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Holy Crap (Children and Crickets Mentioned)

I was in between giving the twins a bath tonight when I looked up (how did I not notice this until twenty minutes into bath time–I have no idea) and saw a cricket on the ceiling. And you’re going to say that I’m exaggerating, but this thing was larger than a human child. With feelers slithering in every direction. I was going to die. DIE.

And I’ve been trying hard not to pass along my dire fear of crickets to my children. I mean, truthfully, I’ve been trying to raise them to BE my cricket killers. They are of no help to me if they are as paralyzed by fear as I am. Holy crap. And did I mention that this cricket was the size of a small automobile? Clinging to my ceiling.

I have to suck it up and pretend to be brave in front of them, so I run downstairs for a chair and fly swatter, chirping along as if I’m just skipping off to refill a martini glass at an open bar (chirp? Why did I write chirp? It’s as if I have communed with the crickets). And I try to smack it several times, each time smiling down at the kids and saying things like, “I’m just being silly, aren’t I? Just smacking the wall like a lunatic. Ha ha ha. Nothing to see here. Just me being silly.” And whatever you do, don’t come in this bathroom. There is a cricket, the size of two monster trucks that has wedged itself into the corner. And I don’t want you to see what I’m hitting and ask about corporal punishment or any other uncomfortable subject.

Since I don’t want to spray chemicals near the kids, I decide that the sustainable living solution to cricket removal would be to spray water. Oh…and then beat the crap out of it when it moved into a better space (and while I’m fairly certain that cricket murder is not part of the general sustainable living ahimsa motto, I was not going to be able to live in a house with a cricket. A cricket the size of four football fields.

I spray it and instead of crawling a few inches to the left or right, it jumps. At me. In slow motion. And I dive off the chair into the bathtub. The full bathtub. Sending a tidal wave of water onto the bathroom floor. And screaming the entire way down. My cargo pants have absorbed water up to the thighs. I am wearing a pair of heavy, grey socks. I am still batting at the air with my fly swatter, trying to locate it. My daughter steps into the bathroom and examines the situation. “Mommy in the bathtub. With clothes on.”

At this point, I must explain somewhat that I’m searching for my friend, a cricket. Could you help me find my friend? And I feel like the bad guys in Pete’s Dragon who try to coax the little boy out of the swamp by promising him cake and ice cream. Oh, cricket, come out, come out. I’ll give you…whatever crickets love. I stood in the water for about ten minutes, trying to prod the bath towels on the floor with the tip of my fly swatter, absolutely certain that it was going to jump out at me.

But it was nowhere to be seen. And I finally needed to step out of the tub, peel off my socks and pants, and bring them into my bathroom to throw into the bathtub until I could deal with them later. My kids followed, chirping (that word!) on about how mommy was in the bathtub. And no clothes in the bathtub. And mommy’s socks are wet. And this is all fine and good, but how about finding that goddamn cricket for me? What good are you? What good are you? There is a cricket, about the size of Pluto, somewhere in this house. IN THIS HOUSE! IN MY HAIR! THERE IS A CRICKET IN MY HAIR!

And I know this because it jumped out of my hair and landed on the door. My thick, dark, curly, cricket-hiding hair. And I screamed. And screamed. And the kids sobbed because I was screaming. And like a lunatic, I raced over to the other bathroom, grabbed my fly swatter and barreled back through my bedroom screaming, “get out of my way!” before I smacked it with all my might against the door.

And that’s how I killed my first cricket.

And as we all stood motionless after the toilet flushed the cricket away, breathing heavily while I still batted at my hair, my son signed and said at the same time, “all done. Please. All done.”

Yes, all done. I am done. I am fried. Go to bed so I can go downstairs and have a stoli and soda. No, on second thought, if it’s okay with you, I’m just going to chill in your room for the next half hour trying to calm down. You’ll protect me, right? Now that you know what to do? Please let me pass along great cricket hunting skills instead of my cricket fears. You really weren’t supposed to witness that.


1 Murray { 09.20.06 at 7:36 pm }

Aren’t crickets suppose to be kind of cute?

2 The Town Criers { 09.20.06 at 8:42 pm }

You are sick, Murray, sick. A cricket was in my hair!?! Cute? Cute?

3 TeamWinks { 09.20.06 at 10:15 pm }

I laughed very loudly while reading this post! Ok, more like laughed my damn ass off! No, no, no, I’m not mocking you, but I feel the same way about frogs that you do about crickets. Do you think it has to do with things that hop and jump? Hmmm…perhaps we need hopper fearers anonymous.

4 C { 09.20.06 at 11:34 pm }

I’m laughing out loud here, but DUDE, what is it with freaky bug encounters today? I found a millipede the length of my hand out on my patio this afternoon and am never going outside again. Ever.

