Received a phone call from one of my Greenwood friends today.
A.C. Griffin told me he had been bitten by a grasshopper while he was out in his cucumber patch. Said it hurt like crazy.
I mentioned to A.C. that this wasn’t going to look good on his resume.’ Complaining profusely about a grasshopper bite didn’t look too “manly.”
On further questioning, he told me that he was just kidding about the grasshopper and that he had been bitten by a cicada.
Who among us calls this critter a “katydid?”
Anyhow, he was bitten. He was hurtin’. He was bleedin’. He had to quit picking cucumbers and go into the house to clean up.
A few thoughts regarding cicadas:
- They’re closely related to crickets.
- The katydid derives its name from the male’s repetitive call, which has been phoneticized as “katydid, katy-didn’t.” (I’m guessing there’s a story here.)
- Katydids feed chiefly on plant matter, though they also eat other insects.
- They’re especially aggressive (particularly in Finland, according to the Internets).
- Katydids have fairly good vision, though they don’t see well at night.
- The male’s mating call sound is produced by rubbing his wings together.
- Hopping away is the little bug’s best line of defense. However, when threatened, they use their powerful jaws to inflict a painful bite to the source of the threat.
- Did A.C.’s finger look like something good to eat?
- Did the short-sighted cicada not see him well enough on a sunny morning to determine that his finger was not on his regular “plant matter” menu?
- Was A.C.’s bug a Finnish cicada?
- Or … did A.C. disturb this poor fellow while he was rubbing his wings together?
In any case, A.C. will remember the bug and the bite for a while.
On another matter: Ken Jones received a phone call while at the coffee shop. He answered his cell phone, listened a while, then said, “Can I call you back later? I’m in the middle of a seminar right now.” We were talking about cicadas.
(I made that up.)
Gerre Joiner is a semi-retired church musician and has lived in Decatur since 1999.