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.


norm said...

We get frogs in the spring that scare the dog with their chirping, you know it is spring for real when the dog is afraid to walk past the pond.

- Mexican Trailrunner said...

Wait! What about the Intrepid Scorpions? Year 'round bookings, usually get a standing ovation followed by just a resounding clap or two, then replaced by a new act when you LEAST expect it. Their 'front man' Sting can be a memorable act to follow!

Anonymous said...

i love the sound of crickets and that of frogs. every time i hear them they remind me of visiting my grandma en el campo (out in the country) when i was a little girl in cuba.

have a great one senor algodon.


Leslie Harris (de Limon) said...

Crickets are one of the very few insects that I like. I find their late-night serenade to be soothing and peaceful.

When we moved into our rental home, it was full of crickets. Mexicans believe that killing crickets is bad luck. So my hubby gathered as many crickets as he could in a plastic bag and released them in the empty lot behind our house.

We still get visits from crickets but my children and I refuse to kill them. Not for fear of bad luck, but because they may be descendents of Pepé Grillo (Jiminy Cricket).

Islagringo said...

In Minnesota, we had the giant black crickets. Down here they are tiny brown things....but produce 10x the decibels. Especially if there is one hiding somewhere in your bedroom at night!

Babs said...

I had to laugh. I think I wrote a post last year aboug Jiminy Cricket. Heavens they are loud at night - your characterization of their size is right on.
However now, and for the last two months or so, we have copulating crickets.....lolling on the geranium leaves and everywhere else in the garden. You cannot see a single cricket. They are in pairs, as in one on top of the other. Lordy if they all produce, look out - it will not be a symphony but a cacophony of noise.

Calypso said...

crickets actually sound better with a bass section like the cars going by with the BOOM-BOOM-BOOM!

Enjoy Amigo.

Steve Cotton said...

Norm -- Frogs and crickets. Both are great.

Mexican Trailrunner -- I have yet to see a scorpion here in Melaque. My friends say it is merely a matter of time. And, of course, I forgot the bats.

Teresa -- They are the very essence of nostalgia.

Leslie -- The crickets are welcome any time in my home. I was just at a neighbor's house. There were crickets everywhere. Lucky woman!

Islagringo -- Ours are black. They remind me of the crickets up north in size -- not in sound.

Babs -- Our coast crickets must be far more discreet in their conjugal habits. Something about SMA -- I suspect.

Calypso -- They could use a better mix technician. Of course, the crickets are strictly analog. No compression.

Anonymous said...

Buddy Holly? Crickets? I think your roots are showing.