Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Perhaps because I’m out of practice, I completely forgot to add an item to yesterday’s randomness that linked many of the other items together.  Specifically, I had meant to say that I only recently learned that this summah will see another outbreak of periodical cicadas in the neighborhood of Port Swiller Manor.  This time, it seems we will be visited by Brood II.

I well remember the last infestation, which occurred in 2003.  The first intimation of what we were in store for manifested itself one hot, hazy Saturday morning when, standing on the back deck having a kahfee, I realized that the sound I was hearing was not a car alarm going off in the neighborhood, but the combined croonings of a whooooole lotta bugs.  After the novelty wore off, the constant ruh-ruh-ruh-ruh-ruh began to get quite tedious.  Oh, how sweet the day was when I was able to do the old Alan Alda gag from MASH whenever the artillery barrage was over: “Do you hear that?” “I don’t hear anything.” “Exactly!  They’ve stopped!”

And then there were the damned things themselves, clustering all over trees, smacking into windshields, turning up in unexpected and unwanted places.  And once you’ve run over your first batch with a lawnmower, you really don’t care to repeat the process.

Back then, I was still driving a Toyota Camry.  I remember one day passing a fellah in an open convertible on the Gee-Dub and wondering idly how he dealt with all the bugs.  (He was so tall that his forehead actually protruded over the windscreen.  I didn’t half like to think what it would be like to take one of those things between the eyes.  They’re big.)  I suppose I’m going to find out this year, since the ol’ Wrangler doesn’t have A/C and it is essential to keep the sides off during hot weather.

When I relayed the nooz to the gels, there was a storm of outcry and protest, together with much criticism of God for devising such an annoying and yet apparently pointless form of life.  Sleep for seventeen years and then emerge just long enough to mate and die?  I duly chided them for questioning the Almighty’s wisdom, but I confess that I can’t really see the math on this one myself.