I like crickets.
One of my most highly regarded posts (I'm not making this up, the traffic on this post is out of sight) was about a cricket.
It's cricket time again around here, you see. Winter is closing in fast, and the little shiny guys and gals are looking for somewhere to hide for the season. Hey wait, there's a huge building right out here in the middle of the field, let's use IT! They climb up the walls, they sneak inside the gaping holes in the poorly constructed foundation and they live in the ceiling by the droves. But you know, as a very wise man once said, what goes up must come down.
In the men's room the vent is directly over the toilet. For some reason crickets like to end up inside whatever duct runs from that stinky poo-air vent to the outside world, and there's always a cricket or two that loses his or her grip and ends up in the not so briny deep.
Me, I'm a swimming cricket rescuer. Since no-one in the office is of the save water mindset there's never yellow mellowing therein, so it's an easy matter to reach in, scoop out, wash the hands and do what I need to do. Today, however, was a little bit different.
I walked into the lieu, flipped on the light and heard the soft 'plop' of a little brown armoured body falling from a height of about eight feet into about six inches of water. I walked over, prepared to take a brief but very cold hand dive to rescue the little klutz and I had to stop and stare.
Most times I find the unfortunate butterclaw swimming around in circles or clinging grimly to the bowl wall, unable to leap straight up enough to get out, but unwilling to continue to swim laps. This little joker, however, had a different idea.
When he hit the water I'm guessing he went in antennae-first in a half-gainer, because he made quite an entrance. I'm guessing he kicked off the bottom and dove back up toward the side because when I finally saw him he was about four inches deep, clinging right side up to the bowl wall. The most astounding part? Not that he was underwater. Not that he was staring at me from the clear depths with a sort of self-satisfied grin on his mandibles. No, it was that somehow, when he fell, a bubble had formed around his body. It wrapped all of his abdomen (where his spiracles are) and was clinging to parts of his head and thorax.
So. There I was, staring down into the bowl with my mouth hanging open and this cricket clinging to the bowl wall with his own air supply cleverly wrapped around his body. I honestly had to wonder how he'd gotten that lucky (or had he planned it?) and even tried to figure out just how long he could stay down there, exploring this underwater realm. Jacques Cricket, all he needed was a red knit cap and a tiny diver down flag.
After I came to my senses I reached in and carefully scooped him out and redelivered him back outside, where he no doubt began to regale his grandcrickets with Nemo-esque tales of his underwater explorations.
If only he'd been wearing a tiny canvas and brass diving suit.