Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Space Invaders

Taking a look out of the window, it looks like any other grey, rainy November morning. I don't spot either of the following 1.)Fire reigning down and the four horseman of the apocalypse descending to Earth to signal the end of times 2.) Rainbows, unicorns, gold doubloons, and hark the herald angels sing.

So the beat goes on.

And I still have leukemia. The only "change" I am really concerned about right at this particular moment is if the president-elect can come down here and lay hands on me and heal my cancery ass. Call me selfish, but right now I've got bigger fish to fry.

One thing I did read this morning that troubled me is the talk that the embargoes may now be lifted from Cuba with the new administration. Okay,first how about Cuba clean up their human rights(especially in regards to gays), reinstate religious freedom, freedom of the press, end censorship of books and the jailing of librarians, and start letting their people leave legally if they want to instead of forcing them to paddle the sea in homemade boats. Hey, how's that for a thought? You want some embargoes lifted? Work for them.

Last week, we had an invasion of sorts in the Amos household. I meant to write about at the time, but I think I was pretty well traumatized by the whole thing. On and off since we moved into this house (and actually we had the same trouble in our rental house from back in the day), we've had issues with camel crickets. For those of you unfamiliar with what a camel cricket is (also known in some circles as spider crickets), feast your eyes:

Yum, I know. These little boogers are even more revolting up close and personal, and they can jump like nobody's business. It may not look like it, but camel crickets can actually get pretty big, with legs and all enough to cover most of the palm of my hand. For some reason, they have always reminded me of the face suckers from the Alien movies. You know, these guys:
The sight of one of these things in the house is enough to paralyze both The Mister and me. Alastair just points at them and says, "Big bug, mommy." Of course there was that time about nine months ago when he walked into the kitchen carrying the carcass of a camel cricket, "Mommy, what's this, mommy?" I nearly peed myself and vomited and passed out all at the same time. But instead I managed to swoop down and snatch it away from him, exclaiming "Dead bug! Gross!" Oh how I hope one never jumps on him; he'll be traumatized. Then should that happen, I foresee hysterical panic all around at the mere mention of a camel cricket.

Occasionally, our cats will come through in their roles as latent hunters and catch a couple. Rarely though do they kill them, but choose instead to rip off their jumping legs, making them more interesting playthings. Once bored with the camel cricket, they generally leave its not-dead-yet body in the middle of the floor or their food bowl. Our favorite choice of dispatching these little buggers is the vacuum cleaner; sucks 'em right up with minimal contact on our part.

A year or two ago, my dad came and poked around under our house, sealing off potential entry points for the accursed creatures, and it seemed to work. We had minimal intrusions. Apparently, they've found a way back into the house because with the temperature drop last week, these hopping scourge of the earth were back with a vengeance. One night in particular, we dispatched somewhere between ten and twelve camel crickets in matter of a few hours. It felt like every time we came down stairs there were two or three more in the kitchen or dining room or careening around the den or the laundry room. I had these nightmare visions of the floor covered in these jumping minions of Satan. I felt like Ripley, fighting off the never-ending swarm of acid-spitting predators.

Since then, their presence has declined with the odd bugger popping up here and there, as if the word got out about the Purple Weapon of Mass Destruction (aka the Dyson vacuum) welded by the humans. The camel crickets are more weary of mounting another large invasion any time soon. But we are vigilant.

Here's to one good thing about The Big House: no stinking camel crickets.

Oh and one more thing. I'm losing what little hair I have left. AGAIN. And this time it's a mangy look I'm sporting. There's a nice clean bald spot on the top of my head. Hotness. Chemotastic hotness.

12 comments:

Karen said...

We always get an invasion of ladybugs during the temperature drop. They're not so cute and spotty when they take over your master bedroom. And they STINK! Have you ever squished one? It'll leave a rotten smell and a lovely yellow/orange stain where ever you decided to end its life.

Kim said...

I'd never seen those things before moving to Richmond. Shortly after buying our home, I was under the house fixing something, and noticed the wall in the crawlspace seemed to be "wavy." Yep, you guessed it, they covered the wall entirely.

I have no idea what their purpose is other than to creep humans out. I hate the crunch before the squish if someone smooshes them (I refuse to kill them - I'm sure there's some sort of luck factor in there given that they are in the cricket family).

Rusty said...

We had a ton of these things living in the basement of my family's last house in the DC suburbs. I used to catch them in jars and take them to my elementary class's pet snake for food. It was the worst in the laundry room because it had a pull-cord light so you had to walk to the light in the dark knowing those things were somewhere around you. Bleh.

Ann Marie said...

no matter how bad things may be on your side of the internet, you always fascinate me with your awesome stories! i have laffed my ass off at ur camel cricket story....we used to have them in TN, and they would come out of the faucet in the bathtub....talk about screaming and leaving a trail of bubbles! anyway chickie, we are thinking of you on a daily basis, wishing we could do more...hang in there!
Ann Marie and family

cindy said...

Bugs suck!

My hubby found this great stuff that smells minty (it's all natural) and is used by one of the big pest companies. It's child/pet safe and keeps away all kinds of critters.
http://www.domyownpestcontrol.com/eco-exempt-dust-p-45.html

You need this to spray the dust into the walls and crevices:

http://www.domyownpestcontrol.com/hand-duster-p-106.html

Cindy

ahamos said...

AK-47. When you absolute must kill every motherf*ckin' camel cricket in the room: accept no substitute.

Do I need to recount The Great Camel Cricket Massacre story from the old house?

Pea said...

Ugh. Camel crickets sound disgusting.

I feel your pain with the beasties. About this time of year, Mr. Pea and I always fight a similar invasion of House Centipedes (they look like hairy centipedes). They're supposed to be harmless to humans, and they eat spiders and bugs, but those buggers freak me right out.

JamieSmitten said...

Admittedly, I have not had a camel cricket invasion in my own home, but I'm 98% certain that I would trade you my occasional mice infestation for those monster crickets. Make that 99% certain.

Candace, RN said...

Camel crickets!!! Is that what they're called? Every year we do battle with those bad boys! And you're right on the money with the potential for Allastair traumatization. When my Jordan(8), was 4, one leaped on her and she developed a bug phobia that's just now beginning to subside. I was trying to teach her that all God's creatures deserve a chance. She's like, "Even the jumpy things?" I'm like, "Okay, maybe not the jumpy things." I know now. Creepy, agressive, long-legged, hopper thy name art Camel Spider!

Girl With Curious Hair said...

Never a dull or ordinary story from your corner, is there? My insect stories would be: "BUGS! GAH!!!!" Camel Crickets sound horrid. I hope they don't spit.

I would like to hear about the CC Massacre though.

Ranylt said...

And I thought our annual cluster fly influx (which we're enduring right now) was bad. As noisy as cluster flies are, I suppose they gotta be quieter (and less ooky) than colossal crickets that, apparenly, go crunch before the squish.

Reason 14,205 for living in the north: smaller bugs (except for the wood spider we found in our screened-in porch this summer that was bigger than my hand and evaded the fly swatter like it was smarter than me because we had record amounts of rain and everything--bug, bird, bush--grew to tropical proportions by August).

Anonymous said...

Seriously, seriously?
Why, why bring up Cuba's human rights record when you have Guantanamo Bay right around the corner?
Embargoes help create extreme poverty and isolation in a country, ultimately preventing meaningful change and perpetuating a bad government's hold on to power by giving a convenient antagonist to be used for propaganda purposes. Sheesh. Engaging with someone instead of isolating does not mean validation, but opens up avenues to exert influence.
Food for thought?

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