The Cricket In My Basement Won't Stop Chirping

The weather in my neighborhood this week had a little trouble making up its mind. It couldn't decide between the heat and humidity of summer and the cooler, crisper conditions of autumn.

Of course, fall will eventually win. It always does. And I'm thankful for that. I am an out-of-shape middle-aged dad and I don't take to summer the way I used to, if I ever did.

I'm sure I sort of liked broiling when I was a kid, when I spent most of my summer vacation from school swimming bare-chested at the pool. But I've been an adult (chronologically speaking) for quite some time now and I'm pretty sure no one wants to see me stripped down to my waist anymore, not that they ever did.

The humidity of a West Virginia summer is perfect for people who like to sweat. My wife is one of them. She rides her bicycle for miles every day and walks our Big Dog Rodney each morning and each evening, all with the energy of a 20-year-old. She never stops.

To me, though, summer just means misery. Who needs to go to the expense of sweating it out in a sauna when you've got naturally occurring humidity all day, every day? Fall is a much better season for me.

Although I welcome crisp mornings as a sign that I will soon be breaking out the flannel, there is at least one annoying aspect to the change in the weather. Each September, I can count on the neighborhood crickets to look at the calendar, note the Labor Day holiday and then decide that it's time to move back into our basement. And, as if on cue, at least one turned up downstairs this week.

I haven't actually seen it. I've got too much TV to watch from the comfort of my favorite chair to bother with actually going downstairs to try to evict it. But I know it's down there. It won't stop chirping. You can hear it nattering incessantly from the top of the stairs.

One of these days, I'll figure out how they are getting in and put a stop to it. After all, no one wants crickets in their basement. They are terrible tenants. They never pay the rent on time and the never ending chirping keeps you up all night. I'm sleep deprived enough as it is.

Eventually, the cricket (s) will decide that the pickings in the basement are slim and move back outside. I hope that happens before I'm forced to work up enough gumption to call the exterminator. For now, though, it's a waiting game, much like the one political observers have been playing with West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin.

Senator Manchin, a Democrat, has been flirting for months with the idea of attempting to reclaim his old job as governor. The same day I began hearing a cricket in the basement, Manchin put an end to the speculation, deciding to skip the race even as the latest Dominion Post MetroNews West Virginia Poll showed him leading Republican incumbent Jim Justice by a comfortable margin.

With Manchin's decision not to run, the chatter about his political future is over.

Now if I just get the cricket in my basement to shut up ...


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