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Fiends be gone, take flying friends

Sept. 13, 1996

Ricky

George

Lariat Copy Desk Chief

Like the wrath of God (or a least a bad '50s sci-fi movie), they have returned.

They infest all areas, chirping loud enough to overpower the most fearsome car alarm. They die easily, but their corpses cover parking lots from one end to another, crunching underfoot. They are ... crickets.

I don't remember them invading the confines of Waco like this since my freshman year. I am sore afraid. Perhaps the inclement weather has brought them in full force. I don't know.

Why are folks so squeamish about them, though?

A friend and I took a late trip to Super Kmart. We walked across the parking lot with hundreds of the little buggers jumping around, with more of their comrades assuming a more permanent position in the pavement. The scene looked like a cross between Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom and an Oscar B. DeMille disaster movie.

One landed on my friend's leg, making her jump.

What's the big deal, I asked, at worst they might get you a little dirty.

'You can't wash off a memory,' she replied.

Hmm, hadn't thought of that.

In the meantime, what are we supposed to do to cope with the invasion? Our sole defense may mean pinning our hopes on a disgusting species: the grackle. Follow my train of thought here: more crickets to eat, more grackles. More grackles, more repainted cars in the Penland parking lot.

Ewwwww.

Perhaps it's time we took matters in our own hands, using the insects to our advantage and financial gain.

Get some of those entrepreneurship classes to start catching the crickets and selling them.

We could set up the world's largest live bait store, the Baylor Cricket Emporium (The Good Ol' Fishing Line?).

Maybe just some roadside stands would do -- just rent those out-of-work fireworks stands. Granted, business would be seasonal, but the supply is plentiful. Easy money.

It could be a great campus fundraiser. Let the pre-med or biology people catch the little devils and sell them to other schools for experiments. The money could purchase more laboratory equipment, even save a little seed money for a new science building.

Best of all, no food supply means the grackles go elsewhere.

Ooooh, I just had an idea. Gather up those Baylor Line youngsters and tell them to start collecting the critters. Come the week of the Aggie game, dump a ton of 'em on the 'hallowed' grass of A&M.

We're not just talking blight, we're talking grackles following the food supply. Let our little purple friends paint College Station a whole new tint.

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