The light side of roaches
(Charles is on vacation. Here's a "Honolulu Lite Classic" from Aug. 19, 1995.)
There are two seasons in Hawaii: Roach Season and the other four days of the year. This season's crop of young talent features the biggest, baddest, fastest bugs ever to grace the inside of a tennis shoe.
Newcomers might wonder what you can do to keep these bad boys out of your house. The answer is: Nothing. You could surround your house with a 3-foot wall of Malathion crystals. They will come. You could build a moat, fill it with gasoline and light it. They will come. No barrier can keep them out. A determined roach can make itself paper thin in order to slip through the narrowest space. Then it will puff itself up like a disgusting disease-infested peacock and frighten small dogs away from their supper dish.
While roaches are vile, they can cause a chuckle.
The other night, I raised my garage door, turned on the light and there was a cockroach the size of a skateboard. I grabbed the first spray can I could reach, which happened to be WD-40. I shellacked the roach faster than Earl Scheib can paint a Toyota. It didn't kill him straight away, but man, you should have seen that roach scoot. His legs were moving so fast, smoke was coming from the joints. He smashed head-on into the working end of a metal rake and flipped over, dazed.
Just before he expired, he seemed to be looking at his legs, which continued to whirl. I'm no authority on roach facial expressions, but I swear this guy passed away in an extreme state of awe. Next time you see a roach, try a spritz of WD-40 and watch him do the quarter-mile in four seconds.
My second roach-related chuckle came after I scattered some of those "Roach Motel" traps outside the house. I generally don't like these traps because they only strengthen the roach gene pool, capturing only roaches stupid enough to go into cardboard houses with sticky stuff on the floor.
Instead of using the bait that came with the traps, I tried different substances. A bottle cap of white wine seemed to work best. I used a chardonnay, but a Riesling would probably work as well. They are roaches. Don't overthink it.
I forgot about the traps until my dog Boomer decided to check one out. It had about 10 roaches stuck inside. Naturally, Boomer got the trap stuck to his nose. It was quite a sight, Boomer running around like a deranged dingo with a cardboard house full of roaches stuck to his snout.
The downside is that getting a roach-infested trap off your dog's nose is incredibly gross and unpleasant. Just ask my wife.
Charles Memminger, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists' 2004 First Place Award winner for humor writing, appears Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org