Friday, March 08, 2002

So today I had the second cricket interloper in my cubicle at work. Just two days ago, the first such visitor met with an untimely end.

I looked down at my mustard colored carpet, catching a flash of motion. A cricket was bounding along the carpet, perhaps lured by the mustardy goodness of the color. I observed him for a moment, and decided to let him get on with his cricket business, whatever that might be. About ten minutes went past, and the cricket remained there, possibly recording my every movement for his dark cricket overlords. I don't know.

I wandered over to the Crazy Old Rap-Listenin' HR Lady's office and mentioned that there was a cricket in my cubicle [I call her The Crazy Old Rap-Listenin' HR Lady because one day she asked me what I was doing with my weekend and I told her my wife and I were going to the symphony. She said "Classical music, huh? I mostly like rap and hip-hop." I just thought it was kind of weird. Here's this mid-fifties HR Lady down with the Wu Tang. Go figure.]. She sprang into action and rushed to my cubicle. I assumed she was going to shoo it away or fill out some sort of "vermin infestation" form, but no!

She swooped upon the cricket with the lithe grace of a panther, grabbing it in her bare hand and striding off toward another office, where dwells yet another HR Lady and (this is important) her iguana. I followed at a comfortable distance, and saw her lift the top of the iguana cage, and drop the doomed insect to its fate. So I had caused this poor little cricket to be consumed by an iguana. The karmic wheel would surely have some swift justice to deal my direction!

Today, though, I noticed another cricket interloper.

Seeing my chance for Karmic redemption, I grabbed my Giants mug from my desk and slapped it over the cricket, prepared to rehabilitate him and reinsert him back into cricket society to live a useful life. Placing some inconsequential work document over the open end of the mug, I stealthily approached the HR area, which I had to pass through to free my newfound friend. I had a vision of myself as a hero of the Underground Railroad, or French Resistance, smuggling crickets to freedom in the dead of night, bundling them into new clothes and stuffing a ten dollar bill into their little cricket pockets as I wished them goodbye and good luck, with teary eyes.

I am the savior of crickets! Well, at least the cricket that didn't get eaten by an iguana.

[Untrue portion of story: I had just made it past the HR area, when I heard a low growling behind me. I looked back to see the Crazy Old Rap-Listenin HR Lady, her hair ablaze in the glow of the overhead fluorescents, iguanas slithering at her feet. "Kafkaesque!" she shrieked "That cricket is mine!"

"You shall not take him!" I screamed back and made a dash toward the door.

Then, the iguanas overcame me, sinking their cute little iguana claws into my soft underbelly. With the last ounce of strength I had, I hurled the Giants mug at the glass door, shattering it. As the cricket burst free of the mug, immense golden wings sprouted from his back. The iguanas hissed in terror and changed into bunny rabbits. The Crazy Old Rap-Listenin' HR Lady cursed me for releasing her prize, the fabled Golden-Winged Cricket and fled wailing into the night.

The cricket flew off into the sunset, to bring to joy and peace to our darkened land.]


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