The cicadas are coming. If you live on the east coast, that is. As soon as the temperature of the soil hits 64 degrees Fahrenheit, billions–and that is not an exaggeration, of these horrible, science fiction looking insects will emerge to scare the living daylights out of you while creating a racket that is louder than most rock bands.
While I trust and love the scientists who have held our hands throughout the pandemic, creating life-saving vaccines, this right here is where I part ways with these scientists. Because they are trying to sell us a bill of goods about how wonderful the cicadas are. See below:
- They are harmless. Perhaps. If harmless in the sense of they won’t bite you or fly up your nose, yes. But the word harmless apparently means different things to scientists (or is it entomologists, who are a very dubious subgroup of scientists). Not flying up my nose is not going to make me admire cicadas.
- They aerate the soil. There are sticks and poles available to do this for us. Lawn services do it for a minimal fee. We do not need cicadas for this.
- It’s only every 17 years. This is somewhat comforting, but still…
- They are food for birds and other animals. But hey, if your dog eats them, prepare for bug vomit all over your living room.
- They are a true wonder of nature. Ha. The red crab migration in Australia is also a wonder of nature. Google that one.
- They are harmless. So they don’t sting. This is not much of a rationalization, as far as I am concerned. Slugs don’t sting, either.
- They are one of the only natural phenomena of their kind. But we can do without this one, thanks.
- They don’t last that long. I call six weeks a very long time.
- “It’s like having David Attenborough in your back yard.” Huh? I like Mr. Attenborough just fine, but I wouldn’t want him lurking in my back yard, or narrating the wonders of the bugs out there. I am not sure I would even want to watch him on PBS in a cicada special. So having him in my back yard? That’s a nope.
- They are harmless. How many times do we have to hear this to buy in? And what is “harm,” anyway? Despite the fact that my nostrils are safe, I still will find going out, only to see the sidewalk seething with insects; or having one harmlessly land on my forehead, causing a severe panic attack, begs the question “what exactly does the word “harmless” mean?” One person’s harmless is another person’s heart attack with wings.
Fun fact: Beekeeper’s outfits are rapidly selling out.