Living in the Deep South was like living in a terrarium. Everything seemed oversized, from the six-inch long grasshoppers to the bullfrogs the size of my hand.
Unless you cut down the trees, bushes and vines, then paved over your land with concrete, you were on a first-name basis with nature.
Even the bugs were huge. The cockroach refused to be shown up by the famous mosquitoes "the size of Volkswagens."
Not only were the cockroaches big, they could fly. American cockroach is the common name, although they have another, friendlier name spoken by those who can't bring themselves to say the word "roach." Palmetto bugs. Brings a picture of beach, sun and palm trees to your mind.
The bug man never worried about unemployment , every house needed him on a monthly basis. Diana's mom Bertha had the bug man spray their kitchen. For two days, you could not even sit at the table, the acrid, chemical smell was so strong.
Neither could the cockroaches, they just moved to other parts of the old house. Diana and I would play throw the shoe ... the winner was whoever's shoe came the closest to knocking the big, brown guy off the wall.
I hated that smell and tried to leave our house while the bug man sprayed each room's baseboards. Thinking back now, I always seemed to be sick when Dad made his monthly phone call to Biloxi.
Having them dead was almost worse then having them alive, for they chose the most inconvenient places to croak. I'd pull out a frying pan to cook a nice Southern breakfast of eggs, bacon and grits, and there he was, belly up and definitely dead.
The chemical companies have had to change their formulas, the insects adapted to the poisons. It's a waste of money, especially in the south, where everything grows regardless of what Man does in his fight again nature.
La Cucaracha is winning.