Pretty in print, cockroaches are disgusting in reality
[The second in a series of articles about the vermin of Perth, with gratuitous literary references thrown in as light relief]
COCKROACHES get a better run in literature than they deserve.
A sympathetic portrayal of these revolting little nuisances is perhaps the ultimate challenge for a writer. The greats can do it.
Don Marquis – a sadly underrated writer – once managed to create the lovable cockroach. His archy and mehitabel stories amused readers of newspapers throughout the 1920s and 30s. ‘archy’ was a former poet, reincarnated as a cockroach, who threw himself headfirst at the keys of a typewriter to compose his verses. He couldn’t operate the shift key, so typed everything in lower case, hence the name ‘archy’.
If you can convince Perth people a cockroach infestation is charming, you’ve got talent.
franz kafka cockroach infestation perth.
Then of course there’s Franz Kafka, who made a giant cockroach the narrator of his 1915 masterpiece ‘The Metamorphosis’.
Bookworms must face sickening facts about cockroaches
But outside the printed page, in real life, when you see a cockroach scuttling across your Perth kitchen floor, the truth hits home …
These things ain’t pretty at all.
Perth CockroachesToo tough to nuke, too ugly to live
They’re repulsive, and a cockroach infestation in your Perth home is hard to stomach. The urban myth that cockroaches can survive a nuclear explosion is true, to a degree.