Posted by: facetothewind | May 23, 2011

Everything’s bigger in Texas. Even the roaches.

Tonight in Austin while Tommy was at the theater, I stayed at home serenely playing the piano and singing selections from the Carpenters greatest hits when all of a sudden something giant flew by me and landed with a smack on the piano. It was a freakishly large cockroach! I screamed and jumped back in horror abandoning Rainy Days and Mondays. You’d think I had never seen one before. In fact I grew up with roaches in Florida and shared close quarters with them in the jungles of Hawaii while I was building my house there. And still I have NEVER gotten used to them, nor have I become the slightest bit fond of them.

This one I’ll just call Karen (in honor of Karen Carpenter who thought she was too big and starved herself to death) is the largest one I have ever seen and the largest one I’ve seen since I left Hawaii 5 years ago.  So I’m a little rusty on how to deal with them, hence I threw the metronome at it, (Sorry Tom, I was desperate and in shock), and then it ducked to the underside of the piano. Suddenly I remembered my best weapon: the deadly flip flops under my very feet. I took one off and swatted it and then Karen flew right at my face. I freaked out and screamed. The nerve of her flying directly at her attacker! Marnie the dog was sitting on the sofa watching the drama unfold and she decided to scoot off to another room to avoid becoming collateral damage. I kept calling her to come and rescue me — as if she was going to eat the roach or something. Marnie is like an old black lady. She ain’t coming to rescue yo candy ass for nuthin.

Karen then hit the floor and I swatted her again with my flip flop. She landed on her back this time with her legs kicking and antennae waving like she was a Rockette or something. Ugh. She was very much alive, maybe now just invigorated for the bitter fight. I remember in Hawaii how you could step on a roach and it would just move under your foot and take off running with its guts trailing and come back at you to exact a little revenge. They’re practically indestructible creatures. For that I should respect them. But I don’t.

I got that toy car off Steve’s desk to lend scale for the photo. I needed Karen to flip over for her mugshot. I tapped her with the tip of my flip flop and she flipped right over and gave me a nice pose and prepared to run. She took off chasing me into the foyer. I swatted at her AGAIN and now she went under the coffee table with me chasing her, hyperventilating and shaking. Finally I ran to the kitchen and got a tumbler and threw it over to cage her…where she now sits by the piano. I’m hoping Tom will be less squeamish and deal with her when he gets home. More likely, we’ll wake up in the morning and the glass will be overturned and she’ll be gone.

If you haven’t read my book, treat yourself to some horrifying stories of my battles with bugs (and other Hawaiian stories). Click here to order my book Homosteading at the Nineteenth Parallel.

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