Don’t Bug Me!

bug-running in-circlesEver come across a bug in your home, not an electronic device; but one which usually has a chitinous exoskeleton, three sets of legs and body parts, with two antennae?

Then there are centipedes, spiders and millipedes, something that isn’t desirable to find in your humble abode by any means.

My family lived over a grocery market when I was a child.

Our apartment was infested with cockroaches, bred downstairs from all the foodstuff, produce and such. My folks tried everything for getting rid of them to no avail, short of moving out, which we did eventually.

It took a swan dive by one from a shelf above the kitchen table, onto the yolk of my mother’s fried egg, to finally initiate the process of our vacating the premises.

My older brother and I captured the bugs, and we used the insects to hold races in a wooden assembly made out of plywood and 1″x2″ strips, wood-glued together to make an enclosed rectangle with a center divider that formed two straight runways inside.

Staging areas at one end had removable gates to launch the contestants on their way. Plexiglass covered everything to keep the roaches from climbing out.

At the finish line, we’d place grated cheese or breadcrumbs for attracting the arthropods to the other side. Strange how kids can make due with wretched conditions and have fun in the meantime, not to mention how warped some can be.

I tried to use the makeshift racetrack for a project at my school’s science fair, but the teacher didn’t permit it.

After we moved to a house in Hackensack, N.J., my parents had a hell of a time keeping the roach population from exploding into another infestation. Even though Mum and Dad had gone through great lengths to make sure everything was pest-free when packing up our stuff, it was unavoidable that either a few bugs or some eggs slipped through and were transported to our new digs.

After absorbing multitudes of insecticides and bug bombardments, our new home became devoid of the nasty nits. Luckily us kids didn’t mutate into monsters as a result, or did we?

Once in a while, I discover a water bug in the bathroom of my flat here by the Delaware River. Sorry, but I have no qualms about stomping on it. What’s interesting to me, however, is the way insects run around in circles at full speed when realizing danger.

I assume it’s instinctive behavior in many of the species, perhaps used to confuse predators and give the bugs time to figure out a route for escape. From my expecting that, very few avoid the wrath of a size 10-½ foot, or rolled-up reading material left on the commode’s water-tank lid.

That leads me to the next subject of this diatribe. The other night I had a strange dream of working as an exterminator in the White House for Donald Trump. My tenure there didn’t last long, as is common practice for many of whom have been under his employ.

After detecting a blond muskrat had found its way into the chief executive’s boudoir, bagging and setting it free outside on the North Lawn, I was fired for dereliction of my duties due to disposing the official first hairpiece.

You should have seen the prez, running around in circles when he discovered it was missing and couldn’t find the rug before he was due to appear at a press conference.


Faked image by Mike Slickster

I think he looks better that way, sort of kinder and gentler, don’t you?

The gardener had given the toupee back to his boss, saying he saw me dropping it out of a canvass bag in the front yard and walking away, resulting in my immediate termination.

I woke up laughing, and had one of the most sound sleeps in ages. Methinks it had to do mostly with the heat wave’s breaking and the cooler temperatures, allowing me to nod out with all the windows open, even requiring my use of a blanket.

The following is my latest Cover Your Ears, a tune written by Ray Davies of the Kinks, reminiscing about his growing up in the East End of London, England, and his sister who loved to go out dancing.


So much for another weekly tirade, thanks for stopping in and for your continued support.

About Mike Slickster

As an early retiree with an honorary doctorate degree from the proverbial "School of Hard Knocks," this upcoming author with a lot of free time on his hands utilizes his expansive repertoire for humorous yet tragic, wildly creative writing that contains years of imaginative fantasy, pure nonsense, classic slapstick, extreme happiness and searing heartbreak; gathered by a wealth of personal experiences throughout his thrilling—sometimes mundane or unusually horrid—free-spirited, rock-'n'-roller-coaster ride around our beloved Planet Earth. Mike Slickster's illustrious quest continues, living now in Act Three of his present incarnation, quite a bit on the cutting edge of profundity and philosophical merriment as seen through his colorful characters, most notably evident in the amusing Thirty Days Across the Big Pond series, all of which can be found at
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