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Suburban Island

Vintage Cars and Cicadas
Sunday, May. 16, 2004, 5:37 p.m.

QUESTION: How eerie is this?

WHAT I LEARNED: I'm not the only one that isn't wild about bugs.

The cicada invasion is really in full swing now. When you walk out the door you can hear a sci-fi hum thatís different than the regular insect sounds that we get here as we move into summer. Itís lends a strange and eerie feeling to just walking out to the car.

Yesterday, my son and I had plans to go to a vintage car show. My husband put a slight crimp in our plans when he strode into the house a few minutes before our scheduled departure time and stated with gusto - the cicadas are EVERYWHERE.

cicada in Suburban Island's driveway

I went upstairs for a minute and when I came back into the living room I found my son sitting on the sofa in full anti-cicada gear. This gear consisted of a hooded long-sleeved sweatshirt, long jeans, and a paintball mask, which covered his entire face and gave the day an even more sci-fi feel.

He insisted that this was appropriate attire for attending any outdoor function. Iím thinking of gentle cultured folks polishing specks of dust off their prized antique automobiles keeling over at the sight of the masked and hooded form of my teenager pointing a small camera directly at their sparkling vehicles like Marvin the Martin pointed his gamma ray gun at an errant space ship violating his air space. This is a major What Not to Wear moment. It was also hysterically funny Ė except I was worried the kid was serious. It also reminded me what a creative and amusing person my youngest child is.

We did finally convince him that the look didnít really work for him and that maybe the cicadas were not quite at the fly-in-face-and-cover-body-from-head-to-toe level after all. Lucky for me we were able to make a good case for shedding the cicada armor my son had donned, as walking around in the heat with Darth Vader in tow might have made taking art shots of vintage automobiles a bit more difficult to pull off; as well as significantly stepping up the potential for heat stroke. Additionally a full facemask does inhibit the consumption of hot dogs and iced cold cans of Diet Coke Ė a vital aspect of the car show. And a major tipping point for trading up to a baseball cap, a tee-shirt, a pair of jeans, and sneakers. Thank God for fund-raiser food.

Strangely, we never saw one cicada during the entire vintage car show.

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