"Crickets play basketball..."
- my brother, Luke, age three, singing to himself in bed, witnessed by a giggling Rachel and me
When Jason was driving south a few months back, he kept seeing little black creatures dart across the highway. What are those? he thought. But they'd get to the other side and disappear into the brush before he could tell. Finally he saw one stop on the road, so he came to a screeching halt over the length of a football field, the best he could do with a loaded down pickup going 80 mph. Anyway, he backed up and got out. It was a tarantula the size of your palm. No kidding. There had been heavy rains for several days, so the tarantulas had been washed out of their holes in the ground. The proper reaction to this would have been, naturally, to turn that pickup around and head back to the northwest U.S.
But, nooooo. Jason found a long wrench in the cab, so that he could approach to see how it would react but feel protected. What the?! He approached to within a few feet of the spider and tapped the wrench on the ground. Guess what that sucker did. He reared up on his back legs, like a crab, and started running toward the wrench. At that point, I would've fainted and been eaten alive, for sure. But Jason thought it was cool and crazy.
Other than that, there have been shockingly few bugs and nasty critters around here. We get big black crickets in the house sometimes, and I'll be honest. It takes me several minutes of pumping myself up to get them with a Kleenex for the toilet. I feel bad. I do, but they are too big and leggy and antenaeey to carry all the way outside for release. I tried it the first time. Took me 10 minutes of tossing a towel onto it, trying to gingerly gather it into the towel, recoiling back with a squeal, picking up the towel, and starting over. I finally did it, and calmly talked myself all the way downstairs and out the door. But when I shook the towel out onto the grass, no cricket.
No cricket, y'all.
That's a waste of my life, energy, and precious adrenaline.
I don't want Zoralee to see me being a weenie, because no use in instilling into her my fears. So the other day, she says to me, "Who's that? Who's that? Who's that?," which she does when there's a bug. Sure enough, a cricket on the floor. I tried to be cool. I approached it with a half a roll of wadded up toilet paper. Backed off with a screech. So she, my brave little Super Zor, took the Kleenex from me and said "I do it!" Can you believe that sauce? She approached - - - and then backed away with a yelp exactly like I had done. Ai-yai-yai.
The only other cricket tale of note is from a few nights ago. There was one in the bathroom, but Jason was asleep. Long story short, I tried the Kleenex to toilet trick, but this cricket was waaaaay too energetic. Too quick. He lurched under the toilet bowl brush like lightening. The others had been sluggish, so this was a surprise, and not in a good way. Thankfully, Jason was so gone that he didn't hear my squeals. I closed the door and stuffed a towel under it so he couldn't escape, and then made Jason get him the next morning before work.
You know what? If these crickets would chirp, I would try a lot harder to get them back outside, because cricket chirping is the best. But they won't. They are dark, silent omens of all things pretty bad.