According to research, the Camel Cricket is harmless and timid. The researchers suggesting such are obviously terrible at their jobs. First of all, these cursed things aren’t even well named. When I discovered the species I dubbed them with a more appropriate moniker: Spickit. Since this species is clearly a mash-up of a cricket and a spider, Spicket just works better. They also kind of remind me of a tick but leggier. Grandticky Longlegs is just too much of a mouthful to be practical though. The second bit the bug specialist types got wrong is in regards to the alleged harmless and timid nature. They aren’t harmless or even mildly timid. They also sport a highly evolved social structure that will become clear as you read. I have personal case studies backing up my claims. What do these entomologists have? That’s right. Opinions.
On Spicket Harmlessness
0200 hours. Training area Tom somewhere on the Korean peninsula. I crawled into my sleeping bag for some much needed down time. In case you aren’t aware of how these things work in cold weather, the fewer articles of clothing you wear the warmer the sleeping bag keeps you. I did keep my boxers on just because there was typically only a foot of space between cots in our tent. Nobody wants to wake at two a.m. with an unwashed naked dude standing over them. I’m considerate like that. After a few minutes my sleeping bag began to warm comfortably and I began to drift off. I scratched absently at my chest and was jolted awake by what I was sure was a wasp or a spider. It felt a lot like a sting and I extracted myself from the sleeping bag at a high rate of speed propelled by nothing but my glutes working in a rapid scissor-like fashion. With my flashlight I found that a Spicket had lay claim to my accommodations and was perched on a fold of cloth with bits of my flesh still hanging from his mouth. I almost crushed it with my M16 but it retreated deeper into the folds of my bed and the army doesn’t like it when you wield a rifle like a fly swatter. Then I had an epiphany. I closed the mouth of the sleeping bag and took it outside the tent and shook it out. The Spicket bite left a raised welt that burned and itched for days. Harmless nature debunked! Take that, entomologists!
On Spicket Timidity
Several weeks later and back at my barracks I had one assault me in the shower. It was so large I could see its eyes tracking my movement and I swear I saw some intelligence in there. All I did was pull back the curtain and it began leaping at my nude form. After unleashing a string of profanity coupled with many instantly fabricated words, I tried to reason with it.
“Look, you,” I said. “I get it. I don’t like my nude form either, but it is more offensive to the nose right now than to the eyes. Umm. Yeah. So I don’t see a nose, so I can see your point, but this isn’t going to work.”
It seemed to take “this isn’t going to work” as a declaration of hostilities and began lunging at me again. With each leap it splayed its legs wide and threw its belly at whatever the intended target was. It was seriously exactly like a face hugger from the Alien movies. Except it didn’t have a tail. Or a mouth underneath. And it was more crunchy sounding every time it landed in the tub. So maybe exactly isn’t the best choice of words here, but it felt exactly like a face hugger attack. I’d anticipated this and applied a liberal coating of baby oil to my entire body in the hopes that if it did land on me it would not be able to gain a toe-hold. I forgot to mention the toes! The danged thing had discernable toes! I also donned my Army issue body armor but took the plates out. I just felt like steel and Kevlar plates was overkill at this point, but I was interested in the groin protector that dangles from the front of the armor vest.
The donning of armor came after my second attempt to rid myself of this violent bug with a honey badger’s attitude. It takes two hands to operate an ad hoc flamethrower comprised of an aerosol can and cigarette lighter. It takes one hand to draw the shower curtain behind which my source of torment lurked. I was simply not fast enough to draw the curtain and deploy my weaponry before the Spicket launched a preemptive strike. Wielding the shower curtain like a matador employs a cape, I beat a hasty advance to the rear (I hate retreating), regrouped, and donned body armor. I also determined that my homemade flammenwerfer required my hands be too close to the target and opted for hot shower water and an open drain as my new weapons. I began by proffering my helmet on one side as a decoy kind of like you might see in a movie to trick a sniper into firing and exposing his position. I then turned the water on as high as I could and began trying to wash a now hyper hoppy flesh eating Spicket down the drain.
It took some effort, but my superior skills as a Soldier eventually won out over his unadulterated rage and hopping skills.
Spickets: 1. Me: 2. Timid fallacy perpetuated by entomologists: Debunked!
It occurs to me (and should to you now as well) that Spicket society is largely unstudied and drastically misunderstood. It is clear to me from my own encounters that they are only semi-isolationist and practice a caste system like some South American ants. There are the drones who go out into the world and bring back food (aka: me-flesh). There are also Spickets similar to the ant soldier caste except these are more like lone assassins or Mafioso hitmen. The one that lay in wait behind my shower curtain was one of these. If I had just killed the bitey one, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have been able to put out that Spicket fatwa on me.