At 9:00 this evening I found myself, in a dress and heels, standing at the counter of Petco ordering One Large Cricket. The boy cashier eyed me skeptically.

“Just one?”< />

“Just one.”< />

“Large or small?”< />

“Large. How much are they?”< />

“Ten cents.”< />

“I’ll take it.”

The cashier then calmly stated into the loudspeaker, “One large cricket, please. One large cricket.” The request echoed throughout the store, reminding me so much of a burger joint, I wondered if you could order by number (Value Meal #1: One large cricket, two small worms and a Coke…) I was impressed when one minute later, a tiny woman emerged from the back of the store through the crowd, delivering the product to me with a big smile. Efficient, that Petco.

As my order was placed over the intercom, laughter erupted in the line. I didn’t see what was so funny, until later Derrick explained to me that they sell crickets in bulk for reptiles to eat, so a customer purchasing just one was a bit of a spectacle. Somehow this did not occur to me at the time of purchase. I just assumed Petco sold crickets for one purpose only: every nine-year old girl needed her own cricket named Lucky to take in a jar to school for Insect Day. Why else would they keep thousands of crickets in stock?

The upside of tonight’s rather embarrassing display was that it gave me a brief respite from a psuedo-fancy dinner at the Red Lion that was agony. It was one of Derrick’s business thingys complete with a two hour program and slide show–need I say more? You’ve all been to them. At 8:35 I remembered the promised cricket would only be available until 9:00 (when Petco closes) so I had to jump up and run out on the show. I made it to the car and peeled out before the evil speaker could drag me back in with his long cane. Thank you, Lucky!

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