6.21.2004

Cicadas and Popcorn
I am not trying to be the next Dave Berry, sure I do like to waste my time and others by discussing some of the humorous circumstances of life. Yes, I can appear to be a tad Seinfeld-esque when I drag on endlessly about how calf high socks are too much material and that we should all wear ankle length socks unless we it is cold or we need the fabric to hold in shin guards while playing soccer. As the harmonic drone of the 17 year cicada is a faint memory we have found the hype of the cicada to be as unnecessary as the prep for the Y2K Bug. Although I do miss the loud background noise of the cicada, it sounded like the mothership was calling me home.
The other day as I was rolling down the Capital Crescent trail on the new Karate Monkey with gears with dean tucked in the trailer in tow I had the pleasure of witnessing a bird snatch a cicada out of the sky just feet in front of my eyes. It was a visual opportunity of a lifetime. The bird was gliding in along side of me and then accelerated in on the cicada, meeting at the point of intersection dead center right in front of me, yet not so close to cause me to panic and crash my bike. It was then that I thought about what this bird was going through. A month ago this bird and all of its bird friends had all the cicadas they wanted.....more cicadas then they ever thought they could ever consume. They may have enjoyed the taste and texture of the first couple cicadas, but then after a while there were just so many cicadas that they just gorged themselves. But now that the cicadas are nearly gone they are searching far and wide for a fresh little morsel. The once over looked scraps are being snatched up and picked at, and a fresh live cicada flying clumsily through the air...well that is a delicacy.
How is this like popcorn?
It is not uncommon to go to the movies and purchase an absurdly large barrel of popcorn, so much that I could never imagine eating it all. The theater grows dark and I sample a few lone pieces of popcorn, savoring the flavor. Then as the first preview is ending and the next is beginning I find that I have moved from a few popped kernels, to handfuls, mouthfuls, and soon stomachfuls, then after the 4th preview and the alledgely tasteful product advertisement the feature presentation is beginning. At this point my barrel is nearly empty, my belly is full, and I am scouring the bottom of the barrel looking for fragments of the popped corn and risking breaking a molar crunching on a less than desirable unpopped popcorn kernel. That is how popcorn and cicadas are similar, not how they both taste better with Old Bay.

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