The phrase "he wouldn’t hurt a fly" has always struck me as somewhat odd, perhaps as a lingering result of my early exposure to the Disney version of the Grimm story of the brave little tailor. Who wouldn’t kill a fly? The tailor killed seven with one stroke! (The tailor is a subset of the more general Jack the Giant-Killer folktale; as I am not Vladimir Propp, I’ll leave it at that, with the sole caveat that the tailor is the only giant-killer I know of who started his career as an exterminator.) Maybe Jainists or Buddhists wouldn’t hurt a fly. Maybe a strict vegan wouldn’t. But even though I’m a pretty easy-going guy, I know I would. You know what else? I could poison a roach. I could poison a roach. It has a curiously antiquated ring to it, like it was found in a mediocre novel written in, say, 1958 — "’I could murder a ham sandwich!’ Paul exclaimed, ignoring the wistful look in Jane’s eyes as she handed him the plate." But I could poison a roach. The roaches are just going about their business, I suppose, but there’s something about them that just makes my flesh crawl. (I believe there was a story in one of Harlan Ellison’s Dangerous Visions anthologies about a meat-rationed future and a Mad Scientist who bred giant, meaty roaches. Egads. As V. pointed out, there’s not much real aesthetic difference between a roach and a lobster, but I don’t eat lobster either.) Potato bugs are cute. Roaches are not cute. As the Combat tempts the roaches with sweet, sweet poison and their dessicated corpses appear in ones and twos, I feel no regret. Sorry, Mehitabel; if these guys were as cute as Archy, I might leave ‘em alone.