On the list of “Things that make you go EEW!!!!!!” – try out this headline from the Associated Press/INFORUM: East about to be overrun by billions of cicadas. Please do allow me to be the first to offer an emphatic EEW!!!!!!!!!!
Billions of cicadas – those little bugs are harmless to people physically, but just the thought of having billions of them about is enough to scar a sensitive psyche. My psyche is sensitive. I am scarred by the thought.
There is actually a great story behind the invasion of these little red-eyed invaders. They have been underground since 1996. Yes, 17 years they have been waiting to re-emerge. They will make their appearance when the ground temperature reaches exactly 64 degrees. It is estimated that upon their emergence they will outnumber the people on the East Coast 600 to 1.
These little darlings are not your run of the mill cicadas – they are magicicadas and they are only found on the East Coast. Researchers quibble about how many are actually underground waiting to come out. The estimates range from 30 billion to one trillion. Never fear though they are only around for a few weeks and then they die and their offspring toddle back underground for another 17 years.
If you are wondering to what we owe this peculiar pleasure – the appearance of billions of cicadas, I offer you an answer as old as the ages – they are coming up for sex. They are ready to get it on. Lovely imagery isn’t it? Not that I am in any way against sex, but this whole 17 year itch thing just sounds crazy. The whole thing feels like a campy horror movie from the 70s – The Rise of the Magicicadas! I imagine screaming teenagers running out of wooded areas being swarmed by sex-starved magicicadas. Maybe with the old T. Rex song Bang a Gong playing in the background. Oh yes, I can imagine it all in my odd little mind and let me reiterate – EEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Day one thousand three hundred and ninety-nine of the new forty – obla di obla da