Dead Cricket

As I write this, there is a dead cricket in our house.  It’s flat on its back right in the middle of our living room, its little cricket legs sticking straight up in the air. It’s hard not to notice it. From just a few feet away, it looks like there’s an alarming dark spot on our otherwise cream-colored carpet. But upon closer inspection — yea, it’s a cricket.

I don’t know how the cricket got there but I suspect our cat Skitty did it in.  The circumstantial evidence points straight to her. I’ve often watched her toy with the moths, spiders, and stink bugs that manage to break into the comforts of our home, so I have every reason to believe the cricket is one of her hapless victims. (My wife doesn’t allow her to go outside much so she takes her hunting instincts out on whatever comes to paw.)

There’s nothing terribly unusual about finding a dead cricket in the house. They find their way in all the time this time of year.  But in this case, nobody in my family has touched it — not my wife, nor me, or our kids.  We all seem to know it’s there but we act like it’s not.  It’s as if we’ve made a pact not to speak of it or otherwise acknowledge it in any way.

The only one to break the silence on the matter is my daughter.  She can be excused, though.  She’s nine year’s old and has a hard time NOT talking about anything and everything.  But even she has only remarked upon this situation once.

“Eeeeeuuuwww,” I heard her squeal the other day. “Dad, there’s a dead cricket in the living room!”

My daughter is always “eeeuuuwwwwing” about something.  That’s what little girls do (and little boys, for that matter). But I’ve heard it so often that my reaction is more like one you’d expect from someone who’s responded way too many times to the boy who cried wolf.  The dog had better have puked profusely on the carpet if you want a good “eeeeuuuwww” to get more than a disinterested glance from me.

A dead cricket clearly doesn’t rise to that level. Maybe for you it does but not for me. It’s still smack dab in the middle of the living room and has been for days.

I’m starting to think this might be a test or something even more insidious. My wife is known to leave clean clothes piled up in a laundry basket in the TV room just to see if I’ll fold them.

Sadly, that’s a test I usually fail. It’s not that I don’t notice that there is a laundry basket brimming with clean clothes left in an unusual place.

I do.

I just have trouble putting two and two together.

Maybe this is a good time for a test of my own. I think I’m just going to leave that dead cricket right where it is for the time being.

It’ll be interesting to see who gives in first.


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