Cicadas are obese, sex-deprived, creepy butterflies that are about to slip into everyone’s DMs. They are unique among plants, animals, reptiles, and insects in that scientists have decoded the full scope of their cicada language. It consists of two words: Let’s fuck.
There are plenty of other examples of this kind of sexual desperation in the non-human kingdoms: cats spray, dogs hump, birds dole out do-me-eyes. These displays are uniquely animalistic, inscectistic, reptilistic, and, in-essence, non-human. Cicadas, on the other hand, perfectly reflect the annoying spirit of a man in the throes of desperation. Americans don’t know it yet, but Brood X – the continent’s largest group of periodical cicadas – are waking up this year from their 17-year cycle of fuck-nap-fuck, so they’re about to find out. This is a learning opportunity.
I live in Korea where cicadas come around every year. While I appreciate reading articles in American newspapers these days about how cute, fun and magical cicadas are, I know people are in for a rude awakening. Cicadas are like a group of frat guys who just got rescued from a 17-year stint on an abandoned island. They are single-mindedly relentless, ubiquitous and never shut the fuck up. It’s not cute – or fun or magical. It’s like God decided to put bug-porn on in the background of your life for three months.
Rather than hold your ears, curl up and cry under a bush – as is the appropriate response to cicadas – I think they might offer an opportunity for self-reflection, and behavioral correction therapy for the next time you’re having a rough patch of sexual deprivation (which is more likely these days than ever). Right now, men all over the world are emerging from their pandemic hibernations, back on the dating scene, eager for human contact. These Cicada Men are going to be desperate.
A few years ago, I went to a beach town in Korea. It was a shithole. After 30 minutes, my girlfriend and I decided to get back on the two-hour bus ride to spend our money on a hotel staycation rather than embrace camping on a poo-scented beach. While waiting for the bus, a creepy dead-eyed little boy stood beside us holding a cicada between his fingers. It hollered and hollered but the boy didn’t let it go. We stood like that, the three of us, waiting for the bus.
It reminded me of my roommate in college – he’d go through dry spells, as we all do, but then he’d whine about it to his friends. He’d lament and groan and get drunk and then go out with some of his cicada friends to pester women at the bar. The longer it went on, the worse it got, especially when women were over. He’d sit too closely, talk too loudly, and then, when it became unbearable, he’d go out at night, climb trees and scream for a mate.
If I could give cicadas advice, I’d tell them to calm down and lighten up a bit. I’d tell them that there is more to life than sex – leaves, for example, are pretty neat. I’d point out to them that when they get together with their cicada friends to go fuck-hunting as a group, none of the other sexy cicadas are going to want to come near them, and they’re just going to piss off everyone else who is just trying to have a good time.
Yes, I know that some people walk through the forest path hearing the cicadas and think, “Oh boy! The song of nature!” Well, the song of nature is about fucking – and this isn’t just about cicadas. Nature fucks. Cicadas are just shameless and in your face about it.
That’s the lesson people should take as cicadas wake up to fill the air with desperation. Everyone has dry spells. Everyone has the urge to have sex sometimes. But no one likes having to hear about it constantly. It’s annoying and a major turn-off. Just think, if the cicadas’ desperate fuck music was the least bit efficient, we’d only have to listen to it once.