Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Night Of The Crickets

After my slick chine-lengthening move (see previous post) I returned to the boat project with vigor and optimism! Immediately I set to work test-fitting and then bending the second (middle) of three chine pieces.

As I was working up near the bow, I realized that I hadn't seen any spiders in a while.

Don't get me wrong, the normal cobweb spiders spin their hairy webs over everything. I have decided their fangs are too small to puncture my skin, so I don't worry about them apart from flailing like an electrocuted Wookiee when I wander through their webs.

No, what was missing -- speaking of Wookiees -- were the wolf spiders. I've written about these before. Suffice it to say that the method of finding these leviathans is to go into your yard at night with a flashlight. And look for the glowing eyes in the grass. I am not kidding.

Wolf spiders eat, among other things (dolphins, gazelles, lambs), crickets. Not just any crickets, but the hunch-backed, striped, spidery horrors called camel crickets.

These are so ghastly, so viscerally awful that I cannot even post an image. Prop yourself in front of a bucket and Google them if you must.

So wolf spiders eat camel crickets. No wolf spiders in the shop equals ...

I reached under the boat to tighten a screw and nearly put my hand on a cricket the size of my thumb tip.

When I returned to the ground -- seriously, one moment I was kneeling under the boat and then next I was five feet away after some sort of fugue state -- the cricket was gone.

Ha, I said (after saying other things), and reached for a killing stick.

Since it's a wooden boat I'm building, there are scraps of wood everywhere. No shortage of long clubs with with to dispatch a cricket. I found a piece of wood. Found the cricket. Made the cricket not be a cricket anymore.

Look, I'm sorry but there are certain things I will not tolerate, and camel crickets infesting my boat is one of them.

A few minutes later I nearly stepped on another one. Different cricket, different wood scrap. Same result.

Now I find myself in need of a hungry wolf spider that will eat crickets but not me. Looks like it's time to go spider-spottin' with my headlamp and leather gloves.


Barbara said...

I agree. Few things in the world are more vile than cave crickets--maybe only matched by the palmetto aka gargantuan cockroaches - in South Carolina. It's a close tie!

Sam said...