Bugging Out


I keep looking out of my front window to see if there are any cicadas on my front lawn yet. I guess the media hype about their arrival is getting to me. Don’t you think the descriptions of the bugs in the press conjure up images from horror movies? They say they’re emerging from underground after 17 years and slowly making their way to our yards. In the newspapers I read, they’ve talked about the “invasion” of “billions” of the creatures along the east coast. (My area of northern Virginia is one of the first being hit.) Plus, apparently they’re big, loud and ugly. I read in the NY Times that they have “eyes the color of blood”. The Washington Post, noting how noisy they are said, “There’s a shrieking hell to come”. Yikes!

I guess the whole thing reminds me of a nightmarish experience from my past. A while back I was mentoring a teen-ager named Mike. He was the oldest person who took me seriously up to that time. He followed me around and asked me questions as if I knew something. One day I took him to lunch over which we had a very serious conversation. Afterward,  we stood outside for a few minutes while I finished talking. (I was really feeling my gravitas that day.) When I finally took a breath, Mike said to me very nonchalantly. “Is that a bug pin you’re wearing?” I didn’t own any bejeweled insect pins so I knew it could only be one thing. I didn’t really want to look but I slowly let my gaze drop from Mike’s sweet face to my lapel. There sat the most horrible looking bug I’d ever seen wiggling its legs and antennae. Mike didn’t take me as seriously after he saw me high stepping down the streets of the financial district, furiously slapping at my upper body.

The thing is I don’t really mind bugs. When I was a preschool teacher, every year I did a whole unit on bugs. I thought up all kinds of bug activities for the kids like bug hunting, bug drawings and bug bingo. We even had pet bugs. We did everything with bugs except eat them. (Although some of the kids probably ate a few of the pets while I wasn’t looking.)

So, I’m usually pretty cool about sharing my space with insects but the ominous warnings about the cicadas from all the news outlets have me a little sensitive.  I’m expecting the billion bug corps any minute, their eyes flashing, screeching a war cry of “Eat all her plants!” It wouldn’t be so bad if only they were diamond encrusted.

To see what I’m up against where I live check out this article from the Washington Post: Those Beady Eyed Bugs Are Back

2 thoughts on “Bugging Out

  1. I can get you a great recipe for cicada dumplings. It will change your attitude about those little buggers forever! You’ll be looking forward toward the next 17 years.


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