Posted by: David Giacalone | September 18, 2009

a cricket and a deere (and a lot of noise)

Refrigerator To Do List - "Get that Cricket!" - 18Sep09 ………………  Backhoe At My Window - Cucumber Alley, Schenectady Stockade - 18Sep09

It took a John Deere backhoe under my bay window at 7 AM this morning to remind me that there are many things far more annoying than a noisy cricket behind the refrigerator.

my coffee mug & MacBook at couple feet from the window at Cucumber Alley and Washington Ave., Schenectady Stockade - 18Sep09mug

My friends can tell you that I’ve been a bit obsessed this week about a perennial sign of summer’s end at my Stockade home: the arrival, and 24/7 chirping, of a love-starved, refuge-seeking cricket in the inaccessible (and sound-amplifying) kitchen space behind my refrigerator.  In recent years, I’ve memorialized this autumn invasion, and attempted to sublimate my frustration, in haiku poems posted at my other weblogs (collected today at dagosan’s haiku diary).  This year, despite being reminded by a few bleeding hearts that crickets bring luck, and in spite of empathy toward his plight, I’ve been feeling even less charitable than usual toward the raucous chirping of the female-seeking cricket in my kitchen (only the males can chirp).

photo showing the proximity of my desk to the window in question After a night of teeth clenching that I blamed on that damnable cricket, I sat at my desk with a big mug of coffee first thing this morning, planning to follow Frasier’s example by finding a gecko to end my cricket misery.   All thoughts of cricket-hunting were immediately dispelled, however, when an intolerable racket began outside the window located just a couple feet from my desk (see the photo above).  I immediately knew the source of the audio assault — the return to Washington Ave. of the utility crew we told you about in June and July, in “my NiMo sunset” and “a different orange glow.”   More precisely, the return to the corner of Cucumber Alley and Washington Ave. — and thus directly under my bay window — of the gas-pipe-laying men and machines of National Grid.

– here are a few shots from early this summer at Cucumber Alley –

. .  . .

Yes, it does seem far-fetched that a mere two blocks of Washington Avenue here in the Stockade have required an entire season of digging and laying and ripping and pouring, but it’s true.  I cannot duplicate the sound of their “street maintenance” activities around 7 A.M. this morning, but I can show you the scene out my window and at the corner [also note the backhoe at the top of this posting; and click on each picture for a larger version, or scroll over it for a brief description]:

National Grid crew repairing torn up street, Cucumber Alley and Washington Ave., Schenectady, 18Sep09 . . . . dump truck and backhoe out my window on Cucumber Alley - 18Sep09

– new asphalt being laid at Cucumber Alley and Washington Ave. –

The end may soon be near for this well-intentioned and overdue infrasture-improvement project.  The piles of brick removed for the project along the curb might even be restored to their original patterns before the Walkabout next weekend.  None too soon, and hallelujah.

the view from my front door, 16 Washingotn Ave. Schenectady -  7 AM, 18Sep09 But, I won’t set my expectations too high and will accept our fate as it unfolds along Washington Avenue.  What I want to do this evening — especially if the street repair noise is finally over at my corner — is to thank the men from National Grid for distracting me from my week-long thoughts of insecticide.  Indeed, I don’t want to jinx myself, but all that racket this morning might have persuaded my horny cricket friend to seek a setting more conducive to gryllidae courting and romance.  If I haven’t been that lucky, and my chirpy friend returns this evening, I’ll be complaining again with an Update in the morning.

cricket drawing update (9 AM Saturday, Sept. 19, 2009): No chirping for at least 15 hours.  Frankly, I almost miss the pesky little guy and really could use some good luck.  Something tells me he’s been playing Alley Cricket overnight looking to get lucky and he’ll soon return to my safe and warm kitchen.

afterthought (Sept. 20, 2009):  What do you do with an annoying pest? Swat it?  Put it outside? There’s a timely Sunday comic strip today from The Middletons.


  1. So–did Jiminy return?

  2. It’s only been 90 minutes since I finished this post, and so far — please, don’t let me jinx myself after a week of intolerable cricket song — the incessant chirper has been quiet. My guess, however, is that I’ll be cringing in bed to his loud “calling song” shortly after midnight. Like I said above, if he returns, I’ll be kvetsching in an update.

  3. wow this is an amazing designed web portal, it is worthful to me being a cricket freak.;

    • Thanks “I am.” I see from your website that you’re crazy about that other kind of cricket, but I hope mine brings you good luck.

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