It has been nearly six weeks since the weather has allowed a good drying day for an attack on the crab grass and other weeds which make up my lawn. And the nights of cool wet evenings supplemented by an every other day of rolling thunders storms has made my small patch of heaven an ideal micro-niche for the black field cricket, Teleogryllus commodus., the fecund female being disposed to laying as many as 20,000 eggs in her miserable lifetime.
As I mowed the first swath, the little black bastards literally hopped, skipped, and jumped for safety; some of the more cowardly had the temerity to seek shelter by wiggling and squirming for shelter beneath the mower blades. As I noticed more and more of the varmints seeking the low road, I cogitated. Then, an epiphany jolted me as hard as the flash that knocked Saul to his knees and into Christianity. I would become the Charlton Heston of home mowers and start the AMA, American Mowers Association, with an inalienable right to possess and put to maim any gasoline powered implement designed for self-protection against the black field crickets, terrorists of American lawn owners across the nation.
Emboldened by the likelihood of an imminent Constitutional amendment, I pulled the ol’ Craftsman to the front of the garage, jacked it up, hauled the wrenches out of the tool shed, took the blades off, and sharpened them so that I could cut the hair of a baby’s butt, literally, razor sharp. I put the deadly blades back on, sprayed the edges with a tad of WD 40 (oh, the better to sever), refueled, grabbed a one dollar cigar from the imitation, cherry humidor, cranked the 42 up and headed for the fenced in back yard. Yikes, a man was born, a cricket killing machine, a terminator par excellence, a natural born killer, Ben Hur with goose flesh.
The back yard at Les Acrea Vert is 35 yards by 65 yards or 20475 square feet. At one black cricket per square inch, I figure the potential kill at 2,948,400 or 3 million crickets, give or take, some being inclined I am sure to fornicating, shooting pool, or gossiping. With a forty-two inch mower, ripping along at full-tilt, I could send thirty-nine thousand of the chirping, seed-eating,rug-munching, pains-in-the-ass to a veg-o-matic demise in one northward trip, all 3 million in less than half an hour. But I was ahead of the varmints another step yet. Setting the blades up a notch higher than normal, I put the 42 in fifth gear and buzzed the entire yard. I imagine, I got a few with that go but only the slow learners, for most, as I had calculated, went sub-turf. I waited, engine cooling at the gate, hell’s gate to be sure, allowing Mr.Teleogryllus some time to elevate his position before I lowered the blades to level two, scalp, dropped the mover into fifth one more time, and head up and back.
I got to tell you that an enormous wave of delight swept over me, increasing with each run up and return; 90,000 gone in a north and south pass. I tried my damnedest to see legs, and heads flying out in the chopped grass. To my disappointment, the grass-clippings were too wet and too thick to spot any of the dead and wounded. But I know they are there, lying about in my own Battle of the Wilderness, Bull Run, yes, Antietam. In another couple of hours when the clippings and dead dry, I will cheerfully sweep all up and deposit the lot in the back-back to molder away, becoming vittles for the earth worms and nature’s other recyclers. Great satisfaction abounds, hopes for autumn nights undisturbed by the irritating and incessant chirpings greatly increased by my attack on my population of Teleogryllus commodus. Better yet, as I type, I hear my neighbor, Tom, in his Deere 48 laying waste to his cricket crop and the ones of mine who thought they were beyond cool by jumping to the green grass on yonder side of my fence.
Who said you had to shoot wolves from a helicopter to have fun?
My sincere apologies to all my Buddhist readers.