V: Cricket

A quick primer on cricket fighting.

V: Cricket
Yep, that's a cricket. Photo by Heiko Haller / Unsplash

Good morning. Today is quintidi, the 25th of Frimaire, Year CCXXXI. We celebrate le grillon, a noisy insect.

We're going to talk about a sport involving crickets, so let's take a second to address the other sport that happens to be named cricket. The British-born bat-and-ball sport cricket that is mainly popular in the former colonies of the UK (except continental North America) isn't named for the insect, but the bat itself, which resembles a shepherd's staff, or cricc

Cricket fighting is a huge deal in China, and has roots going back more than a thousand years. It's as ritualized as bullfighting or cockfighting, and similarly attracts fervid gambling and prurient interest, but is more close in spirit to horse racing or dog racing ... bloodshed isn't the point. The losing crickets do occasionally die or lose a leg, but in the vast majority of matches, the whistle blows when one cricket waves a white flag by running away.

This survivability is good, because a good fighting cricket can cost its trainer thousands of dollars.

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