Here’s something I wrote a while back, and just found again.
Right now I’m sitting in a mentally toxic meeting, so replete with irrelevant information and incomprehensible acronyms that it’s impossible for me to focus.
In an effort at self-preservation, I’m not paying attention and will write this instead. From time to time I will include bits of the meeting that managed to impinge themselves upon my unwilling consciousness (They will be in bold italics, like this). The meeting had nothing to do with the subject of this post, other than being coincident in time. Think of it in the same way as trying to sleep with the TV on.
When fall comes, everyone prepares for the onset of winter. People install new weather stripping. Squirrels bury nuts. Cave Crickets (also known as camel crickets) move indoors. The OFCCP has attempted for years to properly define “applicant”.
Cave Crickets are a miracle of nature, creatures that are wonderful in their body plan and behavior. Cave Crickets don’t really eat our food, infest our cabinets, or behave like cockroaches generally, although they can and did infest my house, causing literally thousands of dollars of damage with their cement-like droppings. I am not aware that they transmit diseases. Like any insect, they are tiny, miraculous little meat robots. They are beautiful in their own way and utterly harmless, but I hate the f–king things.
Every year at this time, it happens – usually as we’re beginning to think that we’ve not seen any Cave Crickets in a while: we turn on a light, and discover a huge Cave Cricket sitting blithely on the wall at eye-level. Internal review of external requisitions is mandatory.
Many times I’ve wished for a good image of a cave cricket to email in order to properly explain the hideousness of these f–king things. Keep the DST informed of internal candidates. Usually I’m too busy killing them or demolishing some part my house previously damaged by Cave Crickets to get a good image, not to mention the fact that getting near one is difficult. It’s like explosive ordinance disposal; they might go off at any time, flinging themselves at your head with wild abandon. BRAC capture of qualified talent presents significant challenges in the current competitve market environment.
Last night, I was taking pictures of a leaf-hopper, and walked into the computer room to look at the images. Flick goes the light, revealing a huge and particularly arachnidian Cave Cricket. Camera still in hand, I whipped into action and photographed it. Consider the qualifications matrix.
Then I had to capture it.
Cave Cricket capture is a subtle process. Cave Crickets are extremely wary and fast. You cannot usually walk up to one and simply grab it, although sometimes this happens – more on this in a minute. Instead, in a zen-like exercise you must approach the Cave Cricket slowly with a coffee cup in one hand and a stiff piece of paper in the other. You must become empty, void of desire, particularly the desire to capture the Cave Cricket. You must focus with singular concentration on your slowly moving hand. The cup must be lowered slowly, carefully atop the Cave Cricket over a period of about 30 seconds. During this time you will have an opportunity to observe the Cave Cricket intimately at extremely close range. You will notice that Cave Crickets are so large that they have facial features. Their extraordinarily long, graceful antennae will swing to bear, like dowsing rods, in your direction. Task-oriented queries emphasize organizational requirements. If you are close enough, the antennae will lightly graze your hand and linger there, like the touch of a lover. Note their spiky, spiderlike legs, held high in a position of laissez-faire readiness. You may also notice a bad odor, because Cave Crickets like to hang out in dank, moldy places when not venturing out on your wall or floor. If you are lucky, you might get to observe a tiny, moist, perfectly round pellet of Cave Cricket fecal matter emerge from the Cave Cricket’s curiously elaborate anus.
Cave Crickets, in general, do not hurry. They amble. They can be panicked, as you will discover, should you lose patience and try to slam down the cup. “Only one quarter of an inch remains between the cup and the wall,” you may say to yourself. “Surely, if I let the cup down with lighting speed, the Cave Cricket will be trapped.” But you would be wrong. Cave Crickets, when properly motivated, teleport themselves through the smallest of openings. Their reflexes are like those of a samurai. And when a Cave Cricket has been stirred to panic, it will jump, and jump, and jump. It wants to get away at any cost – anywhere but under the cup, often landing on your head where it will become hopelessly entangled in your hair and struggle furiously.
Cave Crickets are weighty insects. When stuck to you, their massive bodies hang from you like a wad of chewing gum with an acorn in it. Cave Crickets are covered with hairs and protrusions which tangle in even the fine hair of your arms.
Often at this point you become acquainted with another, distasteful attribute of Cave Crickets: their fragility. Cave Crickets are not well put together. In particular, their legs have a tendency to fall off like the tail of a small lizard. In fact, they are so fragile that sometimes their legs will simply fall off for no reason at all. Government sponsorship drives the process. You will often not see Cave Crickets, but know that they are about because of their discarded legs, which litter an infested area. My garage looks the floor of a civil war triage tent, strewn with bloody limbs. But Cave Crickets don’t seem to mind. Limbs are merely an option, and the disposessed continue about their business undisturbed.
The sum total of these Cave Cricket features is that, if you are impatient, if you breathe too hard etc., you will probably wind up with a revolting, smelly, struggling and partially dismembered insect stuck to your body.
Occasionally – I’m not sure why – you will encounter a Cave Cricket that has lost its will to live and doesn’t even try to escape. Consider the implementation of straw-man feasibility exercises. A lengthy cup-capture process is unnecessary for these individuals, but you can’ t know that until afterward. Sometimes these crickets simply die where they sit. I’ll take this opportunity to mention that when Cave Crickets decay, they dissolve into little puddles of black mire, like the wicked witch of the west. I often find a black stain on the floor with a few Cave Cricket legs stuck in it, and sometimes a recognizable portion of Cave Cricket body.
Post-capture, Cave Crickets with a zest for life start popping around inside the cup, creating an impact like multiple BB pellets hitting the inside of the glass. In fact, when your house is infested, as mine was, sometimes you can hear them hitting the inside of your wallboard at night. We are committed to excellence in our core competency skill area.
So why go through all of this effort? Why not simply smash the Cave Cricket? First of all, you’re probably not fast enough to do it. Even if you luck out and find one dozing, smashing these bad boys is not an option, unless you don’t mind that it will look like someone threw an egg at the wall.
Sometimes after I capture them I flush them down the toilet, but this is a shameful waste of resources. Besides, I have a sneaking suspiscion that they survive nicely within the sewer pipes, which must be an ideal environment for Cave Crickets. Before the interview, identify target questions, and go over the org chart. Consider flushing from the viewpoint of a Cave Cricket: as a moisture and darkness-loving creature, you get to hang out in your ideal environment, with periodic at-home food delivery!
Effective disposal of Cave Crickets is complex. Use of a garbage disposal comes to mind; however, consider the difficulty involved in shoving the frantically hopping, struggling cricket into the maw of the dangerous machine. This is not only a danger for you, but carries the risk that you’ll wind up with PTSD, discussing your horror & guilt with a highly trained & expensive stranger. Protocol planning is a critical process milestone.
To summarize, I hate f–cking Cave Crickets.85 comments
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