Monday, April 4, 2016

Corner Shoes
© 2016 By Jack Bogut
527 Kingsberry Circle
Pittsburgh, PA 15234

            Two cockroaches can live on the glue on one postage stamp for a month; that's not something you really needed to know is it?  We didn't think so either until we talked long distance to our daughter.   She hadn't written in a while and was calling to explain.
            She was the front office manager of a major hotel in Baltimore. That's a very responsible job. She had to handle money, take care of and solve problems with customers, administer here own staff of people, and she was very good at it.
          Now, because she is a little flaky, our daughter occasionally does things that are surprising, innovative and, or inexplicable. For example, she had just moved into a new apartment in and, after living there a few days past  the time to get back her deposit, noticed that nobody, including the previous renter, had moved the stove out of that little slot in the kitchen and cleaned behind it since maybe World War Two. She could see things back there with mold and hair growing on them; even worse, there were things back there she couldn’t identify that moved!. She discovered all this when she lost a knife behind the stove and had to look for it with a mirror. What she saw scared her so much that she turned out the lights (what you can't see isn't so bad) and called the landlord. Being a typical landlord, he promised to stop by and move the heavy stove and clean behind it at some later date which he would not specify. Brenda is no dummy. She did what any experienced renter does when they have a problem they don't think the Landlord wants to deal with—she went next door and consulted with the neighbor lady.
            "Hi. I wonder if you could help me with a problem? I've got something really scary in the kitchen and I don't know what to do about it!" Brenda asked the kind-looking lady next door.
            "You got cockroaches, huh?"
            "How did you know?"
            "Honey, every renter in Baltimore got cockroaches."
            "Well, I'd like to be an exception."
            "They all over the apartment or just in one place?" The lady asked.
            "Just behind the stove in the kitchen."
            "No, honey. You got 'em in one place, they everywhere. You just don't see 'em in the daylight."
            "Uh...I think I'll sleep in the car tonight!"
            "Now, don't you never mind about 'La-Cucuracha.' You just get you some corner shoes  so's you can eradicate 'em when you see 'em."
            "What are corner shoes?"
            "Like Cowboy Boots. Real 'pointy' toes. See, Baltimore Cockroaches are smart! They have experience. It's inbred that they go right to a corner when they’re in trouble because they know that round toed shoes can’t get 'em in the corner, and then they goe right up the wall. Just like you do when you see 'em," she laughed.
            "Corner shoes, huh?"
            "Corner shoes, uh huh."
            Well, our daughter is, if she's anything, a world class shopper and a professional consumer. She knew right where to go to get a pair of low cut, pointy toed, currently in style, shoes that fit the bill perfectly. She also got a couple of "Roach Motels" for good measure and thought she had the problem fairly well in hand in most of the apartment. However, because she couldn't move the stove to clean behind it, she knew that there was activity back there and that drove her crazy. She consulted with the neighbor lady again and was told it was going to be pretty hard to get rid of ALL those bugs with any food around, especially with a few crumbs behind the stove...
            "They don't need much, honey. A pair of Baltimore cockroaches can live for thirty days off the glue on just one postage stamp!"
            "Where did you hear that?" She nervously asked.
            "I read it in the newspaper just the other day!" The neighbor lady stated emphatically.
            "Then I suppose that means that sixty cockroaches could live for one day on the glue from one postage stamp?" She grumbled.
            "I ain't too good at math, honey, but that sounds about right to me."
            "Or one hundred and twenty cockroaches could live for half a day!" Brenda continued.
            The neighbor lady shut the door.
            That day our middle child threw out all of her mail, anything with a stamp on it. This gave her some peace of mind until she had to mail something. So she went to the Post Office to get some postage stamps and only had a twenty dollar bill. She stuck one end of it in a stamp machine that said it made change, and in short order, got twenty dollars worth of stamps and no change. She was afraid she’d get mugged by insects if she took that many stamps inside the apartment so she left them in the car. And that was why she had been calling instead of writing. 
            Logic and common sense run rampant in our family. 

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