There was a squish and crack sound from the shell breaking. In a joking manner someone said, seventy points. We laughed and continued to joke and hoarse around the way everyone did. By chance there was another palmetto bug by JOHN T.s foot. He saw this one and made a running leap onto the bug. Again the squish and the crack suspended itself in the air. Another seventy points were given out. Then there was the usual teasing and joking that followed something new and novel. We arrived back at the barracks and started to study for school. It was funny about this school, in that most enjoyed going to it.
The idea of competition began to get into every-ones blood. Soon there were guys fighting to stomp a poor palmetto bug to get points. We instituted a set of rules and points about the club. A person would get seventy-five points for a male roach and one hundred points for a female. This was because the could lay eggs and reproduce. You could tell the difference between the sexes by the luster of the coat on their shells. The shiny ones were the males and the dull colors were the females. Usually the female was larger than the male. There average size was about two to four inches in length. They would live in moist places and eat scum or dirt. They were connected with the roach family.
In order to get into the roach club, you had to get three confirmed kills. This meant that one of the officers of the club, had to see in person the three roaches. There were some guys who carried them in envelopes, waiting to see one of the officers of the club. After this you were given one hundred and fifty points. Then you were part of ROACH INC. The main object of the club was to get the most amount of points that you could. The person that got the most confirmed kills was named ROACH of the month. This entitled you to all the privileges of the roach. Then you were taken out to dinner and gotten drunk.
As time went on we had to institute two new point awards. This was for catching two roaches fornicating. This had a total point value of one thousand points. Every once and awhile you would find two of them in a corner. The male would mount himself on the back of the female.
Then they would proceed in orderly fashion to have new roaches. The second new point award went to catching and killing of an albino roach. This was one of the greatest amazement's. They were pure white and had black eyes. They were usually smaller in size than that of the regular roaches. The novelty of the club was growing throughout Keesler Air force base.
It seemed like everyone on the base had grown to know the roach JOHN T. The instructors in some of our classes asked us who the roach was and what was his name. Even during marches back to the company area, air force people, could be heard saying there's the roach. The roach is in the formation. There was a growing frenzy on the base. The novelty had become a craze and fad.
The growing height of the club brought some of the Sargent's into the club. Our own barrack Sargent's were joining the ROACH INC. JOHN T. had gotten back in the mail one day a cartoon character stomping on a roach. Soon the cartoon was placed on the back of tee shirts. People began to see personnel around the area with the same tee shirts. Some nights you would see a group of guys around a manhole cover. They were waiting for the grand kills, that were held every once in awhile. A bottle of Clorox would be bought and poured down the manhole when it was open. There would be a scurry of feet and roaches on the ground. People would stop and look at a group of people dancing around an open manhole.
JOHN T. had a character to his voice. There was a sound that he could produce from a far distance in his voice box. It would go something like this,ole,ole,ole,ole,oleole,O. It had a screech to it that would Pierce the ear drum. Often times he would let out with this scream sound. You could hear it for a good distance.
One night there was a group of guys on the PX. porchacross the street from the barracks. This was one of the better places to get roaches, because of the food left around. On another night there were three or four guys on the porch hunting roaches. The air force police came along and saw them on the porch, after closing hours.
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