There’s pretty good pest control in the building where I live in Covington. I seldom ever see a bug, but I did the other day — a bug hanging out in my kitchen.
I don’t know what kind of bug it was. It sort of looked like a roach, but it wasn’t one, pretty sure of that. It was the correct size, but my experiences with roaches — from all those years of living in Clifton — is that they move pretty fast once they get spotted. This bug was moving very slowly. Perhaps a lazy roach? No, kind of doubt it. Its shell was a little too thin and body a little too skinny.
It wasn’t a bedbug, either. It was too big to be one of those damn things — thank god. I know they’re all over the Tristate area and I’m more than a little paranoid about them. I’ve got a mattress cover for my bed that will keep them out of my mattress just in case they ever decide to pay me a visit. You all should do the same thing.
The bug in my kitchen was on the wall climbing up. He (or she) was next to my kitchen trash can. She (or he) didn’t seem interested in that. It appeared the bug was climbing with no real purpose in life.
I forgot about the bug for a little bit — maybe 20 minutes or so. When I went back into my kitchen to get a can of Diet Coke out of my refrigerator, it (I’m going to call the bug “it” if that’s OK with you) was off the wall, no longer climbing up. Now it was crawling on my kitchen floor. Still moving slowly, it appeared to be heading toward my hallway. I left it alone.
I don’t often give much thought to bugs, but here was one that had clearly survived the winter months. I mean, it looked to be a full-grown bug — I guess an inside bug as opposed to an outside bug? I don’t think I know the difference. Perhaps inside bugs don’t give a damn about the weather outside. I suppose they don’t have to go out in the elements like we humans do. They don’t ever need to make a “Walgreens run.”
I drank about half of my Diet Coke, and then decided I wanted a few potato chips to go along with it. Returning to my kitchen to grab the bag of chips, I noticed the bug was now approaching the door to my apartment. There was enough space under the door for it to leave. I was glad it wasn’t overstaying its welcome. Let it “bug” one of my neighbors for awhile.
I ate my chips and drained my Diet Coke can. I finished up a novel I was reading, played around with my mandolin for half or hour or so, then started to feel a little hungry again. It was time for dinner anyway. I went into my kitchen to figure out what I was going to eat.
To my surprise, there was the bug back inside my kitchen. It had decided to not leave my apartment after all or had reentered it. It was heading back to where I first saw it, going to that wall again.
I thought to myself this bug wasn’t very smart. Why retrace its steps to nowhere? Then I started to wonder if insects have a brain. Of course they would have do — right? It probably couldn’t be much of one.
I went to my computer to do a Google search on the brains of a bug. I typed in the question, “Do insects have brains?” Here’s the first thing that popped up.
“Yes, even tiny insects have brains, though the insect brain doesn’t play as important a role as human brains do. In fact, an insect can live for several days without a head, assuming it doesn’t lose a lethal amount of hemolymph upon decapitation.”
Well I’ll be darn. You learn something new every day. I didn’t know that a bug could live for days after being decapitated. Maybe that’s why the bug inside my apartment couldn’t find his or her way out of it. Maybe it didn’t have a head. Maybe I needed to inspect the insect closer to see if it had one.
Did I? What the hell do you think? Hell no.
I went back into the kitchen, saw the bug still on the floor but still heading to that kitchen wall. I stomped on it hard. After making sure it was dead, I went to the bathroom and grabbed a hunk of toilet paper, picked the bug up off the kitchen floor and threw it and the toilet paper into the toilet, flushing twice.
Stupid bug, and please don’t be sending me any hate mail about killing the damn thing.
CONTACT LARRY GROSS: [email protected]