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How to get a Palmetto bug out of your hair

Palmetto bugs are 2-inch, nightmarish, spawn-of-Hell roaches that thrive in most parts of the South. There, the warmth and humidity make them grow as big and strong as the Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches, which some people–I can’t imagine which people–keep as pets.

If you live down here in Florida, when you pick up a towel or item of clothing, you have to shake the item vigorously, to dislodge any Palmetto bugs napping within. You also have to keep one eye on the ceiling, because they love to walk upside down and then freefall onto your dinner plate — or your head.

If a Palmetto bug lands in your hair, try not to panic. Do not squish the bug, which will result in a repeated urge to retch. For you, not the bug. The proper way to remove a Palmetto bug from your hair is:

  1. Shriek as loudly as you can, to alert others nearby of your situation. They won’t be able to help, but they will find it amusing and kid you about it later.
  2. While shrieking, bat at your hair. Use your flat palms to brush the front of your hair down over your face and keep whacking at it with one hand after the other.
  3. Run about blindly, with hair in your eyes. Crash into things. Continue to shriek. Occasionally beg for help from your laughing colleagues.
  4. Scream, “Can you see it? Is it still in my hair?” but don’t hold still long enough for anyone to inspect your hair.
  5. Bend over and shake your head upside down, clawing at your hair. Shriek louder when you think you feel the bug crawl up your arm.
  6. Run to the bathroom mirror and stare at your panic-stricken face, searching for signs of insect life. Hear your colleagues tell you the bug fell off several minutes ago, but don’t listen.
  7. Tear off your clothes and jump into the shower; stand under the running water, sobbing.
  8. Somewhere in mid-shower, realize that Palmetto bug is indeed gone. Wash your hair anyway. Grab towel off rack and begin to dry hair as you leave the bathroom.
  9. Realize there was a Palmetto bug in the towel on the rack.
  10. Repeat from Step 1.

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