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Nina In New York: The Cicadas Are Coming

A cicada sits on a fence (file/credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

A cicada sits on a fence (file/credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Oh, dear god. It’s happening again.

The Plague of the Locusts is upon us once again! Soon the East River will run with (more) blood and all the livestock will be blighted and we’ll all be forced to eat matzah until the end of days even though Passover ended over a week ago and we were really enjoying a world filled with bagels once again.

The cicadas are coming back.

Apparently, the last time a Great Cicada Invasion happened around here was in 1996, as cicadas only emerge from their underground lairs hellpits spawning grounds homes below the earth’s surface every 17 years. This “brood,” as they are called (I prefer horde) will likely number in the billions.

Yeah, that’s right. Billions. As in, billions of giant, hideous bugmonsters descending upon our above-ground world singing their noisy sex songs in order to mate in their last few weeks of life so that as they deposit their decaying skins and corpses on our nice lawns, their maggot spawn can burrow in and plague us again in another 17 years.

Ah, no. What I meant to say is, “this is a miracle of science and a fine opportunity for learnings.

That’s according to the entomologists, anyway: “It’s going to be spectacular. There could be as many as one billion cicadas emerging per square mile,” said Michael Raupp, a professor of Entomology at the University of Maryland. “This is really a spectacular opportunity for children, for adults, for students to go out and learn about one of Mother Nature’s rarest, most interesting events.”

And entomologist Lou Sorkin of the American Museum of Natural History said: “It’s a great thing . . . if you’re lucky in your lifetime, you have a few broods to actually go out and examine, and try to collect.”

Uh, yeah. Okay, sure. That’s a nice way to look at it. Thanks, bug doctors. This is . . . great. I will consider myself lucky and . . . go out and . . . collect . . . bugs. And look at them. Closely. And keep them. In my home.

Pardon me while I go scratch at my skin until it is raw. This is like my little brother’s insect collecting phase all over again. That plastic terrarium still haunts my dreams.

See you in a month, cicadas. Please don’t eat my baby.