Y'all come on in!

Y'all come on in!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


It had been a long, tiring day and I was tired enough to fall into bed and snore like a hibernating bear. I'm not adverse to hearing a little nighttime music in the form of nature's critters. A simple "ribbit" from a frog or a little midnight tune from a bird that forgot he was supposed to go to roost. But a cricket's voice is not easy-listening music with his high pitched, off key chirping.

Just as my head hit the pillow and my eye lids thumped shut, guess who decided to sing? Yep! The crickets were attempting to harmonize and they were somewhere inside the house. They sounded like they'd set up their rock band on the window sill right above my head but when I checked, they weren't there. I turned on the light and pushed around a dozen boxes of secret things I keep under the bed...no crickets. I rearranged the whole closet floor but they weren't in my boots, shoes or behind my first old Underwood typewriter.

As I started down the hallway toward the living room, the noise got louder in the bathroom. So I tiptoed in and flipped on the light. The show was going on in the bathtub. A trio was hopping around trying to act all innocent but the look in their eyes said they'd been doing some karaoke thirty seconds before. And if I'd had a Breathalyzer with me, I could have proven that they'd been drinking, too.

I've heard that bad luck will fall upon a person if they kill a cricket. Not wanting to tempt fate, I decided to give them a fighting chance. I would not smash them with the heel of my cowboy boot and face the wrath of some great unknown being. If they could survive a little cold water spray and a simple flush down the bathtub drain, it was their prerogative. If they died, well, it just meant they hadn't taken advantage of their fighting chance.

So I sprayed and down the train they went to serenade all the other critters who live in the sewer line. The next morning they were right back in the bathtub. I decided to starve them. If they could live with no food all day (that's pure old starvation to me) then when the sun went down I would give them another fighting chance. I was willing to bet they wouldn't be singing so loud on an empty stomach.

They are tough critters. They survived the day! That night I sprayed them down the drain, put the plug in the tub and ran a full tub of hot water, complete with bath oil and bubble bath combined. I soaked a while, pulled the plug and didn't feel a bit guilty. They could live through the soap bubbles or watch their lives flash before those beady little eyes. After all, I was still giving them a fighting chance.

The next morning they were back in the tub and they'd brought a friend with them. Evidently, they needed a guitar player because that night they were really fired up. I sentenced them to another day of starvation and gave them the same treatment the second night. I increased the dose of oil and felt like a slippery eel when I crawled out of the tub. I pulled the plug and wished them well, knowing that those bugs would be sitting on a great cricket cloud in the sky visiting with their relatives by morning. But, hey, they'd had a fighting chance.

The next morning the bionic bugs were back in the tub and there were six more. They were indestructible! Whoever said killing them brought bad luck didn't know they were put upon the earth to last six days past eternity. They could survive a "fighting chance" through a nuclear bomb. If two of them got loose on Mars they would repopulate the whole planet.

But just in case, I shooed them into a paper bag, folded the top six times and stapled it, then put that bag in a plastic one from the grocery store and super glued it shut. After that I put it in the dumpster. If they survive that and show up in my bathtub tomorrow morning, I'm finished with fighting chances. The fly swat is hanging on the robe hook on the back of the door.