The Cicada Dance

Every 13 years, out from the ground, arises a pest more annoying than…well more annoying than any other that comes to my mind.  They bring to mind visions of the Book of Revelation and the end of the world.  A plague of pests.  They are Cicadas.  I’ll admit, I know nothing about these annoying creatures, other than the fact that they are, well, annoying.  Quite frankly, I don’t care to know about them.  I just want them to go away, as I am sure many other people are feeling the same way.  Over the past couple weeks here at work, we have watched them slowly take over our campus.  And as they have invaded our little world here, we have watched a new phenomenon come about…something we like to refer to here in the office as “The Cicada Dance”.

People are doing the Cicada Dance everywhere.  As they are trying to walk across campus you watch it start to happen.  First the hands fly up.  The dancer then arches their back and runs in a circle, while the people around him or her (although it is usually a girl dancer) scatter.  Of course the dance can vary.  It can involve covering the face and ducking, or shaking the head in a spastic fit.  Sometimes a scream accompanies the dance.  It is quite comical to everyone who watches it take place.  I, myself, have done the dance once or twice.  Why?  To avoid the flying little bug that suddenly appears as large as the creature in the movie Alien when it is coming right at you, screaming just like the baby version of the Alien screamed as it protruded out of that guy’s stomach.  At least that is how my memory remembers it. 

The dance can even take place indoors…say in a shuttle bus.  As we rode in this morning, a lone cicada terrorized the bus as it let out its alien scream and flew up the center aisle.  Again the vision of the baby alien running across the counter popped into my head.  All the people…well women… immediately shrunk into their neighbor’s seats.  Guess if you were a guy in the window seat, it’s a great way to get lucky.  It was hysterical.  Of course it was, they were hysterical.  Luckily it didn’t come near me, so I can say I maintained my cool.  😉

The cicada scream is not only annoying, but with the swarms of them filling the trees, it is becoming deafening.  Then as my daughter Virginia and I walked to my car the other day, I had the joy of having one actually fly into my ear.  I watched as it flew towards me.  I threw up my hands to swat it off, but it dodged me and flew around my hand and right into my ear.  Of course I did the dance.  At an intersection.  Lots of cars were stopped.  I had an awesome audience.  Virginia laughed.  I couldn’t help but laugh at the stupidity of it, but the scream it let out in my ear is still of nightmarish proportions.  Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but I don’t ever want to be that close to the sound of their screams again. 

Amazingly, as we walked by the pine tree section of the block, we noticed there wasn’t a single cicada around.  Do they not like pine trees?  Awesome!  Time to invent a pine necklace.  I wonder if a car air freshener would work.  Of course that would look sillier than the dance, I’m sure.  So I guess for the next month I will just have to limit my time outside or risk entertaining the multitude of people around here with my own version of the Cicada Dance.

I think I miss winter.


One comment on “The Cicada Dance

  1. I would pay good money to see that, take videos and post them. I thought (at least here in Ohio) the cicadas only come every 17 years. Also, I remember reading something a long time ago that the pupae of the cicada live down by the roots of deciduous trees and crawl up the trees to leave their nice brown carapaces attached to said trees while they spread their new wings to fly/mate/die. That could explain why you never see them by pine trees.

    Seriously, take videos for those of us in the northern latitudes. 🙂

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