Now, I cannot stress enough how much I detest insects and arachnids of any kind. I mean I hate them with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns. I make this statement so y'all will understand the inherent psychological damage that occurred as a result of the incident I'm about to relay to you.
I was still in high school, most likely 9th or 10th grade. If it was any later in my high school career, I would have had a means of escape in the form of my car. So, in a word, I was screwed.
The house in which I grew up was a ranch style home. We used our side door as the main entrance, which opened into a den room. The room right next to the den was the kitchen, and this is where it all went down. My room was at the end of house, and this is where I was coming from when I walked into my worst, unholy insect nightmare. I went into the kitchen to get a snack from the fridge. Innocent enough, right? What could POSSIBLY go wrong? Well I'll tell you.....the biggest cockroach (you can call them palmetto bugs if you want to, that's just another word for BIG FUCKING ROACH!!) I have seen was climbing up the wall. Now, before you get the "ewwww, her house had roaches" thought, remember that I grew up in the south....the DEEP south, and roaches are a fact of life no matter how clean your house is. And my mom was Korean, despite her OCD efforts at maintaining an immaculate home, every time it rained a few roaches would find their way into the house. And when I say immaculate, I mean hermetically sealed. We still had to take our shoes off in my house, part sign of respect, part to keep dirt out. On pain of death did you violate this rule.
Now, back to the roach on the wall. I was paralyzed with abject fear and horror. I am almost pathological when it comes to bugs, of any type. While I was motionless and pondering how I was going to deal with the roach in question, I had an epiphany...Raid! It kills roaches, dead, right? I mean, that's what the ad said, and that would be false advertising if it didn't, so they couldn't lie...or could they? As most people growing up in the '80s/'90s, I watched quite a bit of TV. This is one of the pivotal moments of my life when it was painfully obvious that the TV did, INDEED, freakin' lie.
When I finally peeled myself from my spot on the floor, I slowly made my way to the cabinet with the Raid...all the while thinking how clever I was, and how brave of me to face my fears head on. Bullshit....pure, unadulterated bullshit. I made it to the cabinet and found the can I was looking for...oh sweet, roachy death in a can...the proverbial can of whoop-ass I was about to unleash on the unsuspecting six-legged interloper. I proceeded to spray the living shit out of this bug, and I quite possibly may have shouted something along the lines of, "Ha! Take that!" or I could have just laughed maniacally, my memory is a little fuzzy about anything truly awesome I could have said. My joy was short-lived. In the midst of my spraying spree, the roach actually turned around, looked at me, and, I swear to God, said, "Bitch, please...." Then, it flew at my head. W....T....F?! Really?! I was attacked by a damn roach! What ensued was a lot of ducking, screaming, and what I like to call The Crazy Spidee Dance. The Crazy Spidee Dance is my general reaction to all things buggy, but it originated on a sidewalk when I walked into a web that no one else saw. Oh yeah, it looks as insane as it sounds. And it is my only defense against anything with more than four legs.
What started as a stride forward in my insect emancipation, ended with an even greater phobia of all things creepy and crawly. It is also the reason I hold the archaic belief that it is ALWAYS the man's job to kill the bugs...period.