Helpful tips for Southerners dealing with Fornicating Locust

(Today I’m actually coming to you from the offices at Long Awkward Pause, where we like to say “offices” instead of climate-controlled storage units…)

image It’s June 2014, and that means a new generation of newlyweds in The South will be racing past family and friends while being showered with frantically mating cicadas. What are cicadas you ask? Think really big crickets.

No, think grasshoppers on steroids.

Actually, think “Hopper” from A Bug’s Life.

For those who haven’t experienced cicada season, it’s easy to imagine if you keep one thing in mind: For six weeks, wherever you go and whatever you do, you will be doing it within the general vicinity of at least 200 cicadas, each of which will be participating in something generally reserved for late night cable. To make matters worse, thousands of male cicadas will be attempting to attract disinterested females by repeating a series of deafening mating calls, which entomologists, after years of research, have finally translated to mean: hey baby hey baby hey baby… (Click here for more at LAP)

Spring officially starts once you’ve mowed over your hibachi

Tall grass and hibachi The official start of spring is almost here. I know this because I received a Sears catalogue depicting what appears to be an all-American family taking time off from its busy modeling schedule to cook hamburgers on a brand new stainless steel grill large enough to accommodate an entire side of bull elk. As you would expect, children were in the yard squirting each other with water toys and running barefoot over a perfectly manicured lawn which, judging from the size of the family dog, must be self-cleaning.

Mom was nearby, well oiled and laying on a lawn chair in her bathing suit, still recovering from her recent Victoria’s Secret lingerie shoot in the Bahamas.

Around the Hickson household, spring starts out a little differently. I was reminded of this yesterday as I stood in our back yard, waist-deep in weeds, swatting at a mosquito with a rusty spatula and trying to remember the last time I saw our hibachi. Each year, I promise myself I won’t begin the spring by embarrassing our entire family.

And each year, a search and rescue team finds me whimpering somewhere in our back yard, surrounded by weeds, laying in a fetal position next to our lawn mower. Continue reading