A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

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Pish posh! Enough with the creepy buzzing


Is it difficult to concentrate on reading this right now because of the distracting noise across the St. Louis area? It’s a constant buzz with crescendos and rhythms in unison that get so loud you lose focus on your task at hand. Oy with the freakin’ cicadas already!

I, too, would like to yell at the top of my lungs for six weeks straight, but my legally bound pest would probably think it’s a mating call. 

This once every 17 years infestation leaves me with one question, and that question is: “What the hell?”

It’s wrong to body shame others, but cicadas are not exactly adorable. Those beady red eyes look so menacing. Every time I step outside, I find crunchy carcasses and random wing pieces everywhere. 

My husband, Jeff, calls himself the CCO — Chief Cicada Officer. Every night he goes outside with a leaf blower and clears them off the patio, cursing them as he goes. 

The other day on my driveway I saw what I assumed were two consenting adult cicadas creating a new cicada life. When a Mommy cicada and a Daddy cicada love each other very much they create a whole new cicada. These two were really going at it. It was like insect porn. 

It doesn’t get any better when you’re driving, either. The last time I drove down Highway 40 I had to say Kaddish at least 10 times. Yitgadal v’yitkadash, sorry you died, Sid the cicada, but also good riddance.

Rabbi Amy Feder of Congregation Temple Israel told me the reason we say Kaddish is to remind ourselves that God is great, awesome and powerful, and even though we are mourning the loss of someone, we should still remember this fun fact about God. So, sad that a loved one died, but thanks for being you, God. Next time I talk to God, I’m going to ask her what her motives were for bringing us these icky little critters. 

Also, while I was talking to Rabbi Amy on the phone, she was driving and reported a cicada died by suicide on her windshield during our conversation. Yitgadal v’yitkadash, rabbi is immediately headed to the car wash.

We should probably all have Windex and a squeegee in our cars because cicada innards seem too tough for the average wiper blades to handle. These ugly buggers splat hard onto your windshield and leave Rorschach inkblot test prints of their bloody guts all over the glass. Next time I see my therapist, I’m going to ask to do the session in my car so he can analyze my dead cicada response. 

Therapist: Amy, how do those cicada splats make you feel?

Me: Anxious.

Therapist: Everything makes you feel anxious.

Me: What’s your point?

Once, he asked me: “What is a random thing that gives you anxiety?” 

And I said: “Random things.” 

He hates me.

Spring weather leaves us with rain delays at baseball games all the time. Swarming cicadas should also warrant delays for outdoor events, such as graduation parties and patio lunches and walking to the mailbox. 

Have you found one on your person yet? Sitting on your shoulder, hanging out on your leg or dive-bombing into your hair? Blarf. What you might not realize is, if a cicada has touched you, it has probably tinkled on you. 

Turns out cicadas are superthirsty, constantly slurping up plant fluids called xylem, and lots of it. Some can drink up to 300 times their own body weight. Sounds like my bad news college boyfriend. You know if that xylem is going in, then it has to go out. So don’t make a cicada laugh or sneeze too hard, know what I mean, ladies?  

Experts say making pishie can be part of a cicada’s self-defense system. So don’t tick one off or you’re going to get sprayed. 

A cicada broke into my house last week and set up camp on the fireplace hearth. After relieving itself on the beautiful white brick, this thing taunted me with a concert of heavy metal style chirping. 

Once my skin stopped crawling, I grabbed a drinking glass and bravely put it over the cicada, encasing it for when Jeff the CCO could come home and dispose of it. Obviously, I was also going to have to set that drinking glass on fire. 

Is that overreacting? Sorry. I always do that whenever anything happens. 

I’m sure I will be fine but, sometimes, I like to freak out anyway. You know, just in case. 

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