: “Silence! I must tell you of my mission, Keith, focus! My father, Papa Roach, spent his entire life organizing our sacred collective, so that the students could live healthier, happier lives. We are fighters for the betterment of your kind. Sometimes, we are even martyrs.”

KR: “Okay, let’s dig into this, but first I do have some follow questions about insect-time if you don’t -”

FC: “There isn’t time for such tomfoolery! Listen to me, everybody listen to me!”

KR: “Okay, you have the floor, little guy.”

FC: “Patronizing, but, listen here, for our collective has crossed paths with more of you than you know! Maybe you were at Crust Above about to order a $10 sub consisting of 3 slices of ham and I scurried past. Maybe you were ‘getting healthy’ at Così by ordering your 3rd cobb salad of the day and I just happened to be basking in the olives. Maybe you were going to stop by Salt & Sesame to force-feed yourself a burnt bagel before I caused a commotion … The point is simple; people don’t like to see cockroaches. And when they do see them, they usually don’t go back to the same spot.”

KR: “Okay, very eerie, not super clear.”

FC: “My collective guides the student body away from campus food options. Why? Well, as you know, us cockroaches have quite a reputation for survival. We could survive a nuclear fallout, perhaps even a run-in with a small-to-medium sized dog. However, it seems we have met our match. The food options on Fordham’s campus have grown to be so underwhelming that our population has been cut in half. We cannot subsist on this diet. Nay. We cannot bare the quality of our food drippings nor crumbs. Our collective is dying.”

KR: “Oh, no.”

FC: “But we are a kind-hearted collective, and we do not wish the Fordham student body to meet the same fate. We have brought many students towards the light of off-campus dining options, and we have seen the pure, zealous joy on the faces of our saved.”

KR: “That’s rad.”

FC: “It is with this news that I must initiate the final phase of my plan, Keith. I will take down the epicenter of Fordham dining for the future of your kind.”

KR: “What will you do?”

FC: “Once breakfast is underway, I will slip into the shadows of Fordham’s cafeteria. Adorned in a ceremonial crown made of a single twist-tie, I will let destiny’s forceful march take me. I will seek out the being who truly and utterly drowns his french toast in the sugar syrup of gluttony. Then, and only then, I will spring heart-first into my syrupy destiny. Once my body is shown across Fordham’s social media pages, students will finally stop eating on campus. They will finally see the light: off-campus dining options.”

KR: “Why now, cockroach? What made you decide to martyr yourself for another species?”

FC: “Why now? I have let destiny decide my fate and timing. I looked to the stars for answers and found none. I looked to the elders for advice and they had no advice to give. Finally, I gazed my eyes upon insect-time. The long antenna was on a pretty big piece of lint, so I knew the time was now.”

KR: “If only we had enough time for you to describe how the fuck insect-time works… My god, you are a hero.”

FC: “No, Keith… It’s just that… this is my last resort.”

KR “Oh, like Papa Roach! ‘SUFFOCATION, NO BREATHING.’”

FC: “God Damn it.”


Cockroach hopped off of his interview cup, scurried towards the french toast, and awaited his fate. I watched for a moment. I thought, “I could definitely stop this from happening.” But, I didn’t. I picked up my belongings and left the cafeteria before the commotion ensued. I never looked back. I knew his big crawl would be a success, but not enough of a victory to overcome the student body’s inclination to eat on campus.

However, sometimes, when a voice rises with such conviction and character, the unexpected can occur.  

The Rival wishes condolences to family and friends of the Fordham Cockroach, and we ask readers to respect their privacy through this difficult time.

Campus, CultureEmma Carey