Don’t Bug Me

The pending east coast cicada invasion is, of course, scaring the living shit out of me, no thanks to extremely graphic articles like this one in yesterday’s Washington Post. Here is a lovely image to keep in mind while you read:


The WaPo writer actually uses the words “plump, brown creature” and “wriggling hull” in his first sentence, and it only gets worse from there. He describes how cicadas burrow into trees and feed on their sap, vampire-style, and then emerge every 17 years to “sing, mate and reproduce, in a six-week frenzy…”. All in my freaking backyard oh sweet Jesus. But good news, everyone! Apparently the cicadas don’t sting or bite, and they have a “grotesque beauty about them, with red eyes and orange wing veins.” If I ever say that the upside of something is that it won’t hurt me and has red eyes and orange wing veins, please call for help. Also, there is some discussion of “bug carcasses piling up.” And then a quote from a guy about how awesome this is going to be and how we should really welcome this, because nature!

All I know is that for six weeks of the summer, large bugs are going to swarm my yard, and my insect- and outdoors-obsessed children are going to want to make sculptures and jewelry out of their crunchy brown carcasses, and I am going to have to act like it is a beautiful natural event so that I don’t pass my fears on to them, and then I am going to go lock myself in a closet at night and probably have the biggest fit of the willies on record. So I’m sorry, nature guy at WaPo, I am not welcoming this event.

Really, though, his article was very informative. Perhaps I have some bug issues to deal with.

Shockingly, however, that graphic cicada article was not the most disturbing news story I read yesterday. It was this one. Why yes, that is an article about a painting of Dorothy from Golden Girls with her hair did and her boobs out. I can’t bring myself to post the full picture here.

I get that this is a provocative statement from some controversial artist. And I guess he’s commenting on women, and aging, and feminism, and the painting has become some weird flashpoint for art critics.

But I am fixated on this little fact: Bea Arthur never actually sat for this portrait, which means the artist came up with it all on his own. How does that happen? Was he sitting at lunch with a friend one day, and his mind wandered to Bea Arthur’s boobies? Or perhaps lying in bed, going over his to-do list for the next day in his mind, he thought, “I wonder how much people would freak out if I painted Bea Arthur topless?”

Another interesting fact: the painting just sold at auction for $1.9 million, which some weirdos experts in the art world are saying is a bargain. I am pretty sure that if I had an extra million or two lying around, I would not buy this painting. Or any painting, really. Instead, I would buy the world’s largest bug netting and wrap my house. Or take a six week trip somewhere far, far away from the humming, frenzied cicadas that, as I type this, are slowly waking from their 17-year slumber in the barks of my trees.

And now I have the willies.

One thought on “Don’t Bug Me

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