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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Check out my latest musings at Searching for Barry Weiss…http://searchingforbarryweiss.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/barry-weiss-and-a-bunch-of-boobs/
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?
Photo credits Raid cockroaches (http://www.bogleech.com/blather-pests.html), Cosby Cockroach (http://bardfilm.blogspot.ca/2008/12/cosby-show-raps-julius-caesar.html), Wall.E cockroach (http://mattphipps.squarespace.com/home/2012/4/19/a-brief-history-of-cockroaches.html), Giant burrowing roach (http://www.bugshop.com.au/pro4.html), roach tee (http://www.zazzle.com/madagascar_hissing_cockroach_t_shirt-235748507003678079), headless (http://espmblattodea.wordpress.com/2013/02/16/cockroaches-more-than-just-pests/), cockroach suicide http://misfit120.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/finally-the-cockroach-gets-some-respect-shades-of-rodney-dangerfield/, cockroach in nose (http://ecolocalizer.com/2011/09/01/lonnie-millsap-twisted-comic-genius-or-just-weird/), exterminator (http://laurencehunt.blogspot.ca/2011_04_01_archive.html), cockroach motel (http://www.zazzle.com/roach_infidelity_funny_gifts_tees_collectibles_card-137352208743158604).