All week the cricket had been making its way around the various parts of the urinal. When first spotted, it was hiding just behind the top of the pipe that extends from the wall. By the fourth day, it had moved into the base of the urinal, hiding just beneath the one-inch lip that projected out toward the drain.
Lost insects, especially roaches, had become a constant in the second floor men’s room, but never had one been so bold, and respected, as the current tenant. In fact, the paralegals on the second floor had even jokingly named it “Jiminy.” Whenever two or more of them entered the room, they asked whoever was at the urinal if Jiminy was still around, and how he was doing.
On the morning of the fifth day, Joseph Billings, his bladder reeling from the combination of a surprise morning meeting and a huge mug of French roast, hobbled to the men’s room like a gunshot victim. Joseph, who had been a lawyer there for five years now, was hopeful that he would see the sign in the front office changed to Snellings, Blake and Billings by his birthday this year, “the big 4-0.” Lately he’d had a run of fortuitous rulings on several personal-injury cases against large corporations and had garnered a hefty sum for the law firm. At this point, he figured, it was merely a matter of time before he was made a partner.
Joseph pushed open the door as one of the office kids (the young guy they hired to do their copying) was on his way out. They each took a step right, then left, and then Joseph finally stepped back to hold the door for him.
“Thanks, Mr. Billings,” the kid said awkwardly as he scurried past. “Oh, and watch out for Jiminy, he’s on the move again.”
“Yeah, right,” Joseph scoffed, letting the door swing closed slowly behind him, a near-crippling pain in his stomach.
Moving into position, he noticed Jiminy clinging to the right wall inside the urinal, about halfway up, safely positioned so that the flood of each flush would miss him entirely. Joseph couldn’t help thinking, as he frantically unbuckled his belt and wrestled with the clasp on his slacks, was that this was one damn clever cricket. The pressure in his groin now bordering on unbearable, Joseph nearly wet himself fumbling to unzip his fly.
With the pressure of a sandblaster or a fire hose, Joseph unleashed a stream that sent a chill up his spine and caused his molars to itch so intensely that his jaw began to clench. It was a feeling just slightly below his best sexual experience on the pleasure scale. When the initial euphoria of the release wore off, he was overcome with a sense of pride at the impressive stream now hammering away at the drain at his feet.
It was at this point that Jiminy flinched.
The movement catching his attention, Joseph then refocused his fire at the brave and daring little bug. The flood moved quickly up the edge of the urinal until it found its target and began blasting poor Jiminy with warm liquid. The little guy held on valiantly but his little legs, no match for the sheer force of the attack, gave way and he slipped down a few inches where he momentarily regained his hold. Joseph’s attack, though rapidly losing pressure, followed.
Jiminy must’ve sensed that his end was near, for he then leapt into the face of danger, literally, and landed on Joseph’s upper lip, slightly to the right of his nose. The cricket’s drenched body clung ferociously to the man’s clean-shaven flesh, its legs grasping for a safe footing. However, Jiminy’s choice of refuge proved to be as perilous as his original location, for his wiggling tickled Joseph’s nose hairs and caused him to sneeze violently, blowing him to the floor while sending his untended stream across the front of his pants.
When the shock of having a urine-soaked cricket on his face and piss-streaked slacks had passed, Joseph concluded his business and zipped, hooked and buckled his pants. Jiminy, stunned, limped back to the urinal in an attempt to escape, one of his legs dragging limply beneath him. Joseph, furious, watched.
As Jiminy neared the porcelain edge, Joseph lowered the toe of his loafer upon the cricket’s tiny body and ground him into oblivion, the tiny casualty, clinging to the leather sole of his shoe. He then scraped his foot indignantly along the inside edge of the urinal and flushed.
As he stood at the sink washing his face and hands, two paralegals entered the restroom and made their way into position to relieve themselves, not paying any particular attention to Joseph.
“Aw, someone killed Jiminy,” one said.
“Oh, that sucks,” the other replied.
“Isn’t it bad luck to kill a cricket?”
“That’s what they say.”
“Poor guy.”

CONTACT: chris@christhayer.com