Picture of roach
La Cucaracha!

      Residing vertically, as one does in a high rise condo, precludes door-to-door salesmen, Girl Scouts with their cookies, and bugs. Thus, when settling into our horizontal house among oak and orange trees, I was forced to deal immediately with a squadron of the latter. That our hacienda is "bugged," refers to its service as a hostel to all sorts of Floridian entomological entities. Creatures small and many-legged casually go about their business unruffled by la casa's new two-legged tenants.
      Building houses close to the ground in this humid habitat is an open invitation to a new kind of time-sharing. Live in one of these abodes and you end up sharing time with an amazing variety of southern specimens. Naturally, the winner of the most disgusting casa-crawler is the robust and resistant cockroach. I open a kitchen cabinet and they're in there--waving their antennae--as they obscenely hug the bottle of extra-virgin olive oil. I slam the door shut with a shudder.
      The burly bug-man, upon entering the kitchen, asked me with some urgency if it was the "South American Cockroach?"--I was tempted to think a moment and swear they had been speaking Italian, but I didn't because I suddenly was intrigued by the reason for the question. Would they be bringing in a translator? I answered finally by going into a description of the size and color of the cabinet creatures, a muted chestnut red as opposed to " black and shiny," as had been the critters encountered so many years ago in Kansas. Out there they had been called "water bugs." I can still remember stepping on them in bare feet in the middle of the night. They tended to be on the crispy side going "crunch" underfoot. The bigger specimen of the Sunshine state is softer and succulent so that when I go after one with a fly-swatter, I have, on occasion, received a shower of splat similar to the more refreshing spray from a grapefruit as one attempts to pry the segments loose. "Gross" would adequately describe this encounter.
      You will understand me when I say that the cockroach or "cucaracha" (the South American representatives have not been ruled out), is our domicile's number one target population for down-sizing. Frankly, I can live with the rest of cootie community if I have to (and I guess I have to), as it seems to go with the territory here. Beyond systematic and regular fumigation practices, God should give me the courage to accept what I cannot change.


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