Are y’all sick of me telling you how big shit is in Texas? I hope not because just when I think I’ve covered the “biggest” thing Texans have, some other unnaturally-sized creature or event comes along to prove me every bit the naive Californian.
Texans have big balls… and I don’t mean parties.
You may be thinking I found this out the traditional way. Unfortunately, no.
We had another really huge storm in the southcentral area of the Texas coast on Sunday/Monday night. Tornadoes were spotted right over the little town I’m camped in just northeast of Corpus Christi. I was terrified when the tornado warning to “take immediate shelter” was announced. I grabbed my cat and headed to the cinder-block building in the park. A family from Canada was also there taking shelter.
While waiting for the storm to subside, we peeked out the door. It was then I noticed all the other RVers – ones with Texas plates – were still home, in their RVs.
In a park with over two-hundred residents, we were the only ones taking shelter: the four Canadians, the Californian and her cat.
All I can say is storms and mosquitoes aren’t the only big things in Texas. Texans have big balls, too.
But today, I want to tell you about something else “Texas-sized”. My new roommate.
After the sleepless night during the biggest storm in which this naive Californian has ever been, I was ready for a great night’s sleep last night…. It’s 11:45 and I’ve been reading in bed for a couple hours. I’m beginning to doze off, my eyes start to droop and I manage to bookmark my page when out of the corner of my eye I see a LARGE, dark object moving very rapidly across the wall.
On the wall is the biggest roach I’ve ever seen. It’s at least two inches long NOT counting the antennae. NO LIE! It’s so big it actually makes sounds as it’s feet scurry along the wall, unlike other insects that are TOO SMALL TO MAKE SOUNDS WHEN THEY MOVE.
I scream, Checkers wakes up. When she sees we’re not alone, Checkers starts meowing to it like I’ve brought her a friend to play with. I begin to panic because A: the cat is obviously not going to be of any help, and B: I have no bug spray!
But this glamper does have hairspray (which she hasn’t used in years)! I run for the hairspray as Bugzilla is scurrying around the top of the walls. Armed with what I’m sure will stop him from flying and slow him long enough for me to shoe him to death, I spray the big roach.
BAMM! Direct hit! Yippee!
Uh ya, direct hit number one.
Number two. Number three.
Number four, and I give up. The son of a bitch is still flying all around my (now hairspray-covered) bedroom. Really fast. He runs faster than I do, too. He must work out.
I realize I need a new weapon. After my time boondocking in Slab City, I learned how to easily kill flies by snapping a dish towel at them.
My thought process: Fly = small dish towel, therefore Bugzilla = big bath towel.
Armed with my new weapon of choice, I successfully “snap” Bugzilla with the towel.
Why twice? Because much like the first few hits of hairspray, once wasn’t enough. And the towel snaps were just as ineffective as the hairspray. He just bounces off the wall and starts running.
And quickly darts under the pedestal bed.
Fuck. Now he’s under my bed!
I can’t get to him. It’s been 20 minutes since the fight began and now he’s under the bed, probably laughing.
I will not be going back to sleep with Bugzilla under the bed. So, after writing a letter, I start reading the book again. Every little tickle on my arm produces a scream. Checkers is excited and looking around for her new friend, meowing to every spec on the wall.
An hour goes by and it’s now 1:15 am. I’m still reading my book, but the dialogue in my head is going like this:
“It’s just a bug, you’re much bigger than it. The light is on and should keep it away. (Not that it did the first time.) You don’t need to go sleep on the couch, it’s not coming back after what you did to it. It’s ok, you can sleep in your bed, the bug won’t be back. What bugs ever come back?”
Bugzilla, that’s who.
While laying there having this “don’t panic” dialogue with myself, Bugzilla comes back.
This time I decide to start with the “death by sneaker” idea, an idea I’d previously discarded in favor of the others above mostly because Bugzilla is half the size of my sneaker.
I nervously whack at him a couple times with the sneaker, knowing I need to get him on the ground to get the best leverage – I’m going to need all of my body weight to smush him – something I can’t do if he’s on the wall.
I manage to knock him to the floor and get the sneaker on him. I lean on him with all my weight. About 20 seconds go by and he crawls right out from under my sneaker. And out from under my “death by shoe” plan. He scurries back under the bed.
He’s like a zombie – only beheading will kill him.
I pick up my pillow, and close the bedroom door behind me as I head to the couch for a few hours sleep.
Today, I relayed the story to my camp mates and the Texans (calmly) tell me these are called wood roaches. I bought roach bait, but he’s bigger than the damn traps. I also bought real roach spray that says it kills on contact.