As the bloguistes like to say, at their most officious, “blogging may be light” for the next couple of days. You see, the High Doganate is located in beautiful downtown Parkdale, which is blest with a rich fauna including various species of flea, fly, louse, bedbug, centipede, beetle, silverfish, gnat, tick, mite, earwig, spider, and of course, cucaracha. Of these last, called in English, Cock Roaches, I believe there are more than a score of species (from out of nature’s thousands) which have integrated well with human life, though our mutual relations are occasionally unhappy.

Meek — their very name in Latin, Blattaria, connotes light-shunning — they are commonly expected to inherit the Earth, thanks to their ability harmlessly to absorb high amounts of atomic radiation. I am told fruitflies can absorb even more, however. They seem also indifferent to climate change, and flourish from the Tropics to the High Arctic. Yes, we are convinced, they will beat us through the next major Extinction Event, and we may imagine them victorious on the other side, grown the size of dinosaurs, and whistling fugally through their spiracles in a most appalling way.

There are some very audible cockroaches, in a couple of places I have lived, though I won’t say much for their musical sensibilities. On the other hand, I gather that Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches are affectionate and diverting, as well as very large, and are popular with the children there, as pets.

Verily, they come large and small. The ones we have in Parkdale strike me as a poor apology for their Order. From those Tropics I was used to them many times the size; and while no one here believes me, I claim to have seen them more than three inches.

Little meat on them, and of no culinary promise, over here. Whereas, the Pong of old Siam were enjoyed roasted: arranged very prettily in spirals on round platters like pizza trays, in the street markets upcountry, though I can’t say I ever sampled any. One eats them “on the shell,” I think.

We Canadians are unimaginative, and will only touch shellfish, or “insects of the sea”; and then only the more adventurous of us. We choose a narrow range even of poultry. This is prejudice revealed, and for all I know, on the analogy of crawfish or lobster, a cockroach prepared by a talented chef might introduce us to a new world of toothsome, delectable tactility and flavour.

Nor, despite our much-boasted multiculturalism, will we cohabit patiently with cockroaches, which we have assigned to various ethnic origins (as German, Austrian, Oriental, &c), allowing none to be native.

I have seen an old cockroach (quite a few million years) encased in amber, and it looked convincing enough, but later learnt it was not a cockroach at all — the evolutionists now claiming such evident Blattopterans were related instead to mantises, and our “modern” ones to termites. I have no opinion, being deeply suspicious of all family trees, including the one my grandpa drew up to show we were descended from the Norman duke, William de Warenne (close buddy of William the Conqueror). I would not be surprised to discover that the biologists had got similarly carried away, and even bamboozled by false inferences from DNA; though I love how the latest evidence tends to controvert all previous. They are so smug, these tedious scienticists, why would anyone believe them?

And whether they (the cockroaches) wear their ovipositors inside or outside their little bodies, makes no difference to me. We find roaches both ways through the fossil record. I doubt it is an evolutionary tag; more an indication of passing fads in nature.

Now, cockroaches aren’t smug at all, in their flat-backed crouching way, and I should say, generally to be preferred to Darwinians. They are also fairly clean animals, in my understanding; and of no great strength, quite incapable of penetrating tin cans and sealed bottles. Most can even be defeated by stout cardboard or burlap, making do with crumbs and globs of grease on the low-hanging fruit principle. And all are inclined to dislike Dettol: especially the undiluted, made-in-India kind. They will not much bother attempting the impossible, or even the disagreeable, and if offered no sustenance, will go, uncomplaining, on their way.

It is a problem with liberals, generally, that they start too generous, and end in a funk. Those on the lower floors of this building would seem to have been over-kind in leaving food out for the insects; but then cried for the management to exterminate them. The result being, that for the next two days, we must deal with the exterminators — a much bigger nuisance than any cockroaches, and far more demanding.

For instance they tell me that by 9 a.m. tomorrow I must have cleared all my closets, cupboards, and shelves, covering everything thus removed with bedsheets, while moving all furniture away from all walls. There are ample food stores in the High Doganate (all adequately sealed by a Christian survivalist), and as I now realize, towards three thousand books. Given the complete absence of cockroaches, I have judged their request to be unreasonable. More yet, they expect me, and all the other tenants, to vacate the premises along with children and pets, for an extended period in sub-zero weather with high winds and the likelihood of snow. It is a good example of the tyranny that Canadians, by habit, just quietly obey. For we have ourselves become a truckling people, much like cockroaches in our hunching way.

But one way or another — to whatever extent I agree to play along — I anticipate much distraction, and even moments of stress and temptation to descend into the use of an impoverished, degraded vocabulary.