The elusive 17 year periodical cicada.
The (so far) elusive 17 year periodical cicada.

What’s all the hub bub about these periodical cicadas? Legend has it that once every seventeen years, these little buggers come out from their little hole in the ground, make a bunch of racket to attract a mate and then disappear for another seventeen years or so.

Well, we’re well past their arrival time here in the northeast and so far, I haven’t seen a single one. Curious, I decided to do a little research and find out a little more about them. I got this information from Wikipedia:

Magicicada is the genus of the 17-year periodical cicadas of eastern North America. Although they are sometimes called “locusts”, this is a misnomer as cicadas belong to the taxonomic order Homoptera, while locusts belong to Orthoptera.

Magicicada spend most of their 17-year lives underground feeding on xylem fluids from the roots of deciduous forest trees in the eastern United States. After 17 years, mature cicada nymphs emerge at any given locality, synchronously and in tremendous numbers. After such a prolonged developmental phase, the adults are active for about 4 to 6 weeks The males aggregate into chorus centers and attract females for mating. Within two months of the original emergence, the life cycle is complete, the eggs have been laid and the adult cicadas are gone for another 17 years.

What a boring description. I’ve always been more into relating something with sociology rather than science. So I suppose that’s why this funny thought occurred to me. Even though I’ve yet to see one of these little creatures, I began to contemplate the possibility of their behavior pattern existing in humans.

Think about it. What if a man lived in his man cave and only ventured out once every seventeen years for a little nook-nook? As long as the bills were paid and the lawn was mowed, I wonder how many married women would mind?

The pattern would probably go something like this:

Dude comes up from downstairs after watching nearly two decades worth of Fast and Furious movies and sports. He starts singing a Justin Bieber tune (an annoying sound similar to the one the bugs produce). Then the woman says, “It’s been seventeen years already? Oh, alright! You’ve got ten minutes. But then you better get your ass back downstairs and not come back until your kid graduates high school.”

It could happen.

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