Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Harmless in Nature -- Potentially Dangerous in Sauerbraten: the Cicada.

rory, rory, rory, what the frick brings this on? well, it's like this, rory's head voice sez to rory's head ear:

"This possibly drowned annual cicada you fished from the drink recently isn't really frickin' annual, now, is it?" Whatchoomean? It's been said many times, many ways, but here's how it's put in A Field Guide to the Insects of America North of Mexico:
Most cicadas are large blackish insects, often with greenish markings, that appear each year in July and August; their life cycle lasts 2-5 or more years, but the broods overlap and adults are present each year.
yabbut, rory, ain't they "annual" in the sense that there are adults present annually. yabbut, rory, when one hear's the term "annual" one thinks that the life cycle takes a year, or something, doesn't one? alright, alright. but rory was reminded by all this of something that is beyond debate, beyond semantics, beyond scientific or psuedoscientific quibbling. oh frickin' A, as they say, "If one thing is certain," it's that my old dog, Junior, long gone, sure as shit not forgotten, loved to eat cicadas. annually. here's old Junior. handsome sumbitch, innit-hee?
this photo was taken by a wee child, roryz son, hence the artistic cropjob. shows the soulful, cicada eatin' old Junior. rory could tell you storyz 'bout him. those were the dayz for dogs. how he made love to a naugahyde jacket in front of guests--like it was nobody's business--with a happy ending, how he climbed 20' up a tree and leaped off into a bush, how he became buddies with a skunk, how for a time he trotted shotgun for a "bum" who scavenged a makeshift bar parking lot for dropped dinero after a new day's dawn, things like that. fuckin' canine kerouac, he was. but on the subject of cicadas: he loved 'em. he'd leap into the air and snatch 'em, chomp 'em still buzzin' in his chops. no mammal has out-experienced the ecstasy of old Junior during the onslaught of the periodical cicadas, the smaller black and red ones that come out every 13 or 17 years as the brood erupts into a brief-in-the-frickin-cosmic-scheme-of-things buzzing festival of sound and sex. for old Junior was it the buzz or the flavor or the joy of the hunt? or all of the above and a smell that we humanz can't appreciate? I dunno. never leapt into the air and caught one in my teeth and chomped it still buzzing. but then maybe rory should give that a try anyway. if for no other reason than to renew appreciation for the eye-snout coordination of good old canis familiaris.

but, then, rory, you ignurnt sumbitch, turns out plenty of folks eat cicadas. and it seems to be a well-known fact that dogs 'n' catz love 'em. mostly seems to be the periodical cicadas that are big for eatin'. cause there are so many it's like pickin' ripe grapes off a vine, perhaps.
yummity yum yum cicada's are good 'n' good for ya too. tastes a little like crawdad. and as the link points out they're low in fat and high in protein. so what about recipes. shee-it, there are lot of 'em. for 'sample: try some curried cicadas or perhaps cicada sauerbraten.

But just when rory starts thinkin' it's safe to eat cicadas he comes across this specimen of the infamous literary form known as the DISCLAIMER! HFS!

**Disclaimer: the University of Maryland and Cicadamaniacs do not advocate eating cicadas without first consulting with your doctor. While many people do eat cicadas, there is no guarantee that they are safe for every person to eat. As with all foods, it is possible that certain individuals, will have allergic reactions to substances within the cicada.**


So, rory'll make a dr.'s appointment before eating a cicada. when the assistant asks "What brings you here today, Mr. Shock?" rory'll just fuckin' say, "Well, I'm planning to eat some Cicadas, but I think the Dr. will want to run some tests to make sure that is safe, or something." forget the frickin' dr's appointment. I dunno 'bout you, but I don't advocate spending the money to ask your dr. whether it is safe for you to eat a cicada. I don't think the frickin' average dr. has any frickin' clue about cicada consumption safety. here's roryz plan. I'm gonna eat my first cicadas just outside the local emergency room. i'll sit there for as long as it takes to be sure I'm safe. but if I start to feel the onset of serious problems I'll go inside and tell 'em to get on the good foot and help me 'cause I got a bad case of cicada poisoning.

Disclaimer: roryshock duz not advocate eating cicadas without preparations being made for sudden painful death. in fact there is very little that rory advocates you do unless you are prepared to die. but that's another subject. if you must eat cicadas, do so close to a well-staffed emergency room, preferably one that has personnel trained to deal with adverse reactions to cicada consumption and that will take your medical condition seriously instead of stripping you naked and giving you a suit of paper jammies, a shot of thorazine, and a bed in the rubber-walled hotel, pending evaluation by a psychiatrist with whom you have trouble communicating because of differing native tongues.

oh yeah, rory almost forgot: here's where you can get the recipes prefaced by the disclaimer, if you desire, and if you dare: more yummy but dangerous cicada recipes.

aw, fuckit. i think I'll just have a cup of coffee. my currently living best canis familiaris buddy recommends coffee over cicadas anyhow.


Blogger DivaJood said...

On my second visit to Rory Shock, I get a photo of a dog who is the spitting image of my late dog, Bones, who I adored. Reading about this cicada-stream-of-conscious thingy, almost starting to hear their annoying hum, and there it is