Thursday, August 16, 2007

God I Hate Those Freaking Cicadas

Those among us who have never gotten up close up and personal with a cicada should be grateful. Many may be familiar with these creatures in passing--they're the ones that hatch in giant broods, so vast that in the worst throes of their uprising, it apparently sounds like driving over miles of Doritos, as the piles of carcasses are crushed under tire. Normally, the very thought of this would disturb me.

While I have what can safely be described as at least a moderate bug phobia, I'm also loathe to kill basically any living creature, which makes removing insects from my home a complicated and tiresome process. But when I think specifically about cicadas being offed, by the hundreds, all I can do is smile. For those of you who haven't had the opportunity to hear a cicada do its thing, you can't really imagine what it's like. Varying tempo, slightly different pitch insect for insect, but all generally sharing a style similar to, say, rhythmic weed-whacking, at volumes which can only be described as absolutely ridiculous, particularly given that this din is being generated by something an inch and a half long. Additionally, it is utterly and completely incessant.

I'll grant you that I may tune into certain noises more easily than others, but this sound is astonishing, distracting, and yes, I'm sorry to say, maddening. I've gone out on my back deck and yelled at the trees, shaking my fist, hoping to scare them off, or scare them silent. Nothing. I've lobbed the broken-off ends of corn that I happened to be shucking when the noise became too much for me to bear. And yet it continues. The other day I thought about the BB gun in our garage, considering whether I could become enough of a marksman, quickly enough, to put a dent in the population of cicadas, at least as they relate to my own backyard. After all, it doesn't seem unreasonable to think that I might get good enough to hit one of these:

It's about the size of my goddamned thumb. More like hitting the broad side of a barn, than a mosquito or some other normally proportioned insect.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just found one on my deck in Shelburne, Vermont. What the heck?! I thought it was dead until I tried to pick it up. Then it freaked out and I screamed running to my husband to have him look at it! Creepy and dinosaur like!!!