Childhood memories are a weak point...they seem like lifetimes ago. I'll play with one for weeks until I remember enough facts or fiction...facts clear as glass, or so foggy they are best left as fiction. Haven't a clue to the time period on this one, I'll pick junior year high school, sounds about right, it was somewhere there in my teenager years. I was always desperate for spending funds, dad never participated in this judgement call, and mom was always slightly unreasonable with the reality of actual prices. In all fairness, we weren't exactly the richest family on the block, but then again, neither were we the poorest. I was at the age of discovering quality clothing, high heeled shoes, and eye makeup. Non-necessities were only in my life if I funded them.
Most likely an ad in the local newspaper, who knows; my town, only about 2000 people strong, offered little variety in the odd jobs department. I began child sitting a sweet little girl in the first years of her grade school. Two times a week parents escaped to their out on the town nights, and I sat in this way too little apartment twiddling my thumbs, and sighing those sighs of boredom. Super old apartments, the same ones my parents as newly weds resided at...I thought that was kind of magical, but only thought that for a short time. No television, books, games, no nothing, except those cardboard boxes of comic books stacked on the living room floor. Comic books were wasted money items in our household, so this was a new adventure for me, and I began to educate myself big time.
Not long into the first comic book, a little cockroach appeared on the arm of the stuffed chair I had settled into for my read. O gawd!!! How I hated these scum of the earth. The German type ones, as mom called them, the ones that crunch out loud when crushed with a shoe on foot. I was queasy about things that crunched under foot in those days, so I always found myself never being able to mash one...calling in reinforcements, and giving mom or dad the pleasure of crushing them to death. At home and alone, I once beat one of these hard shelled roaches in our kitchen with a straw broom, and I have to tell you, it takes many, MANY whacks to do anything to a roach like that. I mostly beat him senseless, and had to finally resort to stepping on him ever so lightly until I heard that CRUNCH. Uuuuuuuck!!!
Roach disappeared before I could figure out what to do with him. You know what happens when this type of stuff occurs. Felt like those little suckers were crawling all over me, and it took all I had to sit back down into that chair after I hung my coat over the top of door that opened to the kitchen. Eventually this roach visiting crap happened while my little charge was still up, and she began enlightening me to the horrors of my place of employment. She had an awful fear of her bedroom as the roaches visited her constantly...she hated it in there. She hated them in the refrigerator too. Refrigerator? Kitchen? I never even thought past the fear of one on me in that stuffed reading chair I mostly occupied in the evenings after dark. So I waited until darkness filled the apartment, and sneaked a peak into that kitchen.
Flipped on light switch...can you even begin to comprehend what it looks like...five billion roaches scattering everywhere, trying to find something to crawl under, to hide themselves from the lighted area? I was froze, petrified, took a while to get my mouth closed. I gingerly walked to the refrigerator and flung open the door, stepping back at the same time, to prevent a roach attack. Wow!!! I was trying to reason how husband and wife could live with all this roach activity each time they took something out of the fridge. How could anyone munch on anything covered with roach tracks occupying space in this fridge with its ill-fitting door? Maybe they loved roaches the mostest, felt most comfortable in crud, or perhaps they were the epitome of laziness at its extreme. My choice that night was making this a playground of death.
I was taught at an early age it was more to my advantage to just keep my mouth shut, and I guess that is why I never presented this roach problem to my employers. Instead, on my next visit, I just sneaked in several cans of my parents roach spray, and almost asphyxiated myself, applying that foul smelling stuff to every conceivable place those filthy little beetles would call their home. An enormous graveyard of dead roaches would have greeted my employers eyes that next morning, but neither husband nor wife ever uttered a word on the subject, and no roach carcasses laid anywhere on my next visit. I did manage to read all those hundreds and hundreds of comic books before my employment ended...my only adventure into that world of myth and legend. I did get my Montgomery Ward and Sears, Roebuck quality dresses and high heeled shoes. I was living high on the hog, and it suited me well.