Encroachment # 6 ~ I actually would touch them to show to people. Wow.

Is This the End?
No song. No Movie. Just horrified reaction.

          The most special roach I’ve handled is considered a pet and not a pest.  In fact,  the animal is often described as a desirable pet. No comment. Madagascar, or Hissing Roaches are very popular in museums and zoos as keepers and tour guides let the animals crawl all over them. In the vernacular of our younger generation, àWhatever.
Sometime in the 80’s, just before I went back to teaching, my boss – and then husband – at the Rancocas Nature Center dropped a bombshell on me at a staff meeting where he proudly announced the arrival of twenty or so of the little Hissers. He told me, in no uncertain terms, “You will have to handle them from now on for presentations to groups. They’re harmless and clean, and kind of cute.” 
In front of everyone, I screamed at him, “You’ve got to be kidding! These are roaches! C O C K R O A C H E S! Roaches! They’re disgusting. I’ll handle the tarantula. The rats are no problem. I’ll show the snakes and let them crawl all over me. The frogs and toads, even.” I detested frogs and toads at that time. Fun to look at, but that was it. Tarantulas and snakes, however, were harmless, and were favorites of mine.
“Well, get over it.” was his rejoinder. “They’re only four inches long at most. The males are quite a bit smaller than the females by several inches. Besides, they eat the regular roaches. And they do make good pets.”
So I began to show and talk about the harmless Madagascar Roach to enthralled audiences. The adults were especially fascinated, and the children were delighted.
After several weeks went by, my long-time fears were finally laid to rest; although on rainy days, my stomach was a wee bit queasy.
Remember: inure not like


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