Of the Roach

And Famous

There's a hall of fame tucked away in a shopping center north of Dallas that has caricatures of celebrities from H. Ross Perot to Marilyn Monroe. They're all small, they're all dead, and if you're one of the 10 to 20 percent of the American population who are entomophobes (afraid of bugs), it's not for you.

It's the Cockroach Hall of Fame Museum, filled with 25 roaches dressed in a variety of costumes and props. Liberoachi, with its white mink cape, for instance, sits at a tiny grand piano that actually plays a tune.

Among the other attractions are H. Ross Peroach, Marilyn Monroach, Norman Roachwell, Madonna Roach, Elvis Roachly and Roach Liberty. The curator, Michael Bohdan, is an exterminator by morning and, as he says, "Cockroach Dundee" by afternoon. Bohdan wears a fedora adorned with the carcasses of huge Madagascar hissing roaches.

He created the museum in Plano after spending a year in the mid-1980s judging roach dress-up contests for an insecticide company. Rather than dump the bugs when the contest ended, Bohdan gave them a new life. The museum now gets about 6,000 visitors annually. The Smithsonian it's not, Bohdan said: "The cockroaches are small, so the museum is small."

-- Sylvia Moreno

Michael Bohdan, an exterminator in real life, shows off "Marilyn Monroach" from his collection at the Cockroach Hall of Fame Museum in Plano, Tex.