Friday, November 07, 2008

The Great Camel Cricket Massacre

It was a normal, boring night 8 years ago. The sun had set just a couple of hours before, and my good friend Domenick and I were headed to the tiny shed out back of our rental house. I no longer remember why we were going out there, and I seem to recall not knowing why after all was said and done, but we were indeed heading to the shed.

The shed at that house had seen some evil moments in our 3 years of living there: I'd been stung by a wasp, attacked by camel crickets, found significant evidence of termite infestation, and been nearly choked by the stench of mold and two-stroke engine fumes.

But that night would live in infamy.

Nothing seemed amiss as we approached the shed. Sticking the key in the lock and opening the door revealed a horror show almost without parallel: camel crickets half-covered the floor, the counters, and the walls. THE FREAKIN' WALLS. The one light in the shed (when it worked) was just sufficient to cast dark shadows, and left half of the tiny building in darkness. But when I turned it on, the floor started jumping. Jumping away from me, jumping at me, jumping everywhere.

The nearest thing to hand was an old broom, which I weilded like the deadliest weapon known to man. I was smashing, bashing, and swinging the broom with abandon. Several deadly blows were rendered to the floor, the walls, and the counters before -- gasp -- the broom broke! Right above the head, too, leaving me with about 3' of stick.

Domenick had by now sensed the panic and desperation in my valiant struggle, and picked up the head of the broom. Pushing past me, he took up his own struggle against the moving countertops while I continued to bring down the broomstick of justice on the minions of Satan.

When it was over (and while it seemed to last forever, I think we realized it was only 30 to 45 seconds total), there was a surprisingly small mass of carcasses, but still numbering well above 15. I recall that with a couple of swings, my feet actually came off the floor.

I never again felt such savagery, but I never again went in to see the whole surface of the building jumping, either. Domenick and I rarely spoke of the Incident.

1 comment:

Girl With Curious Hair said...

I have a feeling that little camel crickets hear the story of the Massacre from their grandcrickets and go to bed praying they don't end up in your home.