#26 – Eat Live Crickets

If it were up to me I’d eat carne asada burritos, turkey sandwiches, and sushi for every meal. I’m a simple eater. My buddy Trevor is the same way, which is why I proposed to him my latest idea to take us out of our comfort zone.

I’m not too picky, but I also don’t put garbage into my body. I haven’t eaten fast food in years. Trevor, however, eats fast food on the regular, which is probably why he wasn’t hesitant to participate in this venture, because after all, one can’t argue that crickets are pretty fast. Have you ever tried catching one? So, I typed “fried insects” into Yelp! and one of the first places that came up in the Hollywood area was Sanamluang Café, so we ventured into Thai Town.

Unfortunately, we were turned away when the waitress informed us that they don’t serve crickets. Yelp! lied to me. We tried one more Thai spot, which simply yielded confusion from our waiter.

How our waiter had never heard of crickets was beyond me. I felt sorry for him because he must’ve been depraved of a childhood.

Our waiter’s parents clearly depraved him of the pleasure of viewing Jiminy Cricket in the movie Pinocchio.

I originally wanted to try crickets at a Mexican restaurant, but Trevor convinced me to go Thai, due to his love for the Asian people. I didn’t know if there was a difference between Thai and Mexican crickets, except for maybe their accents if presented in cartoon form.

Since we were unsuccessful with his people I convinced him we’d have more luck with my people. This time around we turned to scanning the streets, because that bitch Yelp! and that asshole Google were unhelpful. Our eyes locked in on a place called Rincon Oaxaqueno on Western between Sunset & Hollywood.

Our waitress informed us that they do indeed serve crickets, but they weren’t going to have any for at least a week.

In that video Trevor was joking about dropping in on Petco, but with a cricket shortage in Hollywood we had no other choice. Trevor called Petco on Doheny in West Hollywood, and fired off a litany of questions regarding human consumption of live crickets. His first question was an obvious one: “Is it OK to eat live crickets?” Surprisingly, the woman on the other end didn’t hang up right then and there. Question two: “Are your crickets sprayed with any pesticides?” Question three: “What do crickets eat?” All were valid questions that hadn’t crossed my mind. I planned on just popping them in my mouth. Unfortunately, the woman getting paid minimum wage didn’t have the answers that only a licensed physician would know.

We approached the cashier and asked the woman behind the register where their crickets were. She informed us that she was the one we spoke with over the phone. She also told us that she was about two seconds away from hanging up on us. We informed her that’s customary reaction we get from women. She thought we were crank calling.

Trevor said we would take four crickets and the cashier’s colleague asked if we wanted big crickets or small crickets. I questioned the difference in size. Their description was substantial. Trevor said we would take two of each, and informed me that I’d be eating the big ones, since it was my idea.

Crickets are cheaper than the dollar menu at McDonalds.

I’ve done some things for this blog, which most people would deem crazy, like skydiving, participating in a scientific experiment, and even getting a mani-pedi. I am pretty even tempered and have nerves of steel, so nothing has really scared me in the final seconds leading up to each activity. When Trevor and I went skydiving I wasn’t even scared as the airplane door opened and I looked over the vast land below me. For some reason, however, when the Petco employee returned with our bag of crickets, reality set in and I was a bit frightened with the realization that I was about to eat something alive. Trevor wasn’t nervous at all, but he must have seen the look on my face, because he said, “The airplane door finally opened for you.”

I don’t know if the crickets were more afraid of me than I was of them.

Before we returned to Trevor’s domicile, we made a quick stop at a Beverly Hills sandwich shop to get some real food to immediately cleanse the digestion of our insect friends. Cruising Bedford Drive on foot we ran into Brett Ratner (humble brag) with whom we reconnected with after some time. He recognized our sandwiches and said, “What ya got there, turkey?” Yes, with a side of crickets in the car.

We took the sandwiches and crickets back to Trevor’s place and the following is the completion of our discomfort.

I contend I had it much worse than Trevor and Andrew because I ate the biggest one, which had whiskers the size of a large tiger.My little feller was quite crunchy. He didn’t taste as bad as I made it seem to be in the video. Other than the texture and furriness on my tongue, it probably wouldn’t have tasted so bad with a helping of ketchup.

Ultimately I’ve always believed in my ability to survive for a long time if I was stranded on a deserted island. That belief is mainly due to the fact that I’m not a big foodie. Now that I know I can get past the mental block of eating live bugs I am certain I could totally pull a Tom Hanks in Cast Away. Just give me a Wilson volleyball, a sandy beach, an ice skate, and I’m good.

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