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July 31, 2005

Cockroach Hall of Fame Museum


The Washington Post headline for its story in today's paper about this establishment was headlined "Lifestyles of the Roach and Famous."

I like it.

The hall of fame is tucked away in a shopping center north of Dallas.

Sure hope they don't try to rent the neighboring spaces to restaurants.

Or at least if they do, they certainly ought to consider giving 'em a break on the rent.

10% to 20% of Americans are entomophobes.

If you're one of them then this museum — and this post — might not be for you.

On the other hand, what with the craze for so–called "desensitization" techniques in psychology, with their graduated, increasing exposures to the things that most frighten the subject, perhaps reading to the end of this post represents the first stage in your psychotherapy.

To be fair, though, there are those who would say that reading to the end of this post — much less writing it — is indicative of descent to a hellish level of psychopathology, requiring immediate intervention.

I agree. Now where was I?

Oh, yes: your psychotherapy.

The bill will be in the mail.

And now back to our regularly scheduled nonsense, as opposed to nonsense that just erupts out of nowhere, like some quantum fluctuation out of the froth and foam and quark–gluon plasma.

The museum's founder and curator, 58–year–old Michael Bohdan (above), is by profession an exterminator.

They say you always end up killing the thing you love most. But I digress.

Bohdan parlayed a publicity stunt during the 1980s to find the largest cockroach in Dallas into a huge 15 minutes of fame culminating in an appearance, along with some of his favorite cockroaches, on the Johnny Carson show.

Life is quieter now; in between sales of pest–control products at his suburban Dallas shop, he leads museum tours of the decaying Styrofoam–based "scenes" featuring roaches in celebrity get–ups.

One of the favorites is Liberoachi, with its white mink cape, seated at a tiny grand piano that actually plays a tune.

Among the other attractions are H. Ross Peroach, Marilyn Monroach (above), Norman Roachwell, Madonna Roach and Elvis Roachly.

Bohdan refers to himself, while in his tour leader guise, as "Cockroach Dundee."

He wears a fedora adorned with the carcasses of huge Madagasgar hissing roaches.

Here's a picture of one of the giant creatures:


FunFact: Madagascar hissing cockroaches such as the adult pictured above can be up to 4" long and weigh nearly one ounce.

That'll get your attention when you turn on the lights in the kitchen for your midnight snack.

The museum now gets about 6,000 visitors annually.

That's just fine by Bohdan.

He told the Washington Post's Sylvia Moreno, "The cockroaches are small, so the museum is small."

Let's see.... 6,000/52 = 115 people a week stop by.

That's my goal.

If I straighten up and fly right I think I've got a fair chance of reaching it within the next 15–20 years.

July 31, 2005 at 05:01 PM | Permalink


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Like air turbulence, roaches petrify with fear. I have fainted at the sight of a roach similar to the Madagascar one. They are awful, awful things roaches. I cannot abide them.

Posted by: Milena | Dec 23, 2008 6:21:33 PM

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