Please, Lord, Don’t Let It Be..

I think many of you already know this, but I used to work at a zoo. I love animals and when I was a kid my dream job was to be one of those whale trainers at Sea World. Remember during the Shamu show when they would let a little kid come up and then he/she’d get a kiss from Shamu? I hated that kid. I hated that kid because I wanted so badly to be that kid. I had a visceral reaction watching that moment because I wanted to be close to that whale!

Anyway, my first year of college I declared marine biology as my major. As is common, I changed my major later to straight biology. I love all animals and learning about their different systems (including humans). I’m happy to report I can now watch a Shamu show without wanting to run on stage and shove the little kid out of the way at the last moment before Shamu pops up out of the water for the kiss. Ok, almost…

During college I worked at the zoo in the education department. I handled lots of animals all the time during my time there. I did demonstrations with an education/conservation focus. I talked with school groups, went to schools with animals, gave parties, and all those “night at the zoo” type things. The job required that I be able to handle all sorts of animals, not just the warm fuzzies. My favorites turned out to be the snakes (love ’em), a tenrec, and (brace yourselves) an opossum.

I say these things to demonstrate that I’m not faint of heart or afraid of most animals. One of the animals I had to handle during that time was a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach. (Think of that show from the 90’s or whenever called Fear Factor. They used them all the time.) These roaches are really quite harmless but they are really big. Ours at the zoo never hissed because they never felt threatened but they can hiss. Anyway, I have a major repulsion to roaches. Major. I want to like scream and/or cry when I see one. I got over it for the zoo and held them as part of my testing. After that, I just held the little log they like to sit on whenever I did my demonstrations. Yuck, they were gross.

So I’ve gone on and on just to say that I.Hate. Roaches.- A Lot. Living here in the South, you’re bound to see them now and again. It’s a fact of life. Roaches love the South. And we grow ’em big here. It wouldn’t be uncommon to see a 2-3 in. roach. Well, yesterday I was in the shower, just getting out actually, when Ava came in and said,

 “Mommy, there’s a really big bug in my room! It’s huge!”

To which I’m thinking, “Dear Lord Pleeeease don’t let it be. Ash isn’t home, God, you know that. Don’t let it be..”

You see, the only time I’ve ever seen any kind of roach in our house, it has been in Ava’s room. We had pine straw around our bushes and she has a really big window that sits low to the ground, so I think they come in there if it’s really hot or has been raining a lot, etc.  Mind you, I’ve only seen like two, but that would be two too many for my lifetime.

So I walk into her room and yes, there it is.

“Thanks a lot, there, God. I really needed this test in discipline today.”

I say this because I wanted to scream and run out of the room, but with small children around this may not be the best choice. It may totally freak them out if I do that, and besides this thing is so huge it could possibly eat Binh if I left the kids alone in there.

“Yep, I see it, Ava. You keep watching it while I get the spray, ” I told her, hoping she didn’t notice the crack in my voice. I did not want that thing going somewhere whithout my knowing about it.

I ran and got on my shoes, I had quickly dressed already so I ran into the garage to get the ant/roach spray. I went back in the room and he was still where he was originally spotted at the very top of her oh, 16 foot vaulted ceiling. There was no way I could spray it way up there. So, I took one of Binh’s mini footballs and started chunking it at the roach, ready for it to fall at any moment and then I would give it a good spray. Let’s just say I won’t be playing quarterback anytime too soon because I had to throw that football like 10 times before it got close enough to make it move. During each toss I would be thinking, “Please don’t let that thing fall on me. If it does, I’ll need therapy.” Instead of screaming (which I wanted to do) I guess I was kinda’ grunting, bracing myself for the worst when I threw the ball because Ava kept asking me, in her full blown “why” stage, ” Momma’ why you makin’ that noise?” Luckily, I wasn’t passing my phobia onto my kids because they were totally loving the whole event. Binh was laughing at the fact that I was throwing a football all over Ava’s room.

Well, it didn’t fall on me- It started flying! At this point I did let out a small, stifled scream. It quickly landed on the wall where I sprayed the life out of it. But then I had to get something to pick it up. I took it outside because even the thought of it in my trash gave me chicken skin. I didn’t want it to come back to life and crawl out of there or something. I know, over the top, but still.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. melinda
    Jul 02, 2009 @ 21:47:20

    Oh ew ew. I’m getting all creeped out just reading about it!! I have horror stories of roaches from when I was 5; never got over it. I hate to be in the same room with them; totally feel for you over here.


  2. sarah
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 00:57:37

    that is funny. I am (of course) terrified of them as well. When I lived with my mom (in Opp, AL) after college I was woken up in the middle of the night by one falling from the ceiling onto the bed beside me. I WOKE ME UP IT WAS SO HUGE! I was frozen with terror and screamed to wake my mom up to kill it for me.


  3. Elaine
    Jul 13, 2009 @ 01:45:28

    Okay, if it starting flying around me I would have totally screamed, grabbed the kids, and run out of there so fast. I am okay with most bugs, can totally squish spiders without needing manly husband help, but roaches? GROSS! Congratulations. You are the Bug Warrior!


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