My motto is “It’s healthy to be able to laugh at yourself.”
I heard a cricket in my car.
Not that I live in the country, but I’m not in a city limits. Like rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks and woodpeckers, crickets aren’t rare in my neighborhood.
So when I kept hearing what sounded like a cricket in the back seat of my car, I wasn’t surprised.
I wasn’t alarmed, either. If one came jumping toward me while I was driving, sure, I might have an accident, but I’m not afraid of crickets. As with most animals, I don’t like sudden motion in my direction. My instincts tell me it’s potentially dangerous.
So I heard the chirping of the cricket from the back seat. It’s not a matter of looking in the back seat and seeing whether one is there. Oh, no. I carry lots of things in my car’s back seat, things that might be worthless to most people, but things I think I’m going to need, like a couple of umbrellas, a tray I carried pies to a Christmas party on, a couple of books, a cane in case my foot starts hurting, a few loose plastic bags from the grocery store, Fix-A-Flat, an extra jacket and some other stuff, I don’t know. You know, stuff you think you might need.
So the first time I started believing in the cricket, I pulled over and half-heartedly sorted through the stuff, but found no cricket, so I went on my way.
The next time I heard it, I had a friend in the car with me.
“Does it sound like there’s a cricket in the car?” I asked.
I immediately pulled over and started looking for it. I wasn’t going to kill it, but I was going to shoo it into the grass.
But I didn’t find it.
It went on for weeks: I’d hear the cricket and I’d pull over to look for it, but I never found it.
I vowed to forget about it and I did, for a while.
I was on a short weekend trip, driving in and out of rain and fussing with the windshield wipers. It was the kind of weather you couldn’t decide whether to use the wipers, so the front ones and the back ones went on and off, on and off.
I heard the cricket again.
Between the chirping and the rain, I kept pretty busy. Eventually, though, I made an important connection in solving this case.
I realized the chirping only happened when the rear wiper was on.
The rear wiper was squeaking in a way that sounded just like a cricket in the back seat.
I must be one of the healthiest people in town, because I’m always able to find something to laugh at.
LEE WARD can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2661.