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We had cockroaches in our house. Having been raised in the north country where intense winters help control such creatures, I was unaware of their prolific nature and let them go too long.

One reason for my complacency was the fact that they just come out at night. I never saw them during the day when I might have been moved to action. The night owls in the family saw them, though, especially if they sat silently in the living room about midnight.

The cockroaches came crawling out of the fireplace and marched like lines of miniature armored tanks across the living room carpet toward the kitchen where they thrived on the opulence of tidbits left about by the careless dish washer of our establishment, my youngest son. They were magnificent specimens, some of them measuring almost two inches in length. If they, as according to the hearsay, continue to grow as long as they live, these creatures had been around a while.

I tried spray, and even doing the dishes myself to make sure the goodies were gone for a while. My methods were ineffective and, since I seldom saw them personally, I allowed them to continue to thrive.

Then one Halloween my second son stored his loot from begging in a paper bag by his bed in his basement room. He soon consumed the candy bars, but the broken pieces of candy corn, half damp suckers, and crumbled cookies lasted a long, long time.

One night he could not get to sleep because the cockroaches were so noisy in his candy bag. In disgust, he got up and closed the bag on them. Back in bed, he still couldn't sleep. Closing the bag just made them noisier because now they were scrambling around trying to get out. Thoroughly irritated and disgusted by now, he got up and grabbed the bag, closing it tighter as he moved. He plunged the entire bag and its contents into the tabletop freezer which was near his bed. This worked better. The insulation in the freezer effectively deadened the sound, and he went quickly to sleep The next morning every cockroach was dead, and do you know, we haven't had a single cockroach since!

I should be ashamed to tell this story, I suppose. Certainly, I am not proud of the cockroaches, but I love the story! It reveals so much of what my son is -- his patience with me (he had never complained about the cockroaches in the basement), the simplicity of his problem-solving ability, but most of all his humor which is so subtle most people don't know it's there; but it is wild. Life can never bore a mind like that, and I seek delight in my emulation.

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