12 June 2008

Driving with Open Window + Cicada Season = Scary drive home

If you were in L'ville right now you'd hear the cicada song - kind of a chirping, buzzing thing. Plus, you'd see the trees alive with them crawling all over the branches and see them flying clumsily throughout the sky. Normally, I don't mind them. Actually, I think they're kinda cool - it's neat to see something God created that only appears every 17 years or so. However, yesterday I had a close encounter with a cicada.

Let me set the scene:

In an effort to conserve on gas ($4.00/gallon) I often drive home from work with my windows down so I don't have to cut on the AC. When I do this, I take the scenic way home straight down Shelbyville Rd as to avoid my hair coming a rats nest if I were driving with windows down on the interstate. Normally, it's an enjoyable time - me, the radio blasting, wind in my face, etc...

As I was sitting at a red light, a cicada decided to fly straight into my car. It hit me on my left arm. Startling me, I screamed then looked down to see an upside-down cicada on my lap. Not thinking, I swatted the thing and it landed between my seat and the car door. Opening the door, I was hoping to gently (well, maybe not so gently) scoot it out the car. But as you would know, the light changed and I had to drive on. "Not a problem," I thought "I'll swat him out at the next light (less than 50 yards away)". Well by the time I got to the next, which literally couldn't have been more than 2 minutes, that little booger had moved. Now I had a live cicada loose in my car. I wanted to keep the windows down in case he flew out but now everytime my hair move and swiped across my neck or shoulder, I was cringing thinking it was that awful bug.

Then, I began hearing his song. "Where is he?" I kept thinking - checking my rear view to see if I could see him coming up to attack. I did eventually find him - in the back dash.

Apparently they don't teach anything about the properties of glass or cars in cicada school. The poor thing was now screaming his song and futily fluttering against the back window trying to escape - he could see the outdoors, but just couldn't get there. Exhausted, he would momentarily stop and sit on the back speakers and pitifully chirp before trying again.

I drove all the way home - a good thirty minute drive - with my stow-a-way staring at me as I stared at him in the rear view mirror. When I got home, I tried to get him out, but scared, he kept flying - not out the windows mind you, but under the seats, to the front dash. Eventually, I gave up and went in. Hopefully in the night he found freedom through the crack in the window I left for him.

So, in the future know that driving with your windows down in cicada season is not the best idea unless one wants a close encounter with the little things!

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