Holy s–t! First there were snakes on a plane and now roaches on a bus.

If you are squeamish about stories featuring cockroaches, Stop Reading Right Now! Don’t say I didn’t warn you!!!

First of all, I am not a big fan of roaches. I mean I am not scared of them or anything like that, they are just disgusting creatures. This is making my skin crawl just thinking about them. I have a great roach story, however, more on that a little later.

Forty eight Passengers aboard a greyhound bus bound for Manhattan from Atlantic City, NJ, found themselves in a predicament just like something out of one of those B-rated horror movies. About 15 minutes or so into their trip, which started out as uneventful, suddenly took a turn for the worse when all of a sudden thousands of live roaches started pouring out of the air conditioning/heating vents located on both the ceiling and the floor.

I am not making this up, thousands of live cockroaches started pouring out of the vents! It doesn’t get any more absurd then this my friends.

The roach invasion started at the front of the bus when roaches started pouring out of the vents, onto the seats, floor and people in the front of the bus. A witness who was at the back of the bus reported that people in the front of the bus started screaming and the panic was spreading to the back of the bus.

Then the roach invasion reached the back of the bus and it wasn’t too much longer before the people at the back of the bus could see roaches everywhere and now they also started screaming as roaches started crawling all over them as well.

The interesting thing is, by the cellphone videos that were taken by several of the passengers, the bus looked fairly new and clean. This is not something I would have expected.

The bus pulled over and the freaked out passengers also swarmed off the bus. Another bus was sent to pick them up to continue their ill fated trip. I assume that the second bus was cockroach free. At least I hope so, for these poor peoples sanity anyway. Not to worry though, you can be sure that one of those ambulance chasing, personal injury law firms has already contacted everyone of those passengers and offered their assistance.

Now the main question I have is how did thousands of cockroaches get on a greyhound bus in Atlantic City?
By using my SWAG theory (Scientific Wild Ass Guess) I can come up with three possible conclusions.

  1. It is winter in the Northeast United States. Someone could have left one or more windows open and the roaches got inside to stay warm. When the heat was turned on in the bus the roaches swarmed out of the hot heating & air conditioning ducts.
  2. The roaches were purposely shipped in a package for an event that was by some coincidence happening the very next evening, in New York City, at the Waldorf Astoria.
  3. A large colony of cockroaches living in Atlantic City, thought they could make a better life in Manhattan and figured a Greyhound bus was better then crawling all the way there.

I am going with No. 2, for the most likely explanation. It just so happens that the Explorer’s Club was meeting at the Waldorf Astoria for their annual dinner the very next evening.

According to Rachel Tepper, at the Huffington Post, “Gentlemen in tuxedos and ladies in ball gowns gathered at the stately Waldorf Astoria hotel in Manhattan on Saturday evening for the 109th annual dinner of the Explorers Club. But standard party fare was nowhere to be found; here, waiters passed around delicate hors d’oeuvres topped with cockroaches, scorpions and meal worms”.

But that’s not all’ also on the menu were “dishes made with goat penis and testicles, camel, earthworms and rattlesnake. A full-sized, roasted ostrich was also on display, its long neck propped up with wire as a waiter sliced meaty portions for adventurous diners. A whole elk, a goat, a beaver and muskrats were similarly displayed and carved”.

You may have noticed that one of the menu items were cockroaches.  That’s right, people were eating cockroaches and other disgusting fare as well. As a matter of fact here’s a picture taken at the same event.

Fried Cockroaches

So, where do you think the Explorers Club would obtain a large quantity of cockroaches anyway? Not from your local butcher shop that’s for sure. I believe that the roaches were ordered from a supplier in Atlantic City, NJ.

Obviously, the roaches somehow escaped and swarmed around the inside of the bus. I guess that they figured that if they were going to be somebody’s dinner, they were going to go down swinging, or swarming anyway.

Greyhound Bus Lines, issued a statement; “apologizing for the inconvenience.” and “Our team will be transporting the first bus back to the garage for further investigation.” I see that there was no mention of any sort of compensation for these people who suffered the traumatic stress of thousands of cockroaches crawling all over them. I highly doubt that this will resolve the mental distress these people suffered as a result of an invasion of thousands of cockroaches swarming and crawling all over them.

I guess we shall see how much this little incident costs Greyhound in the coming months, stay tuned.

Anyway I told you I have a cockroach story, and I have an amazing story, or maybe horrifying depending upon your point of view.

The scene is Danbury, Ct, in the mid 1980’s. I was going through a divorce and need a place to stay that was available quickly and was affordable. Anyway, I found this place nearby and it was also close to work. I contacted the landlord and checked it out the very next day. This place was an old three story, Victorian home, that had been separated into three apartments, one on each floor. The top floor had been recently vacated. At the time I didn’t know why, until it was too late.

I looked at the place and it looked great, the neighbors on the first floor looked a little sloppy and had a bunch of trash outside, other then that it wasn’t bad, or so I thought. I signed a lease that day.

