Look up in the sky. Is it a bird? A plane? No, it’s a flying roach!
If you’re a city lover who says you’d only move when cockroaches fly, better start packing. This hot, humid summer has enabled the roaches to spread their wings (yes, they have wings) and take flight.
“With more heat, they have more use of their muscles,” American Museum of Natural History bug expert Louis Sorkin explained to the website DNAinfo. “The more activity, the more flight.”
Cockroaches are amazingly hardy and athletic, as any New Yorker who has turned on a bathroom light and seen one scramble in zig-zag patterns that a football running back would envy can attest.
While a rarity here, flying American cockroaches are often seen in more humid areas such as Florida, where they’re known as palmetto bugs. (Sounds much better, doesn’t it?) They fly up to palmetto and palm trees in search of food. In NYC, all they have to do is glide over to a local trash can.
Sorkin has spotted local flying roaches in the museum’s basement. Have you seen any yet?
Speaking of strange critters, a woman strolled onto the D train last week and tried to sell riders live crickets and worms. After a group of teenagers jostled her, she supposedly lost it, according to the New York Post, tossing the crickets and worms into the air. When they landed on some passengers, all hell broke loose.
Then some genius pulled the emergency brake. Now they were stuck for a half an hour on the Manhattan Bridge, as the AC shut down and sweaty passengers went berserk. Didn’t I see this movie? Who let these (expletive) crickets loose on this (expletive) train?
The cricket and worm lady “started banging on the doors and trying to climb out the windows,” rider Chris Calabrese told the Post. “Everyone had crickets on their arms. My girlfriend was crying.”
A half hour later, the cootie express pulled into Brooklyn’s DeKalb Avenue station, and the cops removed the woman, who later claimed to be an actress pulling a “prank,” from the train. Yep, just another day on the subway.
Hang in there. Counting down to Labor Day.
Playwright Mike Vogel blogs at newyorkgritty.net.