Thursday, May 12, 2005

Deep Hatred.

I hate cockroaches! I can't emphasize that enough. And I'm not talking about those tiny little creepy-crawlies that they (meaning you yankees) just call 'cockroaches' elsewhere. I'm talking about those 3 inch long, dive bombing, impervious to even microwaves, will survive a nuclear holocaust, nasty, scurrying, hairy-legged, attack insects. I'm more scared of cockroaches than I am of bees and wasps which can actually kill me as I'm incredibly allergic.

When I was in Florida, they referred to these godless creatures as "Palmetto Bugs". Hah. The word "Bugs" makes one think of sweet little garden pests, like gentle lady bugs (although I just saw a report from England where those insects actually bite) or inch worms, or even butterflies.

Nothing at all like those huge, brown, winged creatures, just this side of bats with extra legs. For grasping onto you, of course. The thought of having one of them touch me gives me chills. And not the good kind. And even worse, is the sound of their legs scritching againsts a paper bag. Akin to fingernails on a chalkboard.

And I, it seems, must exude some type of pheromone that attracts them. I've been chased around and around a car by a cockroach. I've watched a cockroach crawl from a sewer grate down the block and bee-line directly to my feet. (Yes - I am ALWAYS on the lookout for the bugs especially in warm weather.) It never fails that the flying ones aim straight for my head.

When I come home at night and walk up to the front porch, I'm always doing the cockroach dance where I stomp my feet and move quickly in order to scatter the occasional roach that is lying in wait. I know that they know I'm coming.

Oh, and YES, I scream. I S C R E A M! My family has come to know the 'roach scream' and they now take their grand old time coming to my rescue. As if it's a humongous burden. When the old cats were young, they would love to pounce on the bugs. My current cat and dog like to play with the bugs but aren't in a hurry to help me out. You can't make a cat do anything that it doesn't want to do in its own time.

In warm weather we spray, frequently, all the nooks and crannies and around the doors where the roaches might enter the house. However, since our house is very very old - over 150 years - and is on a slight tant due to the shifting water table (New Orleans is BELOW sea level), sometimes the cracks and spaces are quite large.

Late last night, I noticed a roach near the front door. I didn't scream. much. I grabbed the insecticide and sprayed around the hall and front and bedroom doors until a thick cloud formed. I then hoped that between the good Lord and the cat, I would be spared the horror of awakening with a roach on or near me (It has happened before. More than once. I'm telling you, they know how scared I am.)

This morning I didn't see any carcasses in the hall which is sometimes the case after such a spraying. However, as I was getting dressed, I happened to glance up - for what reason I do not know - at the light fixture attached to our 12 foot ceilings. And there, THERE, hanging by ONE FOOT - was a HUGE cockroach at least 3 and 1/2 inches long. And the rest of it was wiggling. Directly over my bed. As if it got stuck in the middle of its kamikaze plan to drop down and crawl over me and touch me.

It was like a scene from Joe's Apartment: the Lamp. But worse, because it was happening to me.


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