Monday, November 30, 2009
calling buddy holly
Tropical Mexico is a huge vaudeville theatre.
For six months, The Amazing Swallows had top billing. Swooping. Diving. Pooping. Then they were gone.
The Scuttling Land Crabs starred for two months. And then they were gone.
The Bumblebees for two weeks. The Biting Flies for five month. Cameo appearances by snakes and various lizards. Here. Then gone.
With the exception of the ever-present (and abundant) las cucarachas, there are no long-term billings in this theatre.
This week's act is The Infernal Chirping Crickets.
They are certainly not the solitary crickets of my youth in Oregon. Up north, I would hear one or two crickets in my back yard. Chirping now and then. As if chirping was not quite cool.
Like everything in the tropics, the crickets in my back yard are not constrained by anything as non-Mexican as seeking a quiet cool. These crickets know how to communicate.
To call it a chirp would be an insult to the decibels these crickets produce. If I did not know better, I would estimate their size somewhere between a city bus and those giant grasshoppers from the 1950 horror films.
But big they are not. I tracked down several. They look just like the crickets I knew as a boy.
Why the larger sound? For one reason, there appear to be more of them. A bunch of young males out to impress the girls at the local singles bar. I am surprised that they do not produce enough friction to simply disappear in a poof of fire.
And perhaps it is the sense of desperation that fills the air in every meeting place of the young as the clock slides near 2 AM. Failure to meet Ms. Right Now means that there will be no little crickets to book into the theatre next November.
So, I sit out on my balcony in the evening enjoying what has become a loud, but intriguing, chorus. And wonder just how Jiminy Cricket got his start in show business.
He must have been booked into a different theatre. Perhaps La Scala.