Crispy, crunchy cockroaches–great neighbours, great food.

I am about to confess one of my darkest and deepest secrets.  I have lived among cockroaches.  And more than once.  Phew.  There.  I’ve said it.  One more skeleton freed from an overstuffed closet.

My very first apartment was home to so many of the crunchy critters that I had to flick on the kitchen light first with my eyes closed and not return until my raunchy little roommates had departed to crevices unknown.  In my next apartment, we learned to co-exist peacefully.  We were both aware of one another’s existence, but we respected each other’s boundaries.  They had free run of the place when I wasn’t home.  And, in return, they made themselves scarce when I returned.  My third apartment, however, dealt me a breed of cockroach that no amount of horror movie watching could have prepared me for.

Don't let these four-legged imposters fool you.  Cockroaches are not green.  Nor are they cute.

Don’t let these four-legged imposters fool you. Cockroaches are not green. Nor are they cute.

I knew we had cockroaches.  My human roommate and I had bug-proofed our food–which cost a fortune in Tupperware, I might add.  We had installed a miniature village of Roach Hotels.  And, we left the bathroom and kitchen lights on in hopes that they would move on to a less vigilant neighbour.  But these radiation resistant roamers are not easily deterred.  They opted, instead, to bring in the big guns.

Bearing the nickname "Cockroach" is not a compliment--no matter what Theo Huxtable tells you.

Bearing the nickname “Cockroach” is not a compliment–no matter what Theo Huxtable tells you.

As I lay in my bed, awakened by the sense that something was not right, I noticed a strangely shaped shadow in the hallway, just outside my bedroom door.  It had antennae and a number of spindly legs–anything with more than four is bad news.  Yes.  It was a cockroach large enough to cast a shadow.  Albeit, it was a small shadow.  But no insect should be big enough to have one at all.  Insects by their very nature should be shadowless.

Rendered immobilized by fear, I simply waited for him, the King of all Bugs, to make his way to his throne–somewhere in the bathroom (which, ironically, is where my throne resided also), and moved shortly after.  The cockroach population had showed their hand and mine was no match.  I folded.

And, yes.  The only time to befriend a cockroach is when every other living creature on the entire planet has died.

And, yes. The only time to befriend a cockroach is when every other living creature on the entire planet has died.

Here are a few factoids about this resilient little creature that even a brick dropped from a substantial height cannot kill.

1)  I am eternally grateful that my first apartment was not located in Queensland, Australia–nothing against the lovely Australian people.  I simply do not think I could handle their “giant burrowing cockroaches.”  Yes, these monsters–and expert shadow casters–can weigh up to 1.2 ounces.  Holy crap.  16 of those buggers weigh more than a pound.  Ack.

It appears to take TWO HANDS to carry a giant burrowing cockroach.  EW.

If it takes two hands to hold a bug, I sure as hell am not going to be picking it up.  Drop it and run, moron.

2) Cockroaches love to be snuggled.  Yes, these hideous, unhuggable creatures love to be touched and seek out surfaces such as walls, crevices, and household items to give them that warm and fuzzy feeling.  Whacking them with a shoe simply equates to a helping of tough love–a rough thwack of the contact that they desperately crave.

Excuse me,  You've got a bug on your chest.

Excuse me, You’ve got a bug on your chest.

3)  Decapitation is a minor setback.  Yes, cockroaches can survive a couple of weeks without their heads.  I guess it helps to be able to breathe through gaps in your body segments, to have an efficient wound-clotting system, and to be able to go for weeks without food.  Hm.  If I could breathe out my ass, I’m not sure I’d want to.  Talk about bad breath.  Furthermore, cockroaches are butt ugly, but a headless cockroach would be even worse.  Note to self: Giant, headless cockroach–possible lead character in next novel?  Great opportunity to examine self-loathing and hot topic of bullying.

Damn.  Who turned the lights out?

Damn. Who turned the lights out?

