Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Gecko Chronicles - VII

Note: The Gecko Chronicles are not posted sequentially, but you can find them all batched in a tidy little group at the left.

Technically, Scott is now in charge of getting crickets. But it’s cold out. And he doesn’t drive. And all the cricket vendors are a long bike ride away. So when I have an errand to run and I’m driving near Petco, I either take Scott along, or I just buy the crickets myself.

I consider it a temporary situation. When the weather warms up, and it’s neither raining nor humid – that is, during those seven Good NJ Weather Days we get every year – I’ll be totally off the hook for cricket retrieval.

Scott and I had to go to Staples recently to get a presentation printed for his trip to LA. Petco is right next door. For reasons that still aren’t entirely clear, the “superstore” was not able to provide Scott the services he needed, so we left Staples, bought crickets and went to one of the local printers closer to home.

“Don’t put the crickets in the back seat,” I told Scott as he twisted his body around to put the crickets in the back seat. “I’ll forget them if they’re back there.”

“I’ll remember,” he said.

The printer needed a full day to make Scott’s presentation binders, so it was my job to remember to pick them up the following day. Before Scott left for work he said to me, “Please, please, don’t forget to pick up the binders.”

He also said, “Guess what’s in the back of the car.”

I truly had no idea where this was going.

“The crickets,” he said.

He brought them inside and shook their frozen carcasses around the bag like maraca seeds. He felt just terrible that they’d frozen to death overnight. I felt terrible that I now had to make a whole separate trip over the mountain to get another batch.

“I think I can bring them back to life,” he said as he retrieved the crickets and transferred them into one of the quart-sized containers we get when we order Egg Drop Soup.

“You’re not going to microwave them, are you?” I only asked because that seemed especially horrifying.

“No,” he said. “Just wait.”

A few minutes later he came back and tilted the plastic container toward me. “Are they moving?” he asked.

“Only if you consider their sliding from one end of the container to the other 'movement'.”

“Wait. I think I can do this,” he said, and ran off with them yet again. After twenty minutes I yelled a polite inquiry up the stairs. “I flushed them,” he called down, an unusual sound of defeat in his voice.

For better or for worse, the frozen cricket incident illustrates the main difference between my and my husband’s approach to life. His ability to remain hopeful and optimistic in the face of almost any circumstance, no matter how improbable or dismal. And then mine.

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