Little did I know at the time, but I had just leased from the biggest slum landlord in the City. I mean this guy was the biggest scumbag there was,. This is a guy that used to rent horrible, sub-standard rundown places to welfare mothers, cash their checks for them, for a fee, and leave them with almost nothing, I’m sure that you know the type of dirt-bag I am talking about.

Anyway, I moved in that very same weekend. Since I was blissfully unaware of this scum-of-the-earth’s reputation, I just moved my meager possessions in that Saturday and started unpacking, cleaning etc. you know the usual stuff when you move into a new place.

The next day, I noticed a couple of cockroaches and roach droppings, in the kitchen. I went and got some roach spray and sprayed all around the kitchen. The next evening after work I actually saw 3 or 4 cockroaches running across the carpet in the living room, IN THE DAYTIME! I was starting to get really concerned.

I made quick work of the ballsy cockroaches cruising around the living room in the daytime and went into the kitchen. I was f–king horrified there must have been 20 or 30 dead cockroaches all around the kitchen where I had recently sprayed. This was serious, and eventually I came to realize that I was screwed. A quick call to the scum-bag landlord confirmed my suspicions, that I was on my own.

Anyway as time went on I was forced to keep a box of shoes outside the kitchen doorway. The cockroaches were so bad at night, that if you went into the kitchen at night and flipped on the light, there would be dozens of cockroaches scurrying everywhere. I actually started keeping my clean dishes inside the refrigerator, so I wouldn’t have to worry about the cockroaches crawling all over them.

Seriously, If I needed to go into the kitchen at night, I used to pick up a shoe from the box outside the doorway and throw one onto the middle of the kitchen floor prior to going in and turning on the light. This seemed to cause most of the cockroaches to run and hide. I still knew that they were there, but at least I couldn’t see them.

It got to a point where I developed a detailed plan to wipe the hoards of cockroach  invaders off the map, once and for all. I started purchasing the supplies needed to carry out my cockroach genocide program. Seven cans of bug bombs, nasty industrial grade stuff too. You only need one or two for an area this size, so I figured that seven cans would be better. I removed every switch plate, electrical outlet cover, pulled down light fixtures, heating grates, opened drawers and cabinets and anywhere else the cockroaches might hide.behind.

The day of the great cockroach massacre, a Friday, I arranged to work only a half day and go into work at noon. I picked Friday afternoon, as both the sub-human tenants on the first and second floors, weren’t home during the day. I started by taping up around the windows, the exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom and put a rolled up towel in front of the back door, I had another one ready to place at the bottom of the front door after I left.

I was ready to turn the entire apartment into a cockroach gas chamber. A totally sealed space so the hoards of cockroach invaders couldn’t run and hide somewhere else. I wasn’t going to do this again, as it was a lot of work and kind of expensive too.

I placed three of the bug bombs in the kitchen, two in the living room, one in the bathroom and one in the bedroom. I quickly, went around the house setting each bug bomb, one at a time, before I managed to gas myself to death as well. I managed to hold my breath the entire time.

I exited by the front door, placed the rolled up towel in front of the door, went down the three flights of stairs, went outside, got into my car and went to work. Let me tell you, I was actually feeling pretty good, as I hoped that the cockroach invasion was going to be over, once and for all.

Anyway, 5:00 PM came and it was time to head home and see how well I did, getting rid of the vermin cockroaches.  I got to the house, bounded up the stairs (I was younger then, so I could still bound up the stairs). I unlocked the front door and opened the door. Not too bad I thought, the smell had mostly dissipated.and things looked OK, when I went into the living room. I saw a few, very few, dead roaches in the living room, but not too bad. That is, until I went and looked into the kitchen, Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw right in front of me.

There were literally thousands I’m not exaggerating, there were thousands of dead cockroaches. There were piles of dead cockroaches under every electrical outlet, where I had removed the covers. There was a big pile of dead cockroaches right below where I had pulled down the kitchen light fixture, There were dead roaches on the counter, inside the drawers that I had pulled out, there were dead cockroaches everywhere. It literally looked like I had killed every cockroach in the entire State of Connecticut. Furthermore, every cockroach in the State was apparently living in my house.

It took me literally two freaking hours to sweep up the dead cockroaches into a giant pile and throw them into the garbage. I spent another hour vacuuming up the cockroach carcasses from inside and around the electrical outlets, around the switches, etc. I then had to replace all the outlet covers, switch plates, light fixtures, etc. and another half an hour to clean the dead roaches from around the rest of the house.

After that I rarely saw anymore cockroaches, as I would set off a single bug bomb once a month. I only lived there a few months after that, before the lease was up and I found a much better place. I ended up leaving a bunch of my furniture behind, because I was afraid to bring new cockroaches to my new place.

Remember the scum-of-the-earth landlord I was telling you about? Well, he ended up dying unexpectedly of a heart attack on the Christian holiday of Passover, no less. I am not a religious person, but I always thought that this was some sort of sign. He was a horrible human being, and evidently, what goes around comes around. I do believe in Karma, and this guy, as evil as he was, definitely caused some sort of rip in the universe and nature righted it’s mistake.

Trust me, the world is a better place without him.

As always, 

I am…

Tom Dye, The Safety Guy

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