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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Word List # 15, Cricket And Related Concepts

1. FIELD CRICKET: Field crickets are insects of order Orthoptera, subfamily Gryllinae of family Gryllidae. The specimen in the photo above is a Gyrllus Pennsylvanicus which has evolved over millions of years to make its home under refrigerators --mainly in Pennsylvania, but has adapted to cities around the world, even where refrigerators do not occur naturally. The chief occupation of the Field Cricket is to crouch in inaccessible places rubbing its legs together, producing a shrill, piercing, trilling sound that has two important purposes. It attracts mates and is the first step toward advancing family Gryllidae's numbers. Second, it drives the homeowner nuts trying to find the source of the sound, and so provides Gryllinae with endless amusement.

2. CRICKET FIELD: When mate-selection and homeowner unhingement are complete, Field Crickets really do go out into fields. It is at this point that humans take their revenge. Uniformed exterminators will run out onto the cricket field and herd the crickets toward the batsman, whose job it is to bash the crickets with a special cricket bat.

These spectacles are so popular among cricket-hating humans that gigantic stadiums have been built to accommodate the crowds.

3. POLLYANNA: Arguably, we might compare cricket field crowds with all large gatherings of like-minded people and credit the Field Cricket as a powerful unifying force in human coexistence. We might also be justifiably called Pollyannas.

Pollyanna is novel by Eleanor H. Porter published in 1913, now considered a classic of children's literature. Title character's name became synonymous with anyone whose outlook is irrationally rosy. The term was also adopted by social scientists to indicate a largely insupportable domestic arrangement stemming from Pollyanna-like optimism, or Polyandry.

Although Field Crickets have practiced polyandry with great success for eons, human practitioners, like Draupadi with her five husbands (above), appear less than enthusiastic after a much shorter time.


  1. I love the sound of crickets OUTSIDE and go irrationally nutsy when I hear them inside. This hasn't happened in a long time now that I think of it. I guess my housekeeping is driving them out.
    Five husbands? Really? I think I'd rather hear a cricket in the house.

  2. So polyandry levels are in direct correlation to number of husbands? I knew there was a good reason for monogamy.

    I also have an entirely new respect for the game of cricket now!

    Entertaining and enlightening. Cheers!

  3. Delores, CarrieBoo! Thank you both for reading my post. No one else will, it seems. I can't compete with men's volleyball on the Olympics. Volleyball used to be an indoor rainyday gym class activity. What's next, Olympic dodgeball?

  4. I've never understood cricket but always suspected it was based on insect abuse. I'm calling the authorities, as they apparently don't know what it's about either. Thank you.

  5. You're welcome, Austan. British may SAY they understand cricket but even they can't do the impossible.

  6. :-)

    I could never have written this, but I'm glad you did.


  7. Mon cher flâneuse, from such a keen observer and clever writer, praise much appreciated. Now we must watch Olympics; they're having beanbag today!

  8. Merci, Arno! Une pluie d'éloges d'un maître.

  9. Living in the desert crickets are plenty. If I were indeed a Pollyanna I would relish being so close to nature. Not so.
    I enjoyed the last comparison - insects and humans are so close yet so far apart.
    Thanks for your thoughtful comments on my blog. Some of my favs!

  10. Polyandry will never catch on. It's a full-time endeavor to keep ONE man happy. Besides, what woman in her right mind wants to tackle all those extra dirty socks and undies? Fun post. Thanks for your kind words on my blog. I do appreciate them.


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