I have angst—serious angst. It seems in a few days a major brood of bugs will be descending upon the East Coast. When I first heard about this, I needed to find out more information so I went where one always goes to get the most accurate data: Twitter. Then I went to the next most accurate source Wikipedia, and this is what I found out: The bug experts call these creatures Cicadas and apparently, they have been bunkered down for 17 years waiting for their triumphant return. Well, they are waiting to have sex—lots and lots of sex and then after they have sex, the females lay eggs and the adults eventually die off and in the midst of all this romance and procreation there are loud, loud noises which emanate through the night.
I know if it wasn’t for the fact that we were talking about bugs, some people might find this description titillating but we are talking bugs—big bugs. The scientists call Cicadas fascinating. They try to quell fears by telling the non-bug loving population that these critters are harmless. Then, they show us pictures of said critters:
Do they look harmless? They look like something out of a Japanese monster movie! They might not bite or sting but they are ugly and scary and just plain icky for lack of a technical term. If they come to my yard for the 30-day infestation, I won’t be able to mow, garden or enjoy daylight. I will be housebound. Okay, maybe not housebound, but I won’t be happy. The bug people say we can take precautions to prevent being pelted by Cicadas as they fly by in their sexual frenzy. I think we should all heed these precautions as horny bugs and unprepared humans might result in some horrible interspecies mistake, the likes of which we won’t realize for another 17 years when the next Cicada brood comes a calling.
The bug experts recommend carrying umbrellas and wearing hats and long sleeved clothing or even donning beehive suits. Where does one find a beehive suit? Are they available at Dick’s Sporting Goods or perhaps Home Depot? I am hoping the Cicadas forget about us in Philadelphia and head to NY. There is a good chance for this. A lot of people forget about Philadelphia. The national media starts at Washington, skips right over us and goes to New York and then Boston. If we didn’t have sports teams, rowdy fans and cheesesteaks, no one would know we were here. Maybe the Cicadas will be like the national media and think, “How fun can Philly be? Let’s just skip over them.”
If the Cicadas come, I will be brave. I will have to man the fort to keep my dogs bug free. I will have to do my best to keep my gardens Cicada free as well. For the record, I know that this Cicada thing is like prom night and a royal wedding all rolled into one for the bug experts who are hoping and praying that the one-and-a-half inch creepy crawlers descend upon us. I get their enthusiasm and want to say, “Whatever rubs your wings”, but I have to admit that the zeal demonstrated by the bug experts scares me almost as much as the Cicadas. And one more confession. This is when I don’t like Mother Nature. I know we can’t do this, but what if for the next 30 days we just put one big condom over the east coast to spurn the advances of the male Cicadas as they hunt down their women folk. As with humans, maybe a little safe sex can do a lot of good!