4)  Eat them in moderation.  Apparently, some people will eat anything.  But who in the hell can look at a plate of Hissing Madagascar Cockroaches and say, “Mm. Can’t wait to get me some of those.”  Six Flags has been hosting a seasonal Cockroach Eating Contest for years, but an incident in Florida has put these events on hold.  A pet store decided to hold one of their own.  The prize?  A python.  Yup, eat a plate of bugs and go home with a snake.  Well, in October of 2012, a 32-year-old man died from cockroach consumption during the contest.  He literally died of a bug.  Sorry.  I realize that this is a serious moment and I should not be making puns.

cockroach suicide

cockroach nose

cockroach exterminator

cockroach motel


Check out my latest musings at Searching for Barry Weiss…

If you’d like to read more about cockroaches, check out:

Cockroaches: More Than Just Pests

Finally, the cockroach gets some respect

Why do cockroaches exist at all?

Roaches with jet packs

Photo credits  Raid cockroaches (, Cosby Cockroach (, Wall.E cockroach (,  Giant burrowing roach (, roach tee (, headless (, cockroach suicide, cockroach in nose (, exterminator (, cockroach motel (      

It’s Canada Day, eh? Part II

We Canadians know what the rest of the world thinks of us–mostly thanks to the way we are depicted in American television shows.  According to these depictions, we use monopoly money, drink a lot of beer, apologize constantly, and end every sentence with “eh.”  We’re not offended by these portrayals.  In fact, we are renowned for our great sense of humours–and spelling “humour” with a “u”, by the way.  Only in Canada, would you find currency named Loonies and Toonies.  One of our biggest exports to our southern neighbour is  comedians.  And there is an art to using “eh” correctly–and only we “Canucks” seem to have this gift. But today our gigantic nation–second in size only to Russia–with the teeny tiny population of roughly 34 million people is celebrating its 146th birthday.  Yes, we are a young nation devoid of ancient man-made wonders, but filled with many wonders created with God’s hands.  The Rockies, Niagara Falls, the Cabot Trail, the icy Arctic, and the golden prairies.

Canada's equivalent to "huh."

Canada’s equivalent to “huh.”

We love "u"'s.  We add them to everything.

We love “u”‘s. We add them to everything.

Tuques, Beer, and Bob & Doug

Tuques, Beer, and Bob & Doug

Timmy's.  Every town has at least one.

Timmy’s. Every town has at least one.

Mm.  Fries, Gravy, and cheese curds=poutine.

Mm. Fries, Gravy, and cheese curds=poutine.

Beaver Tails.  Footnote: These have never been attached to a beaver.

Beaver Tails. Footnote: These have never been attached to a beaver.

Yes, we Canadians are known for some pretty strange things.  But, then again, our nickels bear the likeness of a rodent–the beloved Canadian beaver.  Our flag boasts a big red leaf.  And we have adopted a bilingual version of our national anthem, which means that most of us haven’t got a clue what we are singing anymore.  Like I said, we don’t take many things seriously.  Except our hockey.

And we, Canadians, can be found everywhere–in your movies, on your TV sets, and in your iPods.  ryan-gosling-300James cameronchristopher plummersandra ohmichael bubleleslien.jpgmary pickfordPhil hartmandave thomasfay wraylorne michaelsjason priestleyeric maccormacknia vardalosrachelle lafevrebrendan-fraser-20070503-249440_largealex trebekellen pagetommy chong
Keanu Reeves, Howie Mandel, Pamela Anderson, Dan Aykroyd, Ryan Reynolds, Rachel McAdams, Jim Carrey, Avril Lavigne, Neve Campbell, John Candy, Justin Bieber, Nelly Furtado, Seth Rogen, Willima Shatner, Shania Twain, Alan Thicke, Donald Sutherland, Alanis Morissette, Eugene Levy, Martin Short, Jill Hennessy, Phil Hartman, Paul Anka, Kim Cattrall, Nathan Fillion, Michael J. Fox, Ryan Gosling, Monty Hall, Sarah Chalke, Kiefer Sutherland, Peter Jennings, Celine Dion, Bryan Adams, Sarah McLachlan, Ryan Gosling, James Cameron, Christopher Plummer, Sandra Oh, Michael Buble, Leslie Nielsen, Mary Pickford, Phil Hartman, Dave Thomas, Fay Wray, Lorne Michaels, Jason Priestley, Eric McCormack, Nia Vardalos, Rachelle Lefevre, Brendan Fraser, Alex Trebek, Ellen Page, Tommy Chong, Catherine O’Hara.
Happy Canada Day to all my fellow Canadians!  Raise a cold brew and wish the best country in the world a Happy 146th! 

Photo Credits:  eh (, “U (, Bob & Doug (, Tim Hortons (, Poutine (, beaver tails (