Confehr: Cicadas should die off 'soon' -- we think

Friday, June 3, 2011

Adult cicadas should all die off: A) soon, B) in a couple of weeks, C) by mid-June, D) not soon enough, E) five weeks after they started bothering us.

All of the answers above are correct.

Cicadas have been so bothersome that an otherwise peaceful, professional and gentlemanly businessman greeted a friend the other day by asking, "How many cicadas have you killed today?"

I think he and I, doing our civic duty, killed about a dozen in less than 10 minutes.

It's worse than the gardener who concluded, "All squirrels must die."

Just walking down Commerce Street, one of the buggers whizzed past me like a P-51 Mustang fighter plane passing King Kong in downtown New York City as if we were on the set of the movie 1945.

One landed on the back of my collar, quietly hitched a ride into the Marshall County Courthouse and when the elevator started to hum, it started to make that bizarre noise. It made me do my bumblebee dance to keep him off me. On the third floor, the door opened and I came out high stepping, waiving my arms and hands like a madman.


Then the elevator door closed and the bug buzzed again.

Imagine what happened when someone walked in, not knowing the elevator was bugged.

The cicadas have even prompted Dana McCollum to write a poem and while the Tribune isn't a literary magazine, her rhymes are a sign of the times.

She wrote:

"Chirp, chirp all day long. You keep me up right through the dawn.

"You leave your skin all o'er my yard, in the trees and on the barn.

"Fly in my face, fall on my head. Freak out the dog and make me dread."

Then Dana hits it on the head, concluding that she's "dying for...

"A quiet, peaceful Summer's day sans orange-eyed monsters on the prey."

Thank you, Dana McCollum, for sharing. Others with extraordinary experiences with the bugs could let us know about what happened to them, but hopefully this will be a thing of the past soon.

It's been so bad that the Associated Press reports cicadas were consumed by human beings who used tequila to wash down the bugs.

Knowing the attitude of some of our neighbors with horse farms, I'm reluctant to find someone from PETA to comment. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have defended chickens as well as horses, cats, dogs, beef cattle, etc.

I used to worked at the Shelbyville Times-Gazette where I posted a bumper sticker my brother gave me. It has a red background and white letters: PETA, People Eating Tasty Animals. Not enough people read the fine print.

And you know what? I'm not gonna see if cicadas taste like chicken.

The noise they make is "the male cicada's version of Marvin Gaye," according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. "The noise attracts female cicadas. He makes it by rubbing together his pair of tymbals, membranes found in his abdomen."

Yeah, sure, but can they rub their tummy and pat their head, too?

These views are the author's and not necessarily reflective of the Tribune's views.