Friday, August 17, 2012

Chuck Norris Meets Charles Darwin

I was going to write about the vegetables our daughter's garden has been producing and that I have been eating every day in my salad without knowing it but I'll save that bon mot for another time (I was going to essay a canning and preserving joke here but thought better of it so you can relax).

Rather, as I came home yesterday and drove down the right of way and into my driveway, then stopped so I could get out and open the garage to park the car, a cicada landed, hard, on the hood of the car and wound up more on his back than on any other side. I heard him hit the hood over the stereo, Martin Briley's Salt in My Tears (Briley was in Ian Hunter's band for a spell which is how I first heard of him and a sublimely funny studio guest when I hosted him for a radio sleepover). That was one pretty loud bug.

I gave some thought as I was getting out of the car to walk to the front and open the garage about turning the little guy (or gal) over on his (or her) feet and then remembered how much noise these things make in the dark heat and heart of the night and, petty, biped that I am with no exoskeleton (it certainly helped this one out, didn't it) I walked forward and opened the garage door and then walked back to the car.

In the meantime, because the car is running and the hood is vibrating enough that if you're a bug it's an avalanche, a rock slide and an earthquake all rolled into one, the cicada has been slowly jitterbugging on its back down the hood of the car. I hoped I could park the car in the garage the way I like it before what I feared would happen proved to be what did happen.

The trouble with hope is that when you hope in one hand and spit (let's use "p" instead) in the other and see which one fills up faster, well, you can do the math as well as I can. Eleventeen. That's me doing math, see? You did win.

Down went Sid Cicada, I may be forgiven a minor amount of personification as I suffered an emotional  shock, as in all the way down to the ground. Right off the front of the car-I'm sure it was graceful. Heard a plunk as s/he hit the concrete and then CRUNCH as the front wheels rolled over him/her. Sort of the sound an M & M with a lot of legs would make if you stepped on it, not that I make it a point to step on M & M's or on bugs. That's why I have a car; for the bugs. Were you not paying attention?

I was very impressed to hear the noise as its exoskeleton gave way somewhat violently and realized even Darwin would have learned something along the way from my garage bug experiment. Of course it would have taken him eleven years to write about it and no one would care. What? Hey, at least I was a lot faster at it.
-bill kenny

No comments: