June 9, 2007

An Open Letter to the 23,489 Cicadas Living in My Yard

I am trying very hard to be amazed at the natural wonder of your appearance but boy are you guys making it hard. I certainly understand that after spending 17 long years underground you just want to have a little fun but I have to tell you, you're getting on my nerves. And since you’re going to be here for another month or so, there are a few things we need to talk about.

1. You’ve got to stop hitchhiking in our cars. We’re not going anywhere you want to go. Trust me on this one. You’ll only end up somewhere where your cicada friends aren’t. I know joy riding seems like a good idea but trust me it isn’t. And dying on my dashboard? Not acceptable at all. So as of right now the cars are off limits.

2. Could you possibly keep the noise down? Have you ever considered that with every last one of you singing at the top of your lungs those little girl cicadas must be awfully confused? Maybe a few thousand of you could go for a more subtle approach. Maybe you could try flowers -- help yourselves to any in my yard -- or a little candlelight dinner. And why when one of you decides to sing louder do you all do it? Have you ever heard that it’s the strong, silent-type who gets the girl? I think a new courting strategy would serve you well.

3. Which brings me to my next point. And how can I put this delicately? I need you to stop, well, mating any ol' place you choose. This is a G-rated household and it's getting hard to explain to two curious three year olds why all you cicadas are stuck together. So could you please not use the windshield, the girls’ tricycles or even the driveway as your own little love shack? Could you please stick to the trees, the bushes or the grass when you, well, need to stick to each other?

4. And that brings me to the dying part. I know it's got to be a huge bummer to finally get a little fresh air and sunshine and then mate and die. But, do you have to die on my driveway, on my sidewalk and on my back porch? I think if you'll stick to the rules in number 3, I’ll be able to make it down the driveway without crunching one of you. Which reminds me. No more sticking to the bottom of our shoes, especially the girls’ shoes with the nubby bottoms. We’re trying very hard not to step on you but you have us outnumbered 5,000 or so to 1 and you’re just not leaving us much room to walk.

5. I know you've only been flying for a couple weeks and I'm sure flying isn't the easiest thing to do but can't you try just a little harder? I've never seen anything with wings bump into so many things with such regularity. And can you please at least try to stop running into me each and every time I walk outside? And listen, landing in my hair is really crossing the line. When you do, I invariably scream and jump and land on top of a couple of you then you get stuck to my shoe and well, you get the picture.

I am very flattered that so many of you have chosen my yard to hang out in but you've got to understand that this is all pretty darn gross to me. So help me out here and we’ll make it through the next month. Well actually, I guess you won’t make it through the next month but could you help me out anyway?

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