Monday, August 27, 2012

On August 26th, 2012, nature made use of even the ugly insects on the 68th day of summer. On the day of the cockroach, run toward summer fun faster than one of nature's fastest running insects. 24 days of summer are left.


If one could run as fast as a cockroach, one could run around 200 miles per hour. Amusing but true, nature makes primary use of the cockroach as food for birds and bats. As a disease vector, the cockroach has a role promoting the dark side of nature, disease and allergy agents. The most effective creature against the cockroach, the house centipede has a eye and a hungry mouth for the cockroach. However, centipedes are as frightening to people as the cockroaches the hundred legged creatures eat. Most homeowners will be calling the exterminator before the salesperson of insect vectors when cockroaches are spotted running out of sight when the light illuminates the kitchen at night.
Let's return back to the Garden Queen, who taught at the Tour De Fresh at McLaughlin Grows, an urban garden in Muskegon, Michigan. She had three diffferent kinds of cockroaches pinned to her styrofoam display board. Cockroaches carry diseases in their guts, which spill out onto food preparation surfaces when the roaches make their midnight tours. She made certain her audience could recognize them and understood the harm cockroaches spread. I have no idea if she emphasized the cockroaches because she was educating in an urban area.
Cockroaches are easy enough to catch. Pour an inch of beer into a tall glass and make a gang plank out of a stick. The roaches will walk up the stick and fall into the beer. Once in the beer, the cockroaches will fumble and drown.
I am a salary man, and I am afraid, and it is a metaphorical fear, that I will awake one morning as a cockroach. One doesn't have to turn into a real cockroach to fall victim to Gregor Samsa's fate, one of Franz Kafka's most famous characters. A man can change overnight in such a way that one can't leave the house for work or make himself understood. For example, a man could grow sick in a disabling way while one sleeps. Or the world of work can change in a way that a man becomes irrelevant to his employer, who might require a different employee with different skills. I can't imagine this will happen to me. I am under the care of a doctor for my high blood pressure and I'm exercising and losing weight. A stroke or a heart attack might be a more remote possibility for now, but not one that can be ruled out. At least, I have a fully paid up position in social security in case disability becomes necessary. Being on disability would be Kafkaesque for me.
I keep telling myself that since I work with my mind and not my hands, I will always have access to work that requires thoughtfulness and education. Until proven wrong, I'll keep working on my writing, my career and my skills. I am not ready to live life as a total cockroach, so to speak.
Photography Credit
The American Cockroach, Periplaneta americana

Photo by Gary Alpert, an Etymologist at Harvard University,_Gary.html

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