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Helpful tips for Southerners dealing with Fornicating Locust

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It’s June 2014, and that means a new generation of newlyweds in The South will be racing past family and friends while being showered with frantically mating cicadas. What are cicadas you ask? Think really big crickets.

No, think grasshoppers on steroids.

Actually, think “Hopper” from A Bug’s Life.

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For those who haven’t experienced cicada season, it’s easy to imagine if you keep one thing in mind: For six weeks, wherever you go and whatever you do, you will be doing it within the general vicinity of at least 200 cicadas, each of which will be participating in something generally reserved for late night cable. To make matters worse, thousands of male cicadas will be attempting to attract disinterested females by repeating a series of deafening mating calls, which entomologists, after years of research, have finally translated to mean: hey baby hey baby hey baby…

Hey Baby! Hey Baby! Hey Baby! Hey Baby! Hey Baby!

Hey Baby! Hey Baby! Hey Baby! Hey Baby! Hey Baby!

If the male cicada is unsuccessful in attracting a female with one approach, it will, like any male, try something totally different, i.e., the same approach but much louder. This continues until either a) He attracts the attention of a mate, or b) He attracts the attention of someone with a large boot.

When I lived in Georgia during the 1980s, many of the southerners I met were a little suspicious. Some of this was due to my West Coast accent. But mostly it was because my arrival had been accompanied by a plague of copulating cicadas. This phenomenon only happens once every 17 years, which is the only time these locust-like bugs emerge from the ground for their one chance to mate. As you can imagine, from a male cicada’s point of view, this is a pretty big deal.

Actually, this is a big deal from any male’s point of view.

Regardless, I’m sure southerners’ suspicions were confirmed when, as I stood in line waiting to set up electrical service and listening to the constant chirping of cicadas, I was informed that, in addition to a $100 deposit, I should know that two cicadas were getting to know each other on my shoulder.

I really wish you had some hair to pull, babe.

I really wish you had some hair to pull, babe.

My crack about “getting a pay-per-view discount” probably didn’t help matters.

Though I no longer live in The South, I feel a responsibility to utilize LAP’s vast information network (Tweets, selfies and multi-colored Post-Its) to share three tips on dealing with cicada infestation with those who are experiencing it for the first time. Assuming, of course, you haven’t already freaked out and moved to Arizona.

Helpful Tip #1: Remember that the constant chirping of thousands of cicadas can, over the course of six weeks, eventually drive you insane. If you were waiting for the perfect opportunity to call your boss “…A jackass with a chihuahua weenie…” now is the time. Just blame it on Temporary Cicada Insanity. Want to spend a week eating nothing but Ho Hos and Throwback Pepsi? Yep, it’s the TCI acting up.

Sorry I peed in your coffee, boss. Must be the TCI.

Sorry I peed in your coffee, boss. Must be the TCI.

Helpful Tip #2: Use the infestation of mating cicadas to set the mood for romance. During the next six weeks, love will literally be in the air. Possibly even in your hair. In the same way that watching Animal Planet can stir up those primitive mating instincts — anybody with me here? — being surrounded by sinewy-legged insects doing the nasty can be the final ingredient for a love liaison. Planning a romantic dinner? Make reservations on the patio and let nature takes its course! Whether that course is before or after dessert is up to you! And possibly how many cicadas you find in your salad. If that doesn’t work, there’s always the “End of the World” approach, which utilizes the power of the apocalypse as the ultimate persuader.

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Helpful Tip #3: Use social media to establish a food empire built on hype over cicadas as a delicacy. The ingredients for success are already built in: Weirdness and Limited Availability. Those two factors alone will justify the most important ingredient: A Ridiculously High Price. Let the PEASANTS eat chocolate-covered crickets! I’ll be choking down and pretending to enjoy my $200-per-pound cream-cheese stuffed cicadas that were copulating less than 24 hours ago! Wait, that IS cream cheese, right? Who cares! If Jay-Z has a plate, I’ll have two plates! *crunch crunch, gag gag*

That'll be $200. No, I'm not flipping you off. That's a bonus cicada.

That’ll be $200. No, I’m not flipping you off. That’s a bonus cicada.

For those of you who are experiencing the cicada mating season, we here at LAP are thinking of you and hope these tips have been helpful. There’s no need to send a box of cream-filled cicadas as a show of appreciation. Really.

We still have leftovers from 1997.

(Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation and regular contributor at Long Awkward Pause. His first book, Humor At the Speed of Life, is available from Port Hole Publications, Amazon Books or Barnes & Noble.

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About Ned's Blog (35 Articles)
I've been a journalist and humor columnist at the Siuslaw News for 16 years. I'm also a volunteer firefighter. If the newspaper ever burns down, I will have some explaining to do. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

88 Comments on Helpful tips for Southerners dealing with Fornicating Locust

  1. I don’t know.
    Got to admire a guy that travels with his own (literally) boom box with which to attract the ladies.

    Like

  2. There’s a pizza place around here that actually puts cicadas on their pizzas during cicada season. And people eat it. Gross…

    Like

  3. I’m kinda horny right now and I don’t know why?

    Like

  4. Thank you for my morning coffee “spit-up”…This was hilarious Ned, what a gret topic. I see I will have to change my writing topics to BUGS now as they seem to get a lot of attention. Great stuff as always…
    Muah!!!
    Sooz

    Like

    • Speaking from experience, nothing gets more attention than a bug. Especially if it’s in our house.

      And thanks, Sooz — it’s always a pleasure to see you and your wine glass 😉

      Like

  5. I am feeling ornery due to a whole mess of chiggers having chewed up my gams last weekend, so anything insect-related makes me want to gesture with the “bonus cicada.”

    Like

  6. I thought I’d seen everything on WordPress… then Ned Hickson introduced me to bug porn.
    What happened to me?

    Like

  7. Cream-filled cicadas and pizza topped with cicadas… oh yummy. I think I’m going to be sick. Bonus cicada to that. I’ll stay in the west, thanks. I can only handle innocent spiders.

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  8. Cicadas and ticks with a side of chiggers! Oh my!

    Like

  9. Had to reboot that one 🙂

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  10. How is being surrounded by 200 male cicadas trying to get laid different than being in the bar district of any big city after happy hour?

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  11. Last summer we had them in Jersey. They sound like spaceships. It’s really bizarre but it’s only every 15 years so eh…go knock your boots bugs.

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  12. We totally get hit with that shit here in Kansas too. I am a walking example of the insanity the drone of cicada can cause!

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  13. Wait a second…

    I know I already commented here and stuff, but I was just thinking about bug dicks for some reason. Not ‘big dicks’, but ‘bug dicks’. What exactly does a bug dick look like?

    Like

  14. Chris Brown (not the felon) // June 11, 2014 at 5:05 pm //

    We get cicadas up here in Canada too. But the buggers are out EVERY YEAR!!! I knew we shouldn’t have switched to metric.

    Now that I know what they’re up to I will attempt a little low-rent-rendezvous with my wife by rubbing her legs together. Pray we’re not in a drought. Could be a huge blaze.

    Like

  15. Before I go any further I must tell you, when I read “It’s June, 2014” my first reaction was, wait why is he posting something from last year. I can’t explain my leap to the future other than perhaps it is the coffee I am enjoying after cutting myself off from it for a few days. >.< I will now read the rest of the post. *defeated*

    Like

  16. We get them in Illinois every year, as well. 17 years my @55.

    Like

  17. As a kid, one of my favorite things to do was to take the shells that they leave in the grass and on trees (you know that clearish skin shell thingy?) and strategically place them on the clothes of random unsuspecting people. It was particularly entertaining to place one on my dad’s suit before he got up to preach. It made the sermon so much less boring…still boring, but less.

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  18. Actually, the once every seventeen year thing is not entirely accurate. There are several different “broods” of cicada scattered over the US and they all come out on different cycles. I remember some real doozies growing up. I was a ctually a bit disappointed by our last regional brood. It definitely was not a plague. lol Here’s a map of the differnt broods. http://insects.ummz.lsa.umich.edu/fauna/Michigan_Cicadas/Periodical/maps/allbroods.jpg

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  19. Note to self. Do not go to “The South” 17 years from now. Those things are Ugly with a capital “U”. Except for Jimminy and Hopper.

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  20. Sorry I’m late, but I love it!! And incidentally,

    “If the male cicada is unsuccessful in attracting a female with one approach, it will, like any male, try something totally different, i.e., the same approach but much louder. This continues until either a) He attracts the attention of a mate, or b) He attracts the attention of someone with a large boot.”

    This is the EXACT same protocol for human men seeking a mate in Los Angeles.

    Like

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