Growing up in the Bahamas, cockroaches were a recurring theme. During a hurricane, you could find out exactly how many cockroaches were living in the grass because they would crawl up the outside walls of the house. The answer was hundreds. There are always hundreds of cockroaches, just outside. So, yes, we would run out of Baygon well before we got rid of them all.

For my friends from the north, like Ohio. Yes I take care of the Madagascar hissing cockroaches in Peabody Hall, but Bahamian cockroaches are different. They jump, they fly and they bite. Yes they bite. I have the scar. Ask me about it.

Me holding male and female hissing cockroaches
Me holding male and female hissing cockroaches

Everyone in the Bahamas has seen a cockroach and everyone has a cockroach story. I have a few. These are some of my favorite, just because they happened to me and my family or close friends.

The first cockroach story – The earliest cockroach story I can remember takes place in my mom’s house getting ready for school. I still do not understand why I would always Iron my pants in the morning before school, but that was the way we did it. I had ironed the pants and put them on. in the living room area where my family all seemed to be. In particular, I remember Nikki being next to me when the cockroach first touched my leg. I had no idea what it was but it had lots of scratchy legs crawling up the outside of my right thigh inside my pants leg. My right hand slammed down and grabbed the cockroach through the pants. I crushed and twisted. simultaneously I undid my pants left-handed and“>stepped out of them. the cockroach was just a wet spot and I put on a different pair of pants that day. Needless to say, Nikki was killing herself laughing.

But Nikki has her own featured cockroach story. Keep in mind this is before Bahamian seat belt laws, forget the baby in the back stuff. We were headed to church one Sunday morning about to turn from Prince Charles over Culbert’s hill in the Volvo (I probably have to write about that later). So between Meadow’s blvd and Culbert’s Hill, Nikki (from the passenger seat) tosses baby Kiamo to my mom, who is driving, and opens the car door to get out into the street while the car is still moving. Apparently a cockroach had attacked her. Why there and then? Who knows? I now believe that everything happens for a reason, so perhaps that 3-5 minute cockroach drama with Nikki jumping up and down, saved us from something else, or maybe it was just cause. I do however have a theory, that Cockroaches in Cars attack passengers between Meadow’s blvd and Culbert’s hill.

Here’s why… I was taking Bovair to Rugby Practice years later in the Tercel, I believe, but it may have been the Volvo. Between meadow’s Blvd and Culbert’s Hill, Bovair punches himself in the leg. I mean rapid fire killer punches. I laughed hard that day, much like I am now! and while trying to stay on the road, I asked what was going on. Apparently, he was attacked by a cockroach and went Kimbo slice on it even sacrificing his own leg. Can you imagine punching a cockroach into oblivion? That’s my brother. Well, my younger brother. Jamison is a bit more gangster.

The most hardcore cockroach story ever. There were a bunch of people on my mom’s porch back when Jamison used to smoke and drink. He was in the middle of a heated story or discussion in typical Jamison fashion and everyone was watching him. I believe, Jyles, Bovair, Carlos, Johnson, and I were there. for some reason I was behind Jamison and therefore the only one who could see the cockroach crawling up the wall behind Johnson seated on the floor. Something Jamison said either angered  or interested the cockroach and it jumped of the wall and flew toward him. If you never hear a cockroach fly, imagine a bill counting machine, a flip book you made out of card stock or a very tiny helicopter. The cockroach flew toward Jamison. who had his drink glass in his right hand, and his cigarette between his index and middle finger. Without stopping his train of thought Jamison reached out his left hand, snatched the cockroach out of the air threw it to the ground and stepped on it. I am not even sure he looked at it. This is quite possibly one of the most hardcore things I have personally witnessed ever.

Yes, I caught cockroaches and sold them for 50 cents at COB, and yes I threw a cockroach at Charles Petty when we were at Radhika’s place in the Bahamas, but those were small things. Comparatively speaking.

So there you have it. Cockroaches. There are more stories, but these are my favorites. and here is a picture of the cockroach I petted in Eleuthera on August 23rd 2001

Image of Leno Davis' finger petting a cockroach
I have not petted many cockroaches, but this was my first.