The cicada dance - a trend that needs to die out

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By Shannon Brock

I don't think I've ever wanted a group of living things to die so much in my life.

OK, so that's a little harsh, but I can't stand those darn cicadas.

I don't like bugs at all, really. Bees and wasps are my biggest fear and I'm not even allergic to them. I'm trying to make sure we take special precautions (even if it means paying extra) to make sure no guests of the insect variety show up at my outdoor wedding. I know it's outside so it will be pretty impossible to keep them all away, but I tell myself they won't show up because they're not invited.

No one from home has mentioned anything about cicadas, so I'm hoping I don't have to worry about doing my cicada dance in my wedding dress.

The cicada dance is kind of the opposite of a rain dance. People do rain dances in hope that rain will come. I do my cicada dance because the cicadas are flying toward me and I want nothing more than for them to go away.

Those of you who drive on College Street may have even seen my cicada dance. On the way to my car in the city parking lot one day, a cicada attempted to attack me, so I ran, squealed and, because my arms were full, kicked at the crazy little thing until it finally went away. (The kicking is really what separates the cicada dance from the any-other-type-of-bug dance.)

Let's not even discuss what happens when one is on me or flies in my hair.

Everyone tells me the cicadas can't hurt me because they don't sting or bite, and as true as that might be, it doesn't make me like them any more. What the cicadas can do is filter themselves into my mind and drive me crazy. These insects have actually impacted my daily life.

I don't go to Veterans Park in Lexington with Josh anymore because they're there. I won't walk down to Speedway for Mountain Dew (which could be a good thing) because they're there. And, I tense up and walk stiffly to my car because it is parked outside and that means they're there.

Maybe my biggest problem is that I don't understand them. They're born and live underground for 17 years. Then they rise up out of the ground to mate, lay eggs, annoy humans and die. Do they really serve a purpose?

I understand flies, I understand spiders and I even understand bees and wasps. They all have something to do between being born and dying. But I haven't heard a single thing that cicadas are good for. I know some seemingly insane people eat them, but I don't want a cicada within 10 feet of my body, so you can imagine I don't want it on my plate.

If you're reading this and thinking, "Wow, she's crazy. Cicadas do have a purpose, and that purpose is to (fill in the blank)," please, by all means, let me know. E-mail me or call The Anderson News office.

Maybe I wouldn't hate them so much if I knew they were good for something.

Until then, I'll just plug my ears and prepare to break into the cicada dance if need be.