You will remember from a previous story how I grew up with a kid named Rex. Rex, as you will recall, had the idea to be an egg farmer that did no turn out so well.
As long as I knew Rex, he was always looking for some new idea to make money. Having failed at the egg farm, he went off to the library in search of inspiration. It was on an obscure shelf at the downtown library that he found a book of grasshopper recipes. Rex decided then and there that his fortune was to be found raising grasshoppers. I saw him the next day at school.
“Rex, do you know anybody that actually EATS grasshoppers?” I was laughing so hard I could barely get the words out.
Rex was incredulous. “Well, stupid, why do you think they would have a book of grasshopper recipes at the library if nobody eats them?” I knew there was no use arguing with him. Besides, if he gave this idea up, he would just go find another, even weirder idea.
The Texas Panhandle has never had a shortage of grasshoppers. Rex figured all he would need to do is catch them and figure out a way to keep them captive until he had time to fatten them up to sell. Rex decided the best place to keep control over his inventory would be in the garage. He originally wanted to move his operation into his room but after the egg farm fiasco he thought he had better keep his work away from his Mom.
Well, Rex got himself a couple of cardboard boxes and installed them in an obscure corner of the garage behind the freezer. Then he filled them part way with and twigs and I don’t know what all. Anything he figured a grasshopper would eat.
The next morning was Saturday. He left the house early with a couple of glass jars and spent all morning and a good chunk of the afternoon collecting grasshoppers of all sizes and shapes. Once he was done with that, he put them in the two boxes behind the freezer. The day was, in his mind, a highly successful one. As the fellas sat around the far corner of the field that evening, he told us about his plan and further added that he would be needing people to work for him as his operation grew. We all agreed that we would be glad to help him out as long as it paid enough.
While Rex was out planning his (and our) future in the grasshopper industry, a career ending disaster awaited him at home. It seems his sister (it was always a girl that ruined everything for us) was sent out to the garage to get something out of the freezer. She spotted the two boxes behind the freezer and decided to investigate. It did not take long for the grasshoppers to make a leap for freedom in the closed garage. Rex’s sister ran out in a crying panic straight to Mom and Dad.
We did not see Rex for three weeks after that episode. When he did turn up, he said it took him most of the three weeks to get all of the grasshoppers out of the garage and attic. Rex being Rex, though, he was unfettered from finding another “project.”