You know how, in the movie Gremlins, there's that scene (here's a 24-second link, pardon the Spanish) with all the bad-seed Mogwais ripping open Christmas gifts, making a mess, acting like out-of-control brats, and sweet little Gizmo grasping a candy cane in one furry hand, and tooting a horn held with the other...and Stripe SPITS on him? Yeah. Buzzkill. That's how Mrs. Hillbilly Mom felt this afternoon.
There I was, after having lunch with my favorite gambling aunt, scraping scratch-off tickets bought with winners I had cashed in...when I felt something BITING my right arm. My scratching arm! There was a kind of noise, too. Not exactly a buzzing. But not exactly not. Maybe I was being STUNG! It was in the upper bend of my elbow. Just where the hem of my shirt sleeve lay. I could feel something in there.
I unbent my elbow toot sweet! (No fancy French spelling--just how it sounds. Who has time for translating at a moment like this?) You know. To let that buzzing/biting/stinging critter escape. And, to my ABSOLUTE HORROR...
A CRICKET CLUNG TO MY ARM!
Oh, the mortal terror of that instant! If Mrs. Hillbilly Mom had balls, they would have climbed to her thyroid, if she had one of those, (as long as we're IF-ing), and scratched and clawed with their woman-ball talons, if they had any, to beat each other out of Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's mouth to jump onto her butcher-block work counter and make haste to escape her dark basement lair!
Mrs. Hillbilly Mom abhors few creatures more than crickets. Perhaps only a millipede or centipede, if you get right down to it, perhaps because they have so many FEET. But crickets are high on her SCREAM FOR HELP list.
And that's what she did.
Poor Pony. Laying on his basement cheap couch, gaming games on his laptop. He was summoned to the rescue of The Momsel in Distress.
"PONY! COME IN HERE! A CRICKET BIT ME, AND NOW IT'S GETTING AWAY!"
The Pony galloped in. I proffered a whole Select-a-Size paper towel. (My mom would have torn it in half. Always thrifty, that ol' gal. Today would have been her birthday. Shout-out to you, Mom, and your thriftiness!)
"Here! Smash him! I don't want him in the office! SMASH HIM! You'll have to be quick. He might jump. SMASH HIM! Then flush him."
"Ohhhh. He's getting away! I can't reach him. Here. I'll smash him with this magazine holder from school. Ohhhh! He didn't smash. He's going farther back under that desk. I can't get him."
"NOOOO! Now he'll be in here WITH me! Look at my arm! See those claw marks? That's where I was trying to flip him off my arm! I HATE CRICKETS!"
"Huh. I thought you were hollering because you had a big winner."
If only. The take was just $60 today. Nothing to sneeze at. But nothing to scream about. Better luck tomorrow, perhaps.
Meanwhile...Mrs. Hillbilly Mom lives in fear. She shares her dark basement lair with an adversary.