Monday, September 20, 2010

The horror

On Saturday morning last, I was enjoying the quite.  Nelson had taken the boys down to his parents for the weekend; I'd had dinner and drinks with friends the night before; I had a frittata cooking in the kitchen for brunch with friends.  I'd decided I'd be fashion forward and wear my white pants to brunch and was feeling quite smug about it.

I was folding some laundry in my beautiful, sunny living room.  The laundry had been sitting in my basement for two or three days, waiting patiently, and I finally had a moment.  I could smell the frittata - almost done.  I yanked the last shirt from the laundry.  It was one of Nelson's work shirts - long sleeves, button down.  I shook it to get out some of the wrinkles, and something fell onto my lap.

Now, it's not entirely surprising that something would fall onto my lap from the clean laundry.  I'm notoriously bad at checking pockets before I wash clothing, so things fall out all the time.  I'm always washing grocery lists, receipts, money, business cards, appointment cards, memory sticks (sorry, Nelson).  There is almost always some kind of detritus in my clean clothes.

So, things falling out of my laundry onto my lap = not surprising.  I had no idea what had fallen on to my lap, but my subconscious kicked in and sent my heart racing and adrenaline flowing and my hand flinging what ever it was on my lap and onto the floor.  I didn't know what it was, but my body was automatically reacting and my brain had not caught up.  It was like it was spinning through my memory files trying the place the thing. What are you, thing?

As I brushed it away, this thing that my body into panic mode but was not immediately identifiable, it moved.  IT FUCKING MOVED.  No, it jumped.  It landed about four feet away.

It was a goddamn camel cricket, aka the spawn of Satan. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you need to click that link right and and go see the ugly bastards for yourself.  They are horrific.  You may know them as sprikets, spider crikets, jumping crickets.  They are some big, ugly em effers.  And they jump super high and super far.  And because of their terrible vision, they JUMP AT predators (i.e., me) instead of jumping away.  Also, they eat their own limbs.  They are nasty.  The don't bite and aren't particularly harmful or damaging, except to your eyes because of their hideousness and your heart when they try to attack you and give you palpitations.

When Nelson and I lived in our little 400 square foot basement apartment, the place was infested with them.  they were everywhere, and we could not get rid of these awful, hideous, attacking crickets.  I was afraid to open cabinets because the bastards would launch themselves at me.  If I got up in the middle of the night, I would see them, covering the kitchen floor. COVERING it.  

I had nightmares about them.  There were just so many more crickets than there were of us.  We put out these glue traps to capture them and the traps would be covered every mornings.  It was so terrible, you guys.  Definitely one of the worse parts about living in that apartment.  There was also a rat situation there, but I'll save that for another time (Amy, you'll love that one.)

So, back to present day.  That little bastard was just sitting there in my beautiful, sunny living room, waiting to attack me and then hop away and lie in wait in some dark corner to terrify me again.  Well, folks, I wasn't having any of that.

They have terrible vision, so I skirted around the side of him and into the dining room.  I then took off my flip flop and crept right up on that nasty bastard and squashed the shit of out him.  There was a satisfying crunch and a gooey, blood mess in my living room, but he's dead, dead, dead and I'm feeling more than a little vindicated.


Becky said...

OMG, I was sure it was going to be a mouse or something and I was preparing my heart attack.

Those are nasty looking. Not cricket-in-times-square crickets at all.

But that apartment! Come here and let me give you a hug, that sounds terrible!

Veronica said...

We have similar crickets here, but they are bigger and they fucking FLY. You know, I'm not scared of creepy crawlies, but something that lauches at your head and then FLIES AT YOU? Not a fan.

Anonymous said...

UGH. I had those in my bedroom my freshman year in college, when I lived in my parents' basement. HORRIBLE. You didn't dare walk through in the dark without shoes on.

Michele said...

You know that I'm all hippy earth-mother save-the-planet tree-hugging granola-head but I would have jump a mile and then squashed him dead. You did the right and brave thing.

Sprite's Keeper said...

Blech! I keep telling John I want another vacuum just so I can bring it with me everywhere. And if I see a spider, I won't need him to come and kill it. :-)

Strawberry said...

We get those sometimes. Ugh, they're gross. But still, I prefer them over the GIANT SPIDERS we sometimes get. Many times I've nearly died of a heart attack over the GIANT SPIDERS.

Anonymous said...

We used to have tons in the garage and I would run into the house! They are like the x-men of crickets and the only power they is is scaring the bejesus out of you. I am glad you rid the world of one more gigantic bug from hell :)

Frogs in my formula said...

I've never heard of those! Ew! How was the frittata?!

anymommy said...

I am so freaking impressed. I would have run screaming from the room. Possibly the state.

FoN said...

Clearly, he had it coming.

You know, it could have been worse. My SIL was once folding her fresh out of the dryer laundry and did the same thing as you - started shaking out the clothes. What fell out you ask?

The new baby kitten they got a couple of days earlier. Much to the horror of her two girls, aged 8 and 10. Can you imagine the freak-out that would have followed? Yeah, me neither.

And, yes, he was dead. Super dead. Aren't you glad I commented now?

gretchen said...

Oh honey, I feel your pain. Though I've never had much of a bug issue. I'm more of the "rescue and rehabilitate" type when it comes to bugs. Rodents, however....ewwwww.

Keely said...

Yeeeccchh. I remember those in NZ as wetas, and they came in varying sizes from teeny-creepy to fucking-massive.

Still. It has fewer than 8 legs, so I would have had the same squishing response. 8 or more? I run screaming.

Heather said...

I will thank you in advance for the nightmare I will most likely have tonight, thanks to this story and the picture. Ew, just ew.