They Should Not Be Allowed to Exist

Ladybug.jpgNo, not ladybugs. Last night one of those huge, monster flying cockroaches was loose in my apartment, freaking dive-bombing me. I can take most bugs, even spiders, but these things just terrify me for some reason. I can’t be in the same room as one without literally screaming and crying. I couldn’t even bear to put a picture of one of them up here so I put up a picture of a ladybug instead, it’s that nuts. I ran to my neighbors, they weren’t home, logged onto Echo and explained my problem, hoping someone would volunteer to come over, but no one did.

I had no choice but to try to come up with a plan to kill it myself, and I will already tell you I was not successful so he’s going to pop up again, waving his evil “Yes, I am that evil and I see you” antennae at me.

I did come up with one idea that helped though, and that was the idea of opening an umbrella and using it as a shield. It just made me feel less panicked. My plan was to swat at him with this huge feather duster I have, which would hopefully mess up his flight, cause him to fall to the ground, then I’d smoosh him with my shoe.

So for a while I was walking around my apartment carrying an open umbrella, a big feather duster and a shoe. Yeah.

Anyway, this bug was always one step ahead of me, flying too high and too fast. Plus, I mostly cowered.

Finally I gave up and tried the neighbors again, and Beth was home this time and she sent over Malik, but the freaking bug was once again hiding. Thank you for trying, Malik! I appreciate it!! I was able to get to sleep, but he’s still in here somewhere, and you know he’s going to appear at the most inopportune time, like when I’m carrying a large mug of hot coffee. Over my keyboard. With a cat next to it.

It’s the flying part that gets me. I just cannot cope. It’s the most unfair of all unfair advantages.

The point is: they suck.

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

6 thoughts on “They Should Not Be Allowed to Exist

  1. I must be out of NYC too long – dont remember any flying cockroaches. But the umbrella incident reminded me of another cockroach story..At the time, I was living at home in the Bronx with my parents over 25 years ago. My French boyfriend was coming over to visit for a while, and I sought out one of these “rent by the month” studios in NYC, found in the village voice, so we could shack up.
    The appartment was owned by a southern dandy whose last occupant was a German cook. Needless to say, it was abound with cockroaches, maybe she was not the best putzfrau. I complained to my sister, who very nicely came in and launched the equivalent of an atom bomb against the critters in the appartment. . Anyway, shortly after the dustcloud, she needed to open an umbrella, they were coming out of the woodwork..
    How she managed to come out alive, I dont know. She was coughing up the fumes for days. The product probably no longer exists on the market.. Am forever grateful to her, have since moved to Paris where cockroaches are rare.

  2. My building’s been having an onslaught of those giant flying roaches lately, although mostly in the downstairs hallway near the back yard.

    I’ve taken to having a can of bug spray around at all times in case one makes its way into my apartment, but I don’t like to spray it with the cats around. I did that when I had one last year and when I went to get a handful of paper towels to flush its cockroach corpse down the toilet, the cats started batting its dead poisoned body around.

  3. I feel for you. When I was in school, I worked part-time in the snack bars of a major department store. One of the very bugs you describe was loose on one of the floors. It terrorized me for a day or two but then a friend of mine came in to set up one morning and IT GOT TANGLED IN HER HAIR (and she was wearing a uniform kerchief at the time). She never would work on that floor again.

    Here’s hoping that yours flies low. You could always go Woody Allen on it and use a tennis racket …

  4. After 10 years in the South I have come to terms with the bugs I encounter (and now actually capture and release the odd cockroach when I find one), but I feel your pain. Hair spray is your best friend in a situation like this (less toxic than Raid). Get something old school, like AquaNet Extra Hold. If you can hit him while he is flying, the hairspray will freeze his wings and he will fall to the floor, at which point your in-home pest experts (meow) should be able to handle it. Good luck!

  5. The city that never sleeps – and now we know why…! I never got over this old Night Gallery episode, so on no account should you watch it. I’m only posting the link so you know where it is and then you can make sure you never, ever go there to watch it:

  6. Mares, your sister! I’m glad she survived that. I’m sure that was seriously bad for her health!!

    Melinda, yeah, I’m afraid to use bug spray for the same reason. I think I’ll try Nadine’s hair spray suggestion.

    Nicole, if one of these things got tangled in my hair I am SURE I would not survive that. I would have a heart attack of fright.

    Greig, I saw that episode too, and also NEVER got over it. To this day I remember it and shudder!!!!! Thanks for finding it!

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