My main phobia is katsaridaphobia, the fear of cockroaches. Can’t stand ‘em. Heart goes all a-flutter. I become a drama king.
Oh, I know they are among the cleanest of animals and they certainly won’t contaminate me. Too, they don’t carry diseases that can affect me. And I am fully aware that they do their darndest to help clean up the kitchen and my hairbrush – without eating too much of the good food, either – and are thoughtfully discreet enough to come out only when I am in bed and blissfully unaware.
It is my mom’s fault. She would get platter-eye syndrome at the very sight of a roach and try to corner it so it could be more easily smashed with a rolled-up newspaper. And then, having no alternative escape route, the poor little bug would take flight and head directly for momma’s face. It could have been funny but for the blood-curdling screams. After all, I was young and impressionable, but come to think of it, momma never did learn not to corner them.
I do the best I can to overcome this great tragedy in my life. I once thought that catching and handling cockroaches barehanded would do the trick, but no… Learn to accept them? Tried that, but no… Fumigation? Admittedly, that has become a sad fact of my life.
Reactions to my katsaridaphobia vary widely. Some people – generally my fellow sufferers - fully support me. Bless them. Conversely, roach lovers get all agitated up, remind me of things I’ve known for 50 years, forget that I am sensitive, hassle me, and even try to save me. Roach scientists just patiently wait for me to calm down and then eagerly ask if I collected a sample. Sierra Clubbers rant on my foggers. The Cockroach Fuhrer comes out of the woodwork and threatens my mice (how many of you remember the Cockroach Fuhrer?). The horror.
Snakes are the cockroaches of a dear friend of mine, so I fully sympathize with her feelings. She will always have my support.