my occasional musings on life, love, art, perfume ... what else is there?


My Dinner with Alphonse

As I write this, the soft sweet sound of cricket chirping is in my ears ... crickets who may or may not know they have an abruptly abbreviated lifespan because Gecko Hunter, Alphonse, is on their case.

About every two weeks, we make a trip to Petco and come home with a plastic bag of air and crickets. At first I was disturbed by this foodchain thing, but I'm used to it. I'm sure all murderers go through that.

One of us, and it's usually Jim, dusts calcium powder into the bag and shakes it as if fried chicken was in development. Then opens the bag 'o air 'n crickets into the aquarium and for a period of up to a week it sounds like a high summer midwest evening in the family room.

Until Alphonse the Leopard Gecko is finished eating.

He's cute. Until he opens his mouth. (Ever notice how often that is the case?) Long sticky tongue and quick, quick mandibles.

We're not entirely cruel about this. We also have special food for the crickets. It looks like small damp carrot cubes, must be refrigerated and we spoon a few every day into the aquarium so that their needs are met. That's why they're chirping, I think. They're happy and looking for girlfriends right up to the fatal moment.

Well, really, you can say that about a lot of humans, too. Can't you?

Today's fragrance: I can't even think about that right now. I'll get back to you.


Blogger Kyahgirl said...

I often get a big silly grin on my face when I read your blog M! What a great post. I'm happy to hear more about Alphonse, I've been curious. Enjoyed your philsophical sub plot too!!

7:42 AM

Anonymous keeter said...

This brings back memories. My roommate had three lizards in college (Henry, Mephistopheles, and Armadilloman, collectively known as Henry & The Lizards). We would make a trip to the pet store in the next town over for a bag each of crickets and mealworms. Then we would stop for dinner and take the bags into the restaurant with us so the lizard food didn't freeze to death. The crickets I could handle, but mealworms? EW! I am sorry to say that these three lizards were not the healthiest bunch, mentally speaking. Henry had an elbow condition due to the anorexia brought on by the evil Mephi munching on his tail. So that's two lizards worth of food keeping me up at night and making me ill with their wiggling ways. Since Mephi was not the friend he was intended to be, Henry got a brand new terrarium for one, but it was too late. We sprayed his elbows with calcium and fed him organic baby food with a syringe, to no avail. Henry was a very sensitive lizard, and his hurt feelings and anorexia got the best of him. We mourned Henry for a long time (until Ernesto Cuervo the fat black goldfish died) and buried him in a picnic basket in the spring. Mephistopheles and Armadilloman were given to the Crystal Emporium pet store. They just couldn't be forgiven for what they did to Henry. The evil one betrayed Henry and the apathetic one let it happen. Some friends they turned out to be! And Jose Cuervo the plain yellow goldfish lived for many uninteresting years.

7:55 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


You know how I feel about insects. I couldn't have a gecko unless it renounced it's ways and joined me in eating lively blobs of tofu and colorful (like beetles!) steamed soy beans and kale.

The hamster was the perfect pet for me because he was such a good little vegetarian.

If I could wipe away knowing their small fates I sure would enjoy the songs of crickets in the house.


10:59 AM

Blogger actonbell said...

I came, I lurked, I enjoyed! And he IS cute.

2:31 PM

Blogger Tan Lucy Pez said...

Nice post. Are you still thinking about today's fragrance?

3:44 PM

Blogger Jonniker said...

The fact that you have a lizard named Alphonse will never stop cracking me up. Ever. No kidding. I will laugh about it until I cry. SERIOUSLY.

3:47 PM

Blogger katiedid said...

Great picture you took. Great title. Great post.

I am just dying... he looks like an Alphonse, he really does. But that you picked that name is still hilarious to me.

5:05 PM

Blogger mireille said...

*confession and disclaimer* that's not really Alphonse, it's a googleimage ... but it looks just like him. I couldn't possibly get him to pose like that.

6:47 PM

Blogger Tom & Icy said...

So that's what a real gecko looks like! The only one I've ever seen was that green thing that sells car insurance. I've been enlightened. Thank you.

7:09 PM

Blogger Atreau said...

Geckos come into the house out here and freak me out. They are the ones who whisper little stories in my ears and thus the reason that I have such strange and vivid dreams!

12:54 PM

Blogger mireille said...

A -- the ones with Jonna Barbie in them? Those are STRANGE dreams.

2:59 PM


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