5 serenity { 09.21.06 at 6:22 am }

I am laughing my ass off too.

Not because you’re afraid of crickets. But because I would have done the EXACT same thing.

In fact, I would STILL be batting at my hair.

Good for you for killing the bastard.

6 The Town Criers { 09.21.06 at 7:29 am }

That’s exactly it! It’s the fact that they hop. At least with a spider, you know they’re going to go left, right, forward or back. But a cricket could jump anywhere. I feel the same way about the “knight” chess piece. Hate that one. And people who are like crickets–those people who you never know what they’re going to do/say… I know someone who will tell me how much they dislike a certain person, and then I’ll see them with that person and they’ll be smiling sweetly and laughing with them. THAT is a cricket person. You never know if they’re bullshitting you or bullshitting the other person. Ew…avoid, avoid, avoid.

And I AM still batting at my hair. Even this morning. It’s like I can still feel something crawling on me. THERE WAS A CRICKET IN MY HAIR. A CRICKET IN MY HAIR!

7 A.M.S. { 09.21.06 at 8:02 am }

You have my deepest sympathies! I feel the same way about the alien flying cockroaches we have here. Yep, FLYING cockroaches. Even the cats, who love to hunt flying bugs, are terrified of these four-inch long monstrosities.

8 Piccinigirl { 09.21.06 at 8:32 am }

it’s the only sound that Mr Kir and I can sleep to on the sound machine. I thought crickets were soothing, I am thinking I was VERY WRONG.

Oh the giggles this one gave me. 🙂

9 Anonymous { 09.21.06 at 8:53 am }

I have now also laughed my ass right off.

The mental imagery had me trying to stifle loud obnoxious laughter here at my desk. My roommate in college had a similar experience with a flying roach in our room. It was hysterical. (For me.) I drew her a picture of the SuperRoach with a flowing cape and muscles on all of his arms (legs?). So, you know, if you want a SuperCricket…

hee hee

10 The Town Criers { 09.21.06 at 8:57 am }

No, no, no cricket pictures. Scared. Too scared.

11 Katie { 09.21.06 at 9:28 am }

My boss probably wonders why the heck I’m cackling in my office. You really captured the moment. Thanks for a GREAT POST!!!!!!!

12 aah0424 { 09.21.06 at 10:25 am }

Too funny! See that is why I have two 100 pound labs. They are my bug assassins. If I see a bug in the house I point at it and the fun begins for them.

This time of year we have these really disgusting spider crickets in our garage(seen one of those before? they are SCARY). My two dogs have a field day running around the garage trying to get them. One of them will just eat them the other one thinks they are playing a game-he’ll chase it around, catch it, spit it out and then bark at it because he wants it to start jumping around again. I feel bad for Augie because if it doesn’t start jumping around either because of fear, injury or death he will go sulk away like he has lost his best friend.

13 Dee { 09.21.06 at 10:42 am }

Oh, jeez, that was funny (though I imagine it wasn’t very funny to you as you’re going through it).

I’d still be freaked out, and especially about it being in my hair. Mind you, I’ve got a phobia about cockroaches (and I’m in south Florida, home of the man-eating scofflaw Palmetto bug who laughs at any vain attempts to kill it) and have had them walk on me, my hair, my arm or leg too many times to count. I imagine it won’t be pretty the first time it happens in front of my daughter and my husband isn’t home to slay it for me. G-d help me.

14 Southern Comfortable { 09.23.06 at 7:36 am }

I’m sure I’ll invite your eternal wrath for saying this, but am I the only one who was always told that it’s bad luck to kill a cricket?

15 The Town Criers { 09.23.06 at 1:09 pm }

Southern, it doesn’t count as bad luck if the cricket was first in your hair 🙂

16 Murray { 09.23.06 at 6:43 pm }

I think crickets are much smaller where I’m from….

17 Kelly { 02.17.07 at 1:18 am }

OMG. I am not the only one! You have no idea how absolutely ESTATIC I am right now. My mom always makes fun of me and laughs and/or yells at me about my cricket fear. “Kelly, they’re just crickets…they can’t do anything.” Please. I have such a phobia of them it sends me into fits… yah. Screaming, sobbing, paralyzation- the whole shabang. Once I was stuck in my office for almost a half hour because a monstrous one was in front of the door. Haha

18 Anonymous { 10.07.07 at 9:36 am }

I am so glad I found your story. Now I know that I am not alone!! In fact, I could have written your story. Crickets are EVIL and regardless of what anyone says, they will hunt you down. They can smell fear. Oh yes. In a room of 50 people and me… they will ALWAYS single me out and come walking slowly yet purposefully toward me, laughing the whole time…

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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