Louis L’Amour used to be my favorite writer. For a time in my life, his books were all I read. In those books, he had a saying he used several times. It was something like, “Don’t kill that cricket. His friends will come and eat your socks.”
Guess what? Someone must have killed a cricket in C-Town.
Yesterday, I went with one of my nieces to watch her little sister play softball. (I’m so glad we have school sports for girls these days!)
On the way to the softball field, my niece told me they were having a problem with crickets at school.
And, she said, if anyone started to kill one of the little bugs, her best friend would rescue it and shoo it out of the school.
So I quoted Louis. “She must know if you kill a cricket, his friends will come and eat your socks.”
“But I don’t wear socks, Aunt Susan.”
The girl reminds me of her mama. A lot. LOL. She went on to tell me how many crickets they’re seeing at school. Took me back to when C-Town had a real cricket infestation.
Mom owned the dress shop back then, and I worked there. It was in this building, in the front of the main floor. When I’d get to work every morning, the long wall you see would be black with crickets. The sidewalks were covered with crickets. The streets were covered with . . . well, you get the point.
And when I unlocked the door and walked into the shop each morning, I heard the unmistakable crunch of bugs smashing under foot, because the carpet was covered with crickets. Dead crickets, mostly, since we had a bug control guy spray the store each month. The first thing I did was grab the vacuum and sweep up all the little black carcasses.
Even little dead crickets start to smell after a few days, so we kept emptying the sweeper bag every day or two to keep the odor down. One morning, I noticed that dead cricket smell. Gag! I emptied the vacuum bag and took the bag outside along with the trash. The odor was still there.
I hoped I was the only one who could smell it. None of my customers mentioned it, but when my help came in that afternoon, she didn’t hesitate. “It stinks in here. We need to change that sweeper bag.”
“I did change it, and it’s outside. I don’t know what that is.”
The hunt was on. We checked under racks, behind the jewelry counter, under the check out stand and in the office. Nothing. Then she had a spark of genius.
The building we were in was an old bank building. The entryway had two doors to pass through, which was supposed to keep the wind from blowing directly into the main room. (I guess that was so the bank’s stacks of money wouldn’t blow all over before they got it in the vault.)
When the building was built, they made a little indention in the floor in that entry with a scrape-the-mud-off-your-feet-here grate in it. Beneath that grate was a graveyard of dead crickets, sending their perfume into the shop. We got them out of there, fast! Thank goodness, the crickets moved on not too much later.
And now, some of them are back and hunting down my nieces so they can eat their socks. 😉
And the ball game? I didn’t stay for the whole thing, but when I left it was 5-0. We won.
Looks just like me, doesn’t she?
- Oklahoma weather conditions perfect for cricket infestation (newsok.com)
- Book Review: ‘Jubal Sackett’ a Solid, if Unspectacular, Tale (jasondrexler.wordpress.com)