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May 18th / 19th, 2013

"Blame It On Sex-Starved Cicadas"

A couple of crazy cicadas They say a full moon makes people do crazy things, but for my money, it’s the 17-year locusts who bring out the worst in humans.

As legend has it, cicadas bury themselves underground, then emerge every 17 years just to have sex. The last time that happened was in 1996, when Monica Lewinski emerged from under Bill Clinton’s desk with a stain on her dress.

That was also the same year locusts caused the break-up of countless marriages, including those of Charles and Diana, and Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Jackson. Mad Cow Disease invaded the United Kingdom, there was a meningitis epidemic in West Africa and a bomb exploded at the Atlanta Olympics. All of these must have been cicada related phenomena. And that brings me to the year 2013.

In the last 60 days alone, just since the approaching locusts made news, we have learned about a number of strange and disturbing occurrences. I’ll mention just a few, but in no particular order of importance.

Apparently locusts love to cause havoc in local politics. First there was Greensboro Mayor Robbie Perkins filing for bankruptcy. According to several published reports, Perkins had fallen way behind on mortgage payments and child support. Then there was rising star Bernita Sims, High Point’s first African-American mayor. Out of the blue, the popular mayor found herself under investigation by the SBI for passing a bad check in the amount of $7,000, which is a felony. That two Triad mayors would find themselves in hot water at the same time is more than just coincidence. It must be attributed to the curse of the cicadas.

Meanwhile, a few hours from the Triad, former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford was elected to the US House of Representatives. Given Sanford’s past transgressions, his victory last week was highly improbable, and can only be explained by the presence of cicadas. Sanford, as you recall, went MIA for a few days back in 2009. His staff, the media and legislators demanded to know why he had vanished, but all we were told was that he was hiking in the Appalachian Mountains. In truth the married governor had flown the coop to Argentina for a rendezvous with his mistress. Later, in a moment of stupidity he told his wife that his mistress was his soulmate. His wife, in turn, told Mark what he was. Today, Sanford is married to his former lover, and he will soon be occupying a seat in Congress.

Speaking of arrogant politicians, a gang of reckless Senate Republicans defeated a bill that would have established new regulations governing background checks on gun sales.

This despite the fact that more than 90 percent of Americans favored the legislation. As Bill Maher quipped, “That means even the people who couldn’t pass a background check were in favor of background checks!” What’s particularly disturbing about the debate, is that 54 Senators voted yes, but because a 60-vote supermajority is required to pass a law, Americans are now even less safe than they were prior to the vote. The cicada curse strikes again.

And then there was the bizarre sequester loophole in which both legislative chambers had vowed to stand firm on budget cuts, including furloughs for veteran air-traffic controllers. The result was a slew of flight delays up to four hours. Suddenly those stalwart, cost-cutting politicians realized that they needed to leave DC for the weekend, so on Thursday night, April 25, the Senate passed a bill to restore funding for the controllers, and they did it without even taking a vote! As locusts say: “When you have to fly, you have to fly.”

The cicada curse has also had an effect on greedy CEOs, who now make more than 400 times the salary of their average workers. And that includes executives who lead non-profits, like John Seffrin, CEO of the American Cancer Society who makes $2.1 million per year, and Susan Komen CEO Nancy Brinker who engineered a 64 percent raise for herself, bringing her salary above $670,000.

And while I truly believe that locusts are responsible for all sorts of corruption, greed and miscellaneous mishaps, let’s not forget the real reason the bugs have returned. Cicada sex drive is now in high gear, so it’s only fitting that Pfizer just announced it would sell Viagra over the internet. I just hope the locusts aren’t taking Viagra, or else they may stick around here until it’s time for their next visit. And we all know there’s nothing worse than a cicada who’s coming and going at the same time.