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Friday, May 27, 2016

The "Hazards of an Island Vacation" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Laying in bed, next to my wife, with her head resting on my shoulder.  Our day had been a fun time on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Orient Beach, on the island of St. Martin.  The sun and sand had taken a toll on our bodies that had seen a long day on the beach and it didn't take long before we fell asleep.  But .... shortly I was awakened by something I felt on my arm.  Then it hit me .... it was a roach!  A very big roach!!  When I moved, Carol awoke just as I was wiping the thing from my arm onto the floor.  She quickly turned the light on next to her and I jumped out of bed to look for it.  The bed was large and heavy, but the adrenalin flowing through me at the time was enough to move the bed to check under it.  Sure enough, it had found it's way to the corner of the room where I managed to squish it and flush it down the toilet.  Now, I should tell you that about an hour before, we were watching TV and all of a sudden I felt something climbing up my leg.  Yep, another big one.  That one went flying across the room when I hit it with my hand.  I tramped on it and flushed it down the toilet.  Wasn't more than 10 minutes later that another one went running across the floor of our rental villa in front of us.  Same disposal method for that one.  Well, it was tough to get back to sleep after our ordeal, but we eventually did.  We have been traveling to the Caribbean for over 15 years now, and have found that at times you will find critters that you may not be endeared to on land that is close to water.  Actually, when we traveled to locations along the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland we found roaches to be a part of the culture along the bay.  One year one of our friends and traveling companions, Sandy, had a roach fall from the ceiling onto her head while in bed.  She wore a hairnet to bed after that.  On another trip to St. Martin a few years ago Carol had a roach exit the drain as she was taking a shower.  Well, when I went for our breakfast croissants this morning I wandered to the pest control section of the store to search for something to help eradicate the buggers.  Had read that an exterminator is the best bet, but knew I wasn't going to find one in the store, so I chose the second best method of eradicating roaches, an adhesive-based trap.  Now, I did have a few problems since we are on an island that is French and I never did that well in French class when I had it in high school in the early 1960s.  When I found a box with a big bug on it I knew I probably had the right package.  
Did my best to ask the female clerk at check-out if this was what I wanted for roaches.  She shook her head and kept saying, "Oui, oui," so I figured I'd give it a try.  The box had 5 cardboard traps inside with directions in French on how to assemble them.  Since I taught "shop" in high school, I managed to have them ready to place around the villa in no time at all.  As I sit here, typing this story, I am hoping I will be able to sleep tonight, knowing that they will be drawn to the awful-smelling stuff I placed on top of a sheet of paper that had some of the stickiest paper I have ever seen.  The idea is they will be drawn to the bait and get stuck on the sticky paper.  I just hope that when I get up tomorrow that I can find the traps, for I'm telling you, these roaches are that large that they can probably walk away with the trap sticking to them.  Here's hoping my experiment works for now, since the rental agency promised they would come and spray in a day or two.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

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