Thursday, February 21, 2008

News of the Weird 11 - Jiminy!

According to a January Los Angeles Times dispatch, residents of Beijing remain fascinated by competitions involving crickets. Cricket fights, in which a pair of the insects square off in a terrariumlike ring and use their mandibles and forelimbs to throw each other aroung, attract enough gambling interest that top fighters may sell for as much as $10,000.

Something tells me that Mike Vick got into the wrong sport.

First rule of Cricket Fight Club: There is no Cricket Fight Club.

"When you wish upon a bout..."

"Got the Eye of the Gryllidae / It's a rhythm of life..."

I could go all night, people!

But wait, there's more:

Contests for singing crickets - the lougest entrants, measured close up, can hit 106 decibels, or nearly the volume of a lawn mower heard from a few feet away - aren't as lucrative but are taken seriously enough that doping has become an issue [editor's note: This despite this typical warning, "Don't let your cricket take drugs. Anybody caught cheating will be disqualified."]: some handlers have been known to administer drugs causing their crickets' wings to vibrate more slowly, resulting in a deeper-pitched song.

So that's why Barry Manilow has been hitting those notes.

Under oath, in front of members of the House Committee on Steroids Abuse among Lawn Bugs, Jiminy - with assistance from his lawyers - testifies that he did not receive injections for any sort of illegal steroid or hormone.

And lastly...

Barry Bug.

Kevin Eubanks, everybody!

"News of the Weird" compiled by Chuck Shepherd, The Chicago Reader, February 14, 2008; p. 101.


  1. Fighting, singing crikets and the people who bet on them...


  2. ancient chinese practice.

    you thought i was gonna say "secret", didn't you?

    hey, maybe they can turn this into an olympic event. probably the only thing worth watching in this upcoming shambles.


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