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From:- C.Pike. Y-ME. Or this really isn't cricket. The following set of circumstances started during the evening of Friday March 15th. Whilst watching television my wife remarked on several occasions that her hearing aid was playing up. She opined maybe it was the battery running out. Sometime after the ten o'clock news she went into the kitchen, and with the door open we both heard a short, sharp, chirruping, sound. It was quite an eerie sound, and I set about tracing it's source: checked a radio controlled clock with alarm, but whilst holding it there was repeat performance, so can't be the clock, now carried out a close inspection of all gadgets electrical then the water supply, cupboard doors, and in desperation anything that could be moved. I suppose at least a quarter of an hour had elapsed, with maybe ten or twelve 'chirps', which did not appear to occur at regular intervals. I now had a problem: how to get her nibs to go on to bed, and also to satisfy myself that this was not some occult manifestation. Before going any further with this tale, I'll bet that most of you have got way ahead of me, and have the answer to the source of the noise. Suddenly the scales drop from my eyes, or should I say my ears, and am able to set wifies mind at rest. "It's a cricket" says I, and with a little elaboration of the life cycle of this homely little pest, and how, years ago no fireplace of any repute existed without it's crickets, we reluctantly headed for the land of nod. Just between ourselves, I was not a hundred per cent sure of my facts, and so on Saturday morning made a quick dash to the city reference library; now the only book that dealt with these little blighters, gave wonderful descriptions of all aspects the life, feeding, and breeding habits, but nary a word about their demise. There was no doubt in my mind that we were the hosts of a singing house cricket, (and I don't like music, or sharing my house); how to rid ourselves of this pest. It was most considerate by remaining silent until after six on Sat evening. Closing the kitchen door, and notching the tele volume up a couple of points, put us in command. Sunday saw us headed for the local garden centre, from whence we purchased a can of 'Ky-Bosh'; guaranteed to knock out any creepie- crawlies. The evening was a repetition of Saturday. Monday: things have moved on, our visitor has wakened much earlier, and during the morning I was amazed to hear my wife having a one sided conversation, with what she now seemed to view as a friend, and what's more it appeared to reply! A major upheaval in the kitchen was not on the cards until Tuesday due to prior arrangements; conversation between my two kitchen habitues was postponed pro temp. Tuesday saw our friend wide awake by 6.3Oa.m., and in great voice all morning, until by mid-day any feeling of well being had been replaced by an urge to shorten it's life forthwith. I should point out that to pin point the exact location of the sound source was highly debatable; and boy can we debate..."It's behind the cooker". "No it's not, it's in the cupboard under the sink". "I'll bet you it's not". "How are you going to resolve it, if you can't catch it"?. There's no answer to that: so starting on the right, move a portable cabinet, have running battle with black widows,(there is no doubt that they are widows, apparently they devour the males after mating, and they could never have achieved this size, without a copious supply of fodder!), scour the site with disinfectant, spray with Ky-bosh, offer up a heartfelt prayer that no cricket could have survived our onslaught. Move on to the cooker and repeat as for cabinet. We have not yet dealt with half the area, and already tempers are frayed, in tatters in fact; who would think that after fifty years of marriage, a tiny insect less than an inch long, could come so close to ending a beautiful relationship. Nevertheless we realise that only by a combined operation can success be ours; back to the task, out comes the washing machine, and yet again the scouring routine is carried out, accompanied by the odd "chirrup" every so often, which doubtless stiffened our resolve to see this through to the bitter end. The next hurdle is a cupboard full of cooking impedimenta, wherein I fully expected to come face to face with the enemy. A vain hope...I ripped the thing to pieces, and sprayed like billy-o, to the music of the cricket. There comes a time when you have to accept that nature is invincible, this acceptance did not come easily, and the Pikes could have been seen participating in an age old ritual, of the wife beating her breast, whilst I carried out a search for some hair to tear out; not a pretty sight! Wednesday, from morn to night we suffered, but not in silence, "chirrup" after "chirrup" until I hit upon a devious plan. Recorded the beast for a while, then played back his song, hoping to entice him to come out to defend his territory, at the same time yours truly, the villain of the piece, is waiting armed with a two pound hammer with which to deliver the 'coup de grace'. Have you ever sat waiting for something to occur ?, Then you will be well ahead of me, nothing untoward happened, at least to the cricket, I wound up with cramp in the arm, and should the little blighter have appeared there was no way my reactions would have caught him napping. That's round six to the enemy, we both retired hurt; relations very tense, recalled the adage "silence is golden", that is between the two of us at least! Thursday: golden eagle day, so in unison said."Let's go out for the whole day, and..." Maybe I'll skip the anglo-saxon, and report what a relief to give the old lug-holes a rest. Friday had appointment with barber, who commented upon my tense nervous demeanour. Did I give him the low down, blow by blow just as above. Then when pausing for breath, he interjected "It's the smoke alarm battery that has run down" then in a really smug tone "I thought everyone knew that" So to those who were ahead of the tale, and knew all about these things. "Wacko! you can go to the top of the class". By the way has anyone got a D.I.Y. manual on hair cutting? I can't face the 'Oh, so knowledgeable' scissors and comb merchant again. Imagine the opening line. "How are we today? Bowled over or run out this week"? I now feel so low, I could walk under a snake's belly wearing a top hat. So will say cheerio whilst weeping in my beer. Regards Cyril.