Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The summer of the cave crickets was awful. These little buggers would pop up in the most unexpected places. Since they like the dark, they would hide out in our closets and even burrow into the folds of our clothes. Imagine pulling a pair of pants on, walking out into the living room and sitting down at ease with a novel, and all of sudden feeling your pant-leg violently vibrating. That was one the few times when I actually hollered and danced like a jitterbug.

They are as fat around as your thumb, with spidery like legs and a cricket-like head. They can jump very high, and very far. When they were on the move, we were running away and screaming like little girls. We had no idea what these things were, so we coined the term "spidickets". When something is nameless, you are truly in more fear of it.

Later we found out their true name, and weren't so creeped out. (I think we were harboring secret thoughts that these cave crickets were really the results of some genetic engineering between crickets and spiders).

However, this past summer when I accompanied Jon to his Life Adventure camp reunion, I encountered these horrible bugs again. I was walking back in the dark to our tarp, ready to crawl into my fleece blanket and call it a night. I knelt down at the edge of my sleeping pad and turned on my headlamp. There were 4 cave crickets (LARGE ones, mind you) balefully staring at me from strategic points on my pad and backpack. I froze for the longest time, seriously considering packing up and insisting that we go home right then and there. Then I decided to face my fear and flicked them off one by one and burrowed into my fleece bag, cinching the end shut until only my nose poked out (this was in the middle of summer and rather hot). I think if I had allowed it to, I would have developed a phobia against cave crickets.

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