May 28, 2004

Duck & Cover!

We've been hearing about these amazing Generation Xeroid cicadas for months now. Every morning I'd peek out the windows expecting to see swarms of the sleepy bugsters flying willy-nilly around the yard banging into the house and hanging off the trees. I kept a close watch for their husks, expecting them to pile up and crunch underfoot of the non-wary walker. I re-told the story ad nauseum of The Boy playing army with their shells the last time the cicadas emerged way back when. I was prepared to protect the puppers from gorging themselves on those delectable insects which, I have read, are popular doggie snacks. Too many cicadas are bad for the tummy evidently---something I hope to never personally experience.

So anyway. The hype built up as cicadas began emerging around the DC area. We did finally see a husk in the yard, then another, then an actual full grown cicada briefly buzzed by. But that had been all. What a letdown, I thought.

Then came a visit to a client on Eisenhower Avenue. As I stepped out of my car the air literally vibrated with the sounds of cicadas, their song ebbing and flowing in complete larger than life surround sound. And I noticed the trees. There was no breeze, but the leaves were alive with movement. Cicadas would fly in and out, around and about, no clear destination apparent. I began to count my blessings our own neighborhood was not so infested.

I walked down the middle of the parking lot, keeping as far from the trees as possible. My terror (yes I'll call it terror because I fear bugs in a BIG way for no reason other I than can't control where they'll go or what they'll do when they get there) I kept at bay by strength of will alone. I'd heard the stories of those huge mindless cicadas crashing into people or getting tangled in their hair (like I have enough for them to get tangled in!) and other horrors of encounters with alienish insects.

I made it to the office door and noticed the lifeless carcass of a once full-of-life cicada on the sidewalk. They really are ugly little suckers and what a bizarre lifecycle.

The decision was made not to think about having to traverse the same route to get back to my car just yet.

Wonder if I'll still be around here when the next batch of 17-year cicadas emerges?


Pisces75 said...

I had a very similar situation. In Indiana all the news had been talking about are these bugs. How they were everywhere. I have been housesitting in an old house wtih lots of trees. Thought for sure I would see a ton and have to dodge them. Much to my dismay none really showed up when it was time. Then a few days later I took a different route home from work...and it was like playing Ateroids with cicadas and my car. It was gross. Thud...they would hit the winshield. Then I had a moment where I thought one flew in the car. I can empathize with the terror feeling.

Suzanne said...

Hey there blueher, thanks for stopping by again.

I tried to extrapolate some cicada-coping strategies from the boxing legend Ali: bob and weave, honey, bob and weave. That strategy didn't help me yesterday, however. I had one land smack dab on my boob while walking with a co-worker at lunch. Provided much amusement for him and probably took 10 years off MY life. :)