An Infestation of 7-Legged BlockBugs
Indeed, this is a sight that every urban commercial property owner across the Westernized world dreads — a creeping infestation of 7-Legged BlockBugs.
BlockBugs are so named not merely for their typically squarish blocky shapes. (In fact, there are a few rare sub-species variants of these bugs that are actually pentagonal, hexagonal and sometimes even septagonal.) No, their common name also indicates their only known habitat: the dense city blocks of mixed commercial properties — delis, laundries, pubs, consignment shops, newsstands, markets, coffee shops, lounges, OTB parlors, drug stores, tanning salons, insurance agencies, taquerias, candy stores, gun shops, florists, boutiques, dollar stores, ice cream parlors, gyms, bowling alleys, branch banks, notions shops, dry cleaners, quick-print places, take-out restaurants, cafés, cigar shops, pizza parlors, book shops, travel agencies — that are their most-favored haunts.
And ‘haunts’ is definitely the appropriate term, for these blocky little apparitions are seldom seen by humans. They almost always remain hidden from our view, instead persisting in blocking up our plumbing, piping, electrical conduit, raceways, utility tunnels, chases, ceiling plenums, floor cavities, and other such structural voids.
The unusual 7th leg of the BlockBug seems to be an evolutionary advantage that enables this tiny critter to be a quite speedy runner and a rapid accelerator, allowing it to easily avoid predators and escape detection. (That’s why when you suddenly flick on those crawl space or cupboard lights, you are much more likely to spot only an escaping cockroach or silverfish or two; the BlockBugs have already long gone.)
But the BlockBugs shall return. It seems they flourish amid the messy sprawl of dense human urbanity. Entomologists speculate that — like humans — they too thrive on stress, junk food, sex, noise, distraction, crowding, excitement, coffee, technology, anxiety, new clothes, alcohol, complaining, money, entertainment, consumption and bedlam.
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