This brings me to my recent encounter with a South Carolina native, the Palmetto bug, otherwise known as a big cucaracha!!!
I was in Charleston, SC on a conference for work, staying in a swanky 5-star Orient Express hotel, Charleston Place. Much to my horror one night upon return to my room after dinner, I had a 6-legged visitor in the bathroom. I froze for an instant, did a double-take, and thought, “Wow, that’s a roach! I’ve never seen one so big!” This was a hefty specimen, measuring about 1 inch long and ½ an inch wide.
My rescue reflexes snapped into action. I grabbed an empty wastebasket and upturned it on the critter, trapping him. I darted to the phone to call the front desk to report the intruder. They said, “Oh my…hate to tell you this, but…it’s the…South. Would you like us to relocate you?” I said, “No, I just need someone to help kill it.” Again, rather lackadaisically they said, “My, you’re handling this quite well. We’ll send someone up as soon as possible.”
An eternity later, a man appeared in his navy blue workman garb, armed with a foreign accent and a generic can of bug spray. I pointed to the wastebasket on the tile floor outside the bathroom. My savior carefully scooted the can out into the hall, lifted it ever so slightly, and when the bug scuttled, it swiftly met its maker beneath the toe of a black work boot. As I turned to go back into the room, he shyly said with a woeful brow, “Sorry…about ‘zis’,” waving his hands parallel to the floor.
I put a towel at the base of the door, and for the remainder of the evening I wore shoes.