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Saturday, 7 August 2010

The Sunday Roast

Cricket: Off his Own Bat
. . . But Can He Bowl The Maidens Over?

This little chap looks highly productive on his typewriter, doesn't he?
But wait . . . . . no it's not Jiminy! . . . . . it can't be, can it?

No, it's our Cricket, and here is the man behind the blog, shown with Larva.

This week's interview is with Cricket
who writes the blog,
Cricket and Porcupine

Thank you for your interesting interview, Cricket

A very warm welcome to you and your followers

Here's the first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?

Well, I'm still sorting that out. Blame Suldog for getting me started. He published a bit of our personal correspondence and I enjoyed reading the responses to it. Later, I wrote a couple of pieces with that in mind. After a while, it seemed like I ought to create a blog of my own - somewhere to put essays that didn't really fit his format. So I did.

I've always liked writing essays and letters, so it seemed like a natural thing to do: writing open letters to whomever should care to read them. It's just a modern version of the streetcorner soapbox.

(A novel way of putting it and it's always fascinating to read how people start and what motivates them to do it)

What's the story behind your blog name?

You know the old question: if you were an animal, what would you be? Well, I'd always answer that with either a cricket or a porcupine. At first I was going to use one or the other but, as I tried out different names, I thought it might be fun to use both, and have recourse to the "characters" of Cricket and Porcupine.

I suppose in a way it reflects the duality of my life, those elements that we have to reconcile: the spiritual and the material, the hippie and the punk, that sort of thing. Porcupine handles rants and politics, as a rule. Cricket is a little more forgiving. Perhaps, Cricket is who I would like to be, Porcupine who I most often am.

(Very interesting that a few other examples of known extremes spring to mind - my own Clouds and Slivery Linings and Janine's Sniffles and Smiles for starters - and of course a certain Dr Jeckyl and Mr Hyde - but we won't go into that.)

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

Definitely the people you meet along the way, perhaps people I could never meet any other way. I see the whole thing as an extended cocktail party. You never quite know where the conversations will go or who you might meet and connect with in some way.

Just as in real life, I'm not particularly extroverted. I'm kind of slow to get out there and warm up, but I've found some wonderful new friends through blogging and I'm sure there will be more.
(Lots of great people in Blogland)

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

Well, I don't know about that. I am a newbie blogger. If I have to give any advice, I'd say to have fun with who you are and what you do. One of the great things about blogging is the variety out there. You never know what you're going to find when you browse. I think if you find something interesting, someone else is going to as well. Decide what you like and go with it. That's what I'd suggest.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?

"Significant" is a big word, and something that is probably quite personal. I'll give you two, though, that were meaningful to me. Suldog's The Gift is, I think, a wonderful bit of writing. It's a great story, in itself. And it was inspirational to me. It made me want to tell a few stories like that.

Freedom Of Flight And Sunflowers, by Alane at Land of Shimp, is another; a beautiful story, beautifully written, that I return to periodically. It's a reminder of those things we all tend to forget.
If you've never read these, you should. Now. You'll be glad you did.
(I for one will make a point of visiting them)

What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?

Well, as I said, "significant" is a big word. I don't know that any of my posts are truly significant. There are three, I think, that are better than the rest, though: Eternal Autumn, Love In Spring, and Memorare. At least, those are my favorites; the ones where I really felt like I said exactly what I meant to say.

If you were to suggest two blogs for roasting who would you pick, and why?

You should definitely roast Alane at Land of Shimp, mostly because I'd love to read her answers. She's hilarious when she wants to be, and a sweet person all around, with something intelligent to say on almost any subject. A new-to-me blogger I'd also recommend is Friko, at Friko's Musings. I only came across her recently through Hilary's Posts Of The Week, but so far I've really enjoyed her writing: very thoughtful, introspective work. I'd be surprised if an interview with her was not fascinating.

(Thanks very much - these are great roast leads and I will contact them both)

That concludes the formal aspect of the interview but it would be nice to get to know you a little better while you are slowly turning on the roasting spit. So while you are screaming in agony above the open fire here are a few more questions for you.

Pick three things you can't live without.

My heart, lungs, and liver. Unquestionably. I've asked a lot of all three of them over the years, but they've never failed me yet. I hope they'll stick with me until the end.

(I think the kidneys may be a little hurt you omitted to give them a mention)

If we were to make a movie about BlogLand, what would it be and who would you cast in the leading roles?

I don't visualize BlogLand. I hear it as an old-time radio show, complete with static, cheesy organ playing in the interludes, and poorly read ads. If it were up to me, I'd produce it that way and cast everyone in his own slot. Everyone gets ten or fifteen minutes to use as they see fit.
Really, I think there's something to that. Part of the magic of reading is that you get to imagine the characters in your own way. Radio preserves that better than cinema. I really miss the old programs sometimes.

(Yep! In my book radio wins hands down and we can imagine situations much better there)

If you could live your life again who would you be, and why?

Why would I want to do that? I've had a good time, more or less. I suppose if I had to "repeat the course," I'd come back as myself, but only if I could know then what I know now. There are a few things I'd handle differently: a few people I'd be kinder to, a few I'd let have it right off, that sort of thing.

If I'd have to wing it again, though? I'd pass. Let someone have the opportunity who felt they could make better use of it.

(Great - so far everyone wants to be themselves. But an old head on young shoulders would be most welcome if we could relive our lives)

You have been given a wonderful talent from above. This causes you to make your mark on humanity and be world famous. In which area would prefer: a best selling novelist, a brilliant artist, a gifted musician, a fantastic singer, a charismatic leader, anything you choose, and why?

Well, I'd choose to be a saint, of course. St. Cricket... has a nice ring to it, no? The world needs more saints: those people who bring life, light, and love into the world, who show us it's possible, even today, to be something more. They make their mark on humanity by showing us the meaning of humanity. I suppose, in a way, it's a path open to all of us, but I'd choose to be one of those who follow it better than most.

( . . . but I doubt whether the invitation for canonization would extend to Porcupine! LOL)

If you were an ice cream cone, which flavour would you prefer and who would you most want to lick you?

I'd be frozen pudding. I don't know how many know that one: rum ice cream with fruitcake-fruit? Raisins, cherries, citron and the like? It's a New England thing and ever harder to find, even here.

Now here's the thing: my lovely wife hates frozen pudding. In a way, I'm sure it represents to her all my faults and failings, in frozen confectionery form. If I could get her to take a lick, or even better, eat an entire cone with relish, it would practically guarantee we wind up as one of those old couples who walk hand-in-hand in the park on Sundays.
If sainthood isn't in the cards, you could do a lot worse than that.

(Agreed, but you might be allowed the assignment of Cricket, The Patron Saint of Frozen Puddings. Oh . . . and thanks for your highly intelligent answer, convincing me that this question isn't quite as ridiculous as I thought on my last roast LOL. So I guess it is still in for now - just! It's been on the slippery slope for some time now)

Describe in one sentence your perfect day.

I can do it in one word: today. Don't mistake this for optimism. It isn't. Still, what else do we have? The past is gone; the future is unknown. What we have is this day, right now. When you forget about what happened yesterday, or what might happen tomorrow, today has a way of improving all by itself, because you are living where you belong.

(One day at a time! eh! Great answer Cricket - Today. What was that tune? "Que, Sera, Sera")

If you were a fictional writer which one would you be and why?

I think I would like to write bond ratings for one of the major firms, like Moody's or Standard and Poor's. Granted, bond ratings don't make exciting reading, but it's a pretty lucrative job, as fiction-writing goes.

What was your most embarrassing moment?

It's hard to say. I think that's a question I'd have to ask my friends. The chances are excellent that I don't even remember my most embarrassing moment - I'm sure alcohol was involved, though.

One that I do remember: In college, one morning after a party, I woke up just in time to make it to French class. I was still in my clothes and had an evil hangover, but I decided to atone for it by not skipping class. I matted my hair down and otherwise pulled myself together and ran to class. The teacher kept looking at me with a concerned mother look, asking every now and then if I was all right. I told her I was. My arms were sore, though. Finally, class ended. I went to a men's room to splash some water on my face. That's where I realized that my arms were covered in cuts and dried blood - totally untended to.
I called the friend who had held the party to see if she could fill me in. Evidently, when I left the party, I had elected to bypass the stairs up the hill in favor of bushwhacking through the shrubbery beside them. I lost my footing near the top of the hill, rolled down, then did it again, more successfully.
Looking back, I think almost everything I ever did that was truly stupid involved alcohol. Ah, the follies of youth.

(But most of us grow out of it eventually, thank God. I had a few heavy hangovers as a youngster before I finally realised it just was not worth it LOL)

If you woke up and found you had changed gender what would be the first thing you would do, and the second thing.

I don't know. Would I be myself in a woman's body? Or a real woman?
I suppose I would spend a little while lamenting the error of my former ways. Then, I'd go shoe shopping.

(I would scream! . . . after a while I may recite, "Oh where oh where has my little dog gone?"

. . then I suppose I would come to terms with the situation and book a 'hair-do', on the phone of course! . . . and after compiling a long 'do-list' whilst simultaneously reading a book, drinking a cup of coffee, washing the dishes, cleaning the bathroom, painting my nails . . . . etc. . . etc)

Your turn to ask me a question if you wish.

In all seriousness, Eddie, what is the meaning of life? For you, of course.

Now that's a tough one! But seeing as you have asked me I shall answer. For me, personally, I think this life is a training ground. I think we have been put here to learn how to live in harmony with each other, to choose for good or evil, to step into the light from this dark, dark world in which we are born, and to focus on the next life as a shining ray of light in a perfect world lasting for ever in peace and happiness. The door to that life in my book is simply by accepting our Saviour into our hearts. But at the same time I would say we should enjoy our lives here to the full, and to be kind to each other. 70 years, or even 100 years in this world are nothing compared to an eternity of happiness awaiting us. These thoughts certainly keep me going here.

Well, that concludes the interview and once again thank you for appearing on The Sunday Roast.


Today's Sunday Roast with Cricket and Porcupine is the 127th in a
weekly series of interviews with bloggers from around the world. ___________________________________________________

This interview will feature in The Roll of Honour
for all published Roasts. To view press


  1. This is a great roast, Eddie! I always like finding new blogs and this Cricket and Porcupine blog is new to me. So thanks for finding someone new. I will head over to his blog and read some of his posts. He dropped the name of Suldog who is one of my favorites and I agree with the significance of Suldog's post The Gift.

  2. Interesting interview! I'll have to check this guy out!

  3. Yet another great roast :)

    Love your "perfect day" answer, C&P - fab!! I'll drop on over to your blog - I have bookmarked it for later.

  4. That was a very good roasting!
    Yes, C&P........ the perfect day answer was really good. I tend to agree with that.
    I think it would be difficult to choose just 3 body parts though. If something quite minor goes wrong, it puts out the whole body!
    Thank you both for an entertaining roast!
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  5. Thank you Eddie for introducing me to another blogger....I am on my way over for a visit....:-)Hugs

  6. I knew I liked this guy.... "My heart, lungs, and liver. Unquestionably..." is the best answer to your questions I've ever heard. Hahahhaha

    Thanks for another interview Eddie. I know they are a lot of work and I appreciate all your time so much.

    Cheers to you both,

  7. Thank you, Eddie,
    for another great Sunday Roast!

  8. Great roast Eddie! I loved finding a new blogger and enjoyed the links.

  9. Enjoyed the roast, although the idea of frozen pudding that bears a resemblance to fruit cake makes me shudder!

  10. I love Cricket. Great roast Eddie, as usual.

  11. Cricket is a dear friend of mine. I shared a place of employment with him for a few years, and tremendously enjoyed his company during that time. He is a tremendous writer, and one of the most intelligent beings I've had the pleasure of knowing.

    Great job, as usual, Eddie.

  12. Thanks to all of you who enjoyed the roast, and thanks again, Eddie, for having me. It was my pleasure.

  13. And my thanks to everyone as well and thank you again, Cricket, for featuring on the SR. The pleasure was mine.

  14. I've really enjoyed reading this roast and will definitely be back! It's just great meeting new bloggers...blogging rocks!

  15. Awww what a great roast. Of course, everything about Cricket is pretty great. Sorry that I'm late to this party, but I'm glad I didn't miss it. Cricket.. and Porcupine is always a fine read.

  16. Now that was fun! What a nice interview, and thanks to Cricket for directing me over here today. Also for the kind mention.

    It's funny how we see ourselves and how we are seen, isn't it? I've seen Cricket say before that he's an introvert and not particularly friendly, but he actually took the time to send me an email, and I'm not the easiest person to get in touch with a lot of the time.

    Just pointing that out because with these interviews -- and I've read the roasts before -- I'm often struck by that. The answers are fun, and often fascinating but some of the fun is in the contrast.

    Anyway, what a fun endeavor, and as usual Cricket made me smile :-)

  17. He has a dry sense of humor. Goes well with fava beans and chianti.

    Great job. Quite entertaining!


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