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Wednesday, October 27, 2021
ArlingtonOpinionOld-School column: All abuzz!

Old-School column: All abuzz!

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by CAROL McEWEN, for the Sun Gazette

Soon, the hills will be alive with the sound of music, as Julie Andrews sang.

The “music”: constant buzzing of our occasional visitors, the 17-year cicadas.

This year’s “chorus” (yes, it’s called that), may reach 80-100 decibels, the noise level of a power mower or jet plane.

According to the March 26 issue of this newspaper, scientists call them Brood X and expect them in late April or early May.

One scientist likened the onslaught to college kids waiting 17 years for spring break. Talk about ready to party!

Remember how you felt when that distant relative came to visit and stayed and STAYED? And your husband sidled up to you, whispering, “When is she going to LEAVE?” That’s how I feel about the upcoming visit from our winged friends.

I remember their last visit, in 2004. While not exactly a biblical plague of locusts, the constant buzz, buzz, buzz as background drove me nuts. It was like being trapped in an elevator playing non-stop Muzak for a month.
After mating, the female lays her eggs in tree branches and the adults die. I wouldn’t call that “getting lucky,” would you?

From their 1980 visit, I remember the funeral detail, sweeping up entire dustpans full of carcasses and filling endless bags.

Our golden retriever, Sunshine, (aka The Mouth that Ate the Bronx), decided those carcasses would make a tasty snack. Before I figured out what she was up to, she helped herself and then trotted sheepishly inside to make an “oral deposit” on my rug.

Maybe, since “we’re all in this together,” we can come up with uses for those dead cicada lovebirds. I’m thinking a charming necklace, with bugs strung together, might make an interesting conversation piece at the next cocktail party, even if a bit fragile.

Maybe I could wear one like a unique broach on my jacket lapel. What an attention-getter!

Better yet, a dead cicada casually placed in the centerpiece at my next dinner party would be a better appetite-suppressant than any diet pill.
Or how about an online show-and-tell exhibit for one of my grandkids? Or is that idea too Old School?

I’d appreciate other suggestions. Just send them to carolwrites4fun@gmail.com. Meanwhile, keep calm and buy ear plugs.

A resident of Arlington for 40+ years, Carol McEwen sells real estate when she’s not imparting deep insights or sparkling wit in this column. Reach her at carolwrites4fun@gmail.com.

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