Cicadapocalypse: The Next World-Ending Phenomenon?

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The Cicadapocalypse is now the latest thing to worry about as both the 17-year-old and 13-year-old broods are emerging at the same time for the first since 1803.

Some parts of the Midwest will have a very crunchy time when the weather warms enough to bring out the cicadas. This is usually in May or early June.

Popular Mechanics stated that “2024 is a special year because Brood XIII and Brood XIX will emerge simultaneously.” Because of their proximity, the cicadas are likely to encounter each other when they emerge.

The cicadas are not only tasty, as I was told by those Davos types who didn’t want the proles to enjoy juicy steaks. They can also be hilarious.

True story.

My first year in Missouri Military Academy was not easy. It’s not easy to switch from a civilian high school to a military one, but it was my case. I was only one of two mid-year transfers. You’re starting a new life with 80 recruits. It’s not easy. It’s a real drag to be one of two newbies in January.

This story needs some setting up, but I promise that cicadas will be back in this column.

My company commander and I often had disagreements, even though we got along well with the majority of the cadets. It took me a long time to realize that his rank – captain to my personal – meant I would always lose. I will call him Captain to protect the innocent. Scott Sherman.

Every Sunday, I was able to achieve small victories. The review was the weekly parade in dress blues. The school’s four companies would compete with each other over staying formation, rifle drills, and uniforms.

I was in the 1st Squad of Echo Company’s 2nd Platoon, so I stood right at the front when Sherman turned to face his company after we had marched to our parade ground. Every Sunday, I stood there and stared him down. I didn’t do anything wrong technically — just stared without blinking at him until he looked away or blinked first.

VICTORY!

It was then that the spring thaw arrived, and with it a cicada invasion like I’ve never seen before. It’s boring to read, but you can trust me that cicadas were a big deal in 1985 Missouri. It was impossible to walk without hearing the familiar “crack crunch” beneath your freshly-polished shoes.

On Mother’s Day, moms from around the country and even abroad flew in to watch their sons perform a Review in their honor. Even slackers such as myself would shine our brass shoes.

Standing at the parade rest, I stared down Captain Sherman. Sherman and waited for him to blink. Before that could happen, Sherman had to bring us to our attention when the faculty brass passed by an inspection.

“COM… PANY!” Capt. Sherman yelled out the preparation command before calling everyone to attention.

“PLATOON!”

Sherman could have continued with “A-ten-HUT!”

Sherman said “A-TEN”, but just as his mouth opened the widest to say “TEN,” an insect flew in. I was watching him as it happened. The cicada entered my field of view at around 2 o’clock, and it was in that kid’s mouth within a fraction of a second.

Sherman shouted “A-TEN…[spat out the cicada] S**T!” in front of all those moms who had traveled from far away to watch this event.

Echo Company has certainly gotten the attention of its customers.

In retrospect, I feel sorry for Scott. At that moment I laughed harder than ever before. To avoid trouble, and to laugh while paying perfect attention, was more important. The effort made my ribs hurt. My face was swollen with tears. All those times that he had written me off for some martinet BS reasons were now being paid back – with a tip of 30%.

They’re annoying, and this year they are doubly so. I’ll always be a fan of cicadas but don’t expect me or Scott Sherman to eat them.