Friday, December 3, 2010

Kill the cwicket, kill the cwicket, kill the cwicket, kill it dead!

I hate bugs.

When I was a little girl--three, maybe four years old--my parents, my grandparents, my brother, and I all went to a park for a picnic. I don't remember the details of why we were there, though I think it may have been a family reunion of some sort. (Or a funeral. In my family, frequently that's what causes family reunions.) But we were at a park.

I was old enough that I could go to the bathroom by myself. This is an important fact, because while we were at this particular park I really, really had to go. So my grandparents took me over to a port-a-potty that was in this park, and I went in by myself, closed the door behind me, and proceeded to Take Care of Business.

It was dimly lit, and something about it just seemed wrong. I went to stand up, and suddenly there were things flying all around me. Screaming at the top of my tiny lungs, I forced the door open and tried to run away, but tripped and fell because I still had my pants down around my ankles.

Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of moths came hurtling out of that port-a-potty behind me.

When my mother relays that story, she often comments that my grandfather was initially convinced that there had been a hive of bees in there, since he saw his grand-daughter come screaming bloody murder and tons of insects flying out.


Thus began a long and abiding fear and loathing of all insects. Spiders top the list, because poisonous creatures with 8 hairy legs are terrifying; however, all insects are evil and suspect as far as I'm concerned.

Fast-forward 20-odd years to today.

Once again, I really, really had to go, so I sauntered into my own bathroom and proceeded to Take Care of Business. I had my iPhone with me, and thus was distracted, but I could sense that something just seemed wrong. I finished the job (complete with paperwork), and when I looked down, this is what I saw between the toilet and the wall:

All this is a picture I found on Google, and it still squicks me out!

And I proceeded to run from the bathroom, screaming at the top of my now much-larger lungs.

At first, I was convinced it was a spider, because from 5-6 feet away, all I saw was 8 long things extending out from an obviously insectoid body.

I believe I then proceeded to send Sam a profanity-laden message about a huge bleeping spider in the bathroom. When I went back to check on it, however, it had disappeared from where I had seen it.

(Yes, I did spend the afternoon curled up in a small ball on the couch, waiting for Sam to come home. Why do you ask?)

Eventually, Sam did come home, and we went back to the bathroom to see if we could track down the spider. When we found it, Sam surprised me by freaking out himself, "That's a bloody cave cricket! I hate those things!"

(Okay, so that's a highly sanitized version of what he said, but the gist is there.)

Apparently when he'd moved to town several years ago, he'd had a horrifying experience of one of them being between the sheets of his bed, and he's hated'em ever since. So now there were two full-grown adults who wanted absolutely nothing to do with that monstrosity in the bathroom. Sam suggested we sic the cats on'em.

I went back to the bedroom, trying to coax Techie, Nala, or Tiger to actually enter the bathroom, hopefully see the cricket, and commence with pouncing.

Can't you see we're sleeping, Mama?

They were most unimpressed by Sam and I's plight. Eventually, I dug out the laser pointer to trick Nala into running into the bathroom. Once she saw the cricket, she proceeded to masterfully chomp off the cricket's hind legs. No sooner had Nala's teeth closed on the cricket than Techie appeared out of the shadows like Batman. In three swift moves he somehow managed to trap the cricket under the bathroom trashcan.

Of course, now the cricket was trapped under the trash can, and the felines could not complete their meal. They spent the next five minutes trying to free the cricket again. Or maybe they were just torturing the leg that was still sticking out. Cats are sadistic that way.

Hearing the commotion in the bathroom, Tiger had to come check on her younger compatriots' handy-work. Seeing the other two batting at the trashcan, she heaved a sigh and nonchalantly let the cricket free from it's prison. Before the cricket had a chance to even register that it was no longer under the can, Tiger bit off another two legs with a surgeon's accuracy. A couple more swats, and then the three cats strutted back out of the bathroom, tails in the air.

I believe I mentioned cats are sadistic, yes? As proof, I submit that after batting around the cricket, eating off it's legs, and beating it some more, the three cats left the poor bastard twitching on the bathroom floor.


Finally, we decided the cats were not going to finish the job. (Or rather, it would take them another twelve hours to do so, with the periodic torture session, and we wanted to be able to use the bathroom.) Sam didn't want to touch it, and I sure as hell wasn't going to get close to it. After some thought, I got out my Swiffer mop (sans moist towelette) and  Sam proceeded to whack the cricket into oblivion. Once we were positive it was dead, we scooped it up in a Tupperware container I didn't want any more, and set it outside for the semi-feral cats to take care of.

Thanks for the noms, lady!

I hate bugs.

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