Dan received a box in the mail this weekend. The return address was Idaho - his father. When I came home Saturday afternoon, the box was sitting on the kitchen counter and Dan was sitting on the kitchen sofa, avoiding opening the box.
"Come on! Openitopenit!" I whined, shaking the box. I never get boxes in the mail. Dan sighed.
"It's going to be full of poisonous bugs. My dad always sends me poisonous bugs in the mail," he said, morose. But he took the bread knife I handed him and slowly, carefully cut open the packaging tape.
Inside was a live monster cricket. The sides of the box were splattered with cricket shit and the cardboard reeked a little. "It's a Jerusalem cricket," Dan said, shaking his head and taking the critter outside, "My dad sent me a Jerusalem cricket." Dan then shared with us a few facts about the Jerusalem cricket:
+ they're apparently very hardy, having survived shaky, foodless 3-4 days in the hands of the U.S. postal service.
+ they populate Idaho en masse during the summer
+ they're cannibals, eating almost exclusively each other
This beast is now roaming Portland's NE streets! It disappeared from human view soon after we opened the box.
posted by s.mirk