5 PR tips from the 17-year cicadas

Here’s a hint: It involves more than just creating a buzz.

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We’d just moved to the East Coast and were getting used to living and working in the D.C. area. In all the advice people had to give us about our eastward move, somehow they forgot to tell us that every few years we’d feel like extras on the set of a B-grade thriller from the ’50s.

At least, that’s how I felt when I opened my front door one summer’s day that year. Unsuspecting as to the horrors that awaited outside, I literally screamed and jumped back inside the house when I saw every visible surface covered with the brown things. And I do mean Every. Single. Surface. That. Was. Visible. From the door frame, to the stoop, to the walkway…

Cicadas, everywhere, cicadas

In my memory, that period lasted forever. Which, of course, it didn’t, but for the time, it seemed cicadas ruled our lives.

The Washington Post published cicada recipes with relish [sic]. I started carrying an umbrella to keep them off my head whenever I went out. (I think one got into my hair one time; I was not pleased.) Our dogs gorged on them with delight every time they went out in the yard; sometimes they’d even have cicada bits sticking out of their mouths. It was disgusting.

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