Good morning cicadas. Can you guys stop buzzing with your plans to emerge from underground for just one second? I need you to listen to me. You’re encroaching on my territory. Me and my pals have been invading neighborhoods since the dawn of time. There is just no room for the two of us–even if you guys only show up once every seventeen years. So. Here’s my plan. I’m going to acquire you because you fit in perfectly with my strategy for bug-world domination.
I’m already one of the most powerful insects on Earth. My reach goes across six continents. But you’ve got some clever Brood X branding this year, and frankly, I’m jealous. But that’s all you’ve got. A good marketing team. I, however, own the patent on eating through trees. You cicadas can gnaw out slits in barks all you want, but you can never ingest and process the cellulose like I can for maximum wood damage. But once you are part of my empire, I’ll change all that. Don’t try to fight it. I will win. I always do.
You think you have a choice in the matter? Even the FTC can’t stop me. They know if they try, I’ll send in my army to silently gnaw at their headquarters’ foundation until it’s reduced to a pile of fine powder. What about the anti-monopoly Sherman Act, you say? That’s for lesser insects like flies. The Clayton Act? Anti-trusts are good for cockroaches who want to merge with bed bugs to steal the household gross dominating factor. That’s just too much power for one bug conglomerate to have. Unless you’re me.
Yes, that’s right. I bought those little critters too. You’ll find my branding on their wing pads, which I cut out and replaced with my own enhanced versions that let us control their movements. They cried at first over the loss of their unique individuality, but then they submitted and acted like good little members of the Blattodea genus. Now, they are some of the best performing household pests out there, making humans break out in a sweat at the very thought of such an infestation.
So let’s just get this deal closed and move on. I am not a force to be reckoned with. And let’s face it, you need me if you’re going to survive.
Think not? Let’s see. While you’re underground hibernating, I’ve been up and about working round the clock, 24/7, covering your territory as I eat through wood like it’s candy. You spend seventeen years, waiting for the perfect climate to put yourself out there. Also, all you do when you launch yourselves upon us is have sex and then you die. Our queen alone can lay 30,000 eggs per day every day, the whole year. And she lives. Talk about propagating the planet.
But don’t worry about that. Once I acquire you, we’ll implant a microchip in your ovaries to stimulate reproduction and give you exoskeletons that don’t shed underground, for maximum indestructibility. You’ll be so invincible, no amount of stepping will squash you.
Just look at what I did with the praying mantis. When they came to me, they were mere grasshoppers. I bought them, ripped out their under-performing eyes, and implanted super Retina XDR display eyeballs for enhanced brightness and natural display of prey. I also replaced their mandibles with knives so they could julienne creatures that are three times their size. Why do you think they are able to take on snakes?
And now, I’m coming for you. In addition to enhancing your reproductive system, I am going to give you bionic teeth that will eat birds before birds eat you. I will upgrade your buzzing capabilities to supersonic so that they will automatically sync with global eardrums. I will add a wifi component to your antlers so you can easily upload content to be shared with cicadas everywhere. When this acquisition is over, you’ll be barely recognizable as the vermin you once were.
So sign on the dotted line and join the long line of other pests who are now enjoying the perks of my power. Then together we can start obliterating spiders. Because attic space is looking quite lucrative these days too.
Rochelle is a humorist and writer from the NYC area. She studied comedy with UCB and The Second City. She is currently at work on her first novel. In a parallel universe, she’s a copywriter and maybe also a bunny.