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UPDATED May 2, 2008

BY Henry Gold

IN Tour d'Afrique

no comments

UPDATED May 2, 2008

BY Henry Gold

IN Tour d'Afrique

no comments

Corn Crickets

We are enjoying yet another most excellent Coke stop…this one complete with apple strudel, cheesecake, coffee, sunshine stunning scenery. These landscapes you wouldn’t believe at all. If this Coke stop combined with hilly dirt road and occasional sand pits to swerve through are not enough to keep you entertained—there’s always the corn crickets.

Attack of the corn critters! Visualize one of the nastiest insects you can. Now make it crunchy and double its size. Now conjure them in swarming the road and occasionally on your Camelbak. Seriously, these creatures of the dark resemble something from a sci-fi horror movie. If they were enlarged to human size you could see in detail their horrendous appearance—segmented armored bodies, hairy legs, too-long antenna, yellow guts. Simply put, they are creepy.

I personally had three on my tent (not the fly, but on the netting, so I could see the undersides of their bodies) and had to quickly remove one from inside my tent last night. We’ve had games with these armored crickets since Botswana The games consist of either attempting to avoid them or purposely hit them, the latter spraying yellow guts all over tires and frames, legs and shoes. Rod and Dave Pennington had personal bests of squashing over a hundred each, arriving into camp scraping sticky corn critter pieces off their legs.

The camp is firmly divided into two groups: one on a save the corn cricket campaign. They use guilt trips and are morally opposed to the vicious attacks on such helpless creatures. The other faction sees corn cricket’s inherent entertainment value. Daily contests consist of hitting just one leg of one or using the shovel to practice baseball or cricket skills (depending on nationality) is remarkably good fun.

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