To properly understand the skill and tenacity of desert crickets, one must first study up on evolution and palaeoclimatology. Upon doing so, you'll find that arthropods are obese and stupid. But if you dig a bit deeper, you might also discover that they took the proverbial leap from the sea onto the land long before our sexy salamander ancestors.

Yes, they took a giant leap from sea to land and found a hot and (relatively) anoxic atmosphere, with little more than a few pussy fern-like plants hugging the shores. No trees. No flowers. No dinosaurs. They found something akin to, well, Las Vegas.

Flash forward some 500+ Ma and you've got radioactive mutant crickets that spawn in clusters of millions and rape, pillage, and raid the native population. Somehow, these ratters manage to climb up through pipes, (running) air conditioners, and sometimes they even materialize from thin air.

Following in the footsteps of the War in Iraq, I've formed an uneasy alliance with a former enemy with the common goal of cricket genocide. The spiders, likewise, have yet to meet any of the benchmarks I've set for them.


About a week ago, a black widow spider, cleverly named Blackie, appeared by my front door. Since the construction of its web, I have not found the carcass of a single intruder.

It proved more economical to revoke the general truce to spiderkind while granting Blackie special immunity from prosecution.

The surge has been a smashing success, save for a single mammoth jumpy spider named Mercury, who has thus far evaded capture.