Thursday, May 06, 2004

The Attack of the Cicadas

The cicadas will invade a large portion of the Eastern US, according to reports. But these are not your run of the mill, yearly types. These are cicadas that have lived underground for 17 years--that's right, SEVENTEEN years--before they come to the surface. And once they do, they crave to do the one thing they lived for: to mate and to make baby cicadas. It's almost how I felt. I was sexless for my first 16-17 years, more or less, burrowed in the underground dungeon of my mind, waiting to blossom. Fortunately, I didn't die after I had sex. These poor creatures, once they get their rocks... Wait a minute, this is no time to feel sorry for these bugs. From what I understand after talking to some who have actual cicada experience, its DISGUSTING! They are all over the place. They literally blanket the ground, in what looks like black snow--wait, make that wiggling, squirming black snow. YOu have to walk through it like you walk through snow... Aaaaaargh! Further, they seem to have poor sight so when they fly, they will run right into things, including humans. I'm told not to yawn or even talk when outside... And they make a noise that approaches decibel levels normally associated with jet engines... Oh boy, I can't wait. disgusting on the eyes, frightening to the touch and torture on the ears... The newspapers have been publishing various articles to get people in the mood. Here's an excerpt from the Washington Post, with my immediate reactions in red. Click on the title to read the entire article.

Bugs' Life: Get Over It
Lisa Barrett Mann
April 27, 2004

The Condition
Entomophobia, an intense fear of insects. Duh! isn't everyone intensely fearful of insects? Unlike those who are mildly creeped out by bugs, an entomophobe may experience hyperventilation, tightness of the chest and lightheadedness. Crap! sounds like me. They're not here yet but looking at the photo above is already making my skin crawl...
The Fear Factor As anyone who hasn't been burrowed in the ground knows, in the next few weeks millions of cicadas will emerge to mate and lay eggs. Millions? MILLIONS? .... The cicadas can't bite, sting or jump, he said, THANK GOD! ... but they will fly into things, crunch underfoot and create an unsettling soundtrack. Oh yeah, that makes me feel a LOT better...
Step One: Know The Enemy
The more you know about cicadas, the less scary they'll be. They're not scary, just gross. Okay, maybe a little scary... What happens when they fly into your hair? Will they nest? Will they lay eggs? OH! Too gross to even imagine! Look them up on the Internet. Touch the pictures. No, no, no, NO! YOU touch the pictures.
Once They're Here . . . The best way to get over your fear is to move toward it gradually, said Kupfer. Is that like touching the picture? Start by just listening to their sound, for instance. Breathe deeply. But what if I suck in a cicada while I'm taking a deep breath? Shouldn't we be wearing surgical masks? Oh, wait, I already have some in stock for my hay fever What you want is a "healing moment" when anxiety starts to diminish. Great, all I need: an entomological Dr. Phil. Why don't you go on Oprah. You might get a book deal, too. Try it again later. Each time, get a little closer and look a little longer. You've got to be kidding! Okay let's say I do this as you say, I create somekind of tolerance for these bugs. Will I still have this ability 17 years from now? I mean, what's the point? Aaaargh!
Consolation The cicadas won't hurt you, they're here for just a few weeks, and you'll never face a better chance to beat a phobia. Thanks, but I'll keep my phobia. Don't you know that many phobias are innate, something in the genetic code that helps us stay away from potentially dangerous things and survive as a species? Or did you miss that part of "Growing Up 101"? Gawd! I think I need one of those bee suits to wear when I go to work... ugh.

Am I the only one that feels this way about bugs? C'mon guys, I can't be the only one! Let me know how you are with bugs...

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