Thursday, April 8, 2010

Writing Workshop: Bugs from Hell.

I hate bugs. All bugs. Mosquitoes, bees, wasps, spiders, ants…they are all, in my humble opinion, of the devil. But as much as I hate these beasties, for the most part I’m willing to subscribe to a live and let live policy.

Unless, that is, said insect is one of these:


That’s a cockroach. Also known as Amber’s kryptonite.

Upon seeing one, I scream loudly and begin gibbering incoherently as I run away as fast as my chubby little legs can carry me, looking for something, anything (preferably a man-shaped being like my husband) to kill the damn thing.

Fortunately, growing up in Michigan I didn’t encounter the little buggers very often. Once, a cockroach came home from the grocery store with me (I never shopped at that store again, incidentally), but for the most part, my life was cockroach-free.

Which left them free to become the flesh-eating monsters of my imagination, prone to swarming over the sleeping bodies of unsuspecting humans and eating them alive.

So you can imagine my horror when, a few weeks after moving into my first home in Southern Indiana, a six-inch long Beast From Hell jumped out at me from an upper cupboard.

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t six inches long. But it was big. Really big. And it had been nesting in my cereal bowls.

Worse yet, when I came back to kill it (we’ve already discussed my tendency to run screaming at the sight of them), it was gone.

That realization set off a frantic cleaning frenzy where every dish, pot, pan and piece of silverware got itself dunked in bleach and boiling water. After all, cockroaches carry all sorts of nasty bacteria—bacteria which can give you assorted diseases and render you sterile (okay, not really. But still).

I hoped that was the end of the cockroach infestation. But it wasn’t.

Over the next few months, every time I let my guard down, the little beasties would return. Sometimes I’d see another big one crawling out of some dark corner in my kitchen. More often, I’d find some of their smaller cousins hanging out by the front door.

Each sighting resulted in a total meltdown.

I’d go through the house with a fine-tooth comb (sobbing incoherently), sure that if I got rid of every speck of dirt, they’d leave us alone. I’d make frantic calls to my landlord, begging him to come bomb the house again. I’d even wake myself up in the middle of the night, grab a can of Raid and creep out to the kitchen, throwing the light switch on as I held it in front of me like a weapon, fully expecting to see a swarm of the little critters dancing on the tile floor (I never did).

When one morning I saw one staring back at me from the sink drain when I bent over to wash my face, it was over.

Although I loved that house, adored my neighbors and thoroughly enjoyed the gorgeous park that was within walking distance, I couldn’t stay there. Within two weeks, my husband and I had put a deposit down on a brand new home—one we built from the ground up.

It was the only way I could be certain that there weren’t any cockroaches already in residence.

It’s been almost three years now and my home is still Hell Beastie free. But I still stand guard, can of Raid at the ready, waiting to kill the first one that dares show its ugly face.


Cockroaches aren't welcome here.



So that's my irrational fear. Now tell me one of yours. Or better yet, head over to Mama Kat's and see what the other workshoppers have to say for themselves.

19 comments:

  1. oh i've got a slew of irrational fears but guess what? your cockroach fear is ALSO one of mine!! (and I'm OK with all other bugs)

    I've been lucky enough to live all over the country in bug-free homes. BUT, when we moved to North Carolina a few years ago and I went to the bathroom late one night, flipped the light switch and a cockroach was there and then flew off (yes some fly I guess??) I was like, OH NO. I promptly called Orkin the next day and we have had service ever since.

    Glad you are now livin' in a bug free home. It is so much better for the soul isn't it?

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  2. Waaah! I'm not afraid of bugs. I stay really calm and let bees and wasps and bumble bees fly out of our house as A. is hiding himself in the bathroom (h's terrified of flying bug). I'm not too fond of spiders, but I can tolerate them as long as they are small. Big spiders in the house have to die, I kill them shivering, but I kill them. I thought being okay with bugs. And then I travelled to Costa Rica. And saw my first (HUGE) cockroach. I screamed my lungs out and almost suffocated myself in the attempt to kill it with Baygon. It wouldn't die AT ALL! Luckily it slowed down enough to get killed by my very heroic A. <3)

    Anyway. I can totally relate to what you're describing. Thanks for commenting on my blog!

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  3. I got the creeps just thinking about those bugs! double yuck!

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  4. Cockroaches are a rational fear... there is nothing irrational about the experience you described. What a nightmare!

    Incidentally, my husband has declared repeatedly that we are moving if we ever find a snake in the house.

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  5. Ugh! I hate cockroaches. In our first apartment we found not just the little buggers but the females laid eggs in my cupboards so one morning when I opened the door there were THOUSANDS scurrying around the kitchen. I mean THOUSANDS!

    We left for a couple days and the landlord had to bring in the big guns and take everything out of the kitchen and spray.

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  6. ick ick ick. I don't blame you. Bugs happen, it's inevitable. But roaches? When I see them, I always am reminded of that show, "Hoarders".

    Ick.

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  7. Hahahaha!! I hate cockroaches too but your fear of them is funnier than mine. I'm a redneck at heart, if it wasn't so dangerous and stupid I'd shoot the bastards with my shotgun just because I like to believe they'd somehow suffer more that way. Hilarious post.

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  8. I hear you! Basically, anything that crawls is my nemesis (spiders in particular... oops, sorry, fainted just from saying the word), but I have a vivid memory of lying on the floor in my first apartment in New York City and seeing a giant cockroach crawling towards me right at my eye-level. Still have nightmares about it...

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  9. Cockroaches are so icky. Some people call them water bugs to lessen the ick factor.

    I grew up in Northern California, cockroach free. Upon moving to North Carolina with my husband who is in the Navy...we entered C.R. Hell. The place was infested. We did everything. One night, I woke up and flung one OFF MY EAR. I can barely keep the bile from coming up just typing this. I wanted to die. Fortunately, we moved and I never saw another one. *shudder*

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  10. I saw your comment on another blog...and after I read "homeless heart" I had to come visit you.

    Mine is the same as yours...cockroaches.

    Yikes!

    I think I wrote a series of about 5 blogs about them a while back.

    In our neighborhood it was a manhole thing...the city came out...sprayed the manholes...and voila...not a cockroach siting since.

    And I can hardly even write that word without feeling something on my leg so I'm gonna jet.

    Neat blog!

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  11. PS Did you know they can fly????

    ACCCKKK!!!!!!

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  12. I so totally understand. With me it's snakes, and as much as I love my house I just don't think I'd be able to sleep at night if I ever found a snake inside the house. I've found a couple in the backyard over the years, and then refused to go in that part of the yard until after the first hard freeze. Snake in the house? Yep, it'd be on the market the next day.

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  13. icky!! luckily here in NS I don't think I've ever actually seen one (thank GOD!). I don't particularly hate bugs, I'm just scared of them (well except flies and ants). Like insanely scared of them. Even cute little ladybugs frighten me when they are flying around - and moths (how threatening are they?) realyl freak me out. The worst of them all for me is the dreaded June bug. As soon as May comes to an end those damn bugs are out and I can hear them smacking into the windows and my skin just crawls. I avoid going outside at night just to avoid them. If one were to get into my house, well my reaction would likely be a winning video for America's Funniest Home videos. Yuck. Now it occurs to me that June is approaching and I shudder at the thought of those bugs returning.

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  14. Oh - and this is totally unrelated but one of my old co-workers has her mother living with her and one day her mom was changing her bed and found a DEAD MOUSE under her PILLOW!!!! And she thinks it was there while she was in bed! I would seriously die. Really, call 9-1-1 becuase I would be in heart failure. As for the bed and sheets - they'd be gone, I'm not sleeping on some mouse corpse! I don't think I'd ever sleep again.

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  15. As soon as I saw that picture my feet lifted themselves up off the ground. GROSS! I've never met one of these HellSpawns in person and I'm perfectly fine with that. As for my fear, mice. Shudder.

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  16. I'm sorry to say that if this week's prompt was to write about an irrational fear, you have failed. Fearing cockroaches is TOTALLY rational! I think it's the most rational fear of all!

    Born and raised in Arizona, I've had my share of cockroach run-ins. And every one of them brought me to tears. Why are those suckers so dang scary??? They can't even bite, but I'd take a black widow over a cockroach any day. (We also have black widows here - in fact there's a dead one on my back patio right now...)

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  17. Hi there - I am English and over there we don't see many roaches and those that exist are tiny little things. So when we moved to the US six years ago I had never seen one. Until about a week after we moved into a rental home and one came running towards me in the bedroom. I was terrified!! They run so fast and are just horrible! Several weeks later and four more roach sightings later the bug man had dealt with them.

    Now we have our own home and have the pest people here on a regular basis to make sure I never encounter another one!

    Stopping by after visiting the Empress and noting you were on her award list. Love your site and am your newest fan and follower.

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  18. I don't think you are being irrational at all. Cockroaches are not welcome in my house either! They are UGLY, SCARY and CRUNCH when you step on them! They really creep me out. Good thing you moved!

    Visiting from Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop. I used this prompt too.

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  19. I cannot stand cockroaches. They give me such a complex. We had them in our old apartment, they would come up from the basement and always send me into a cleaning, screaming, frenzy! They are EVIL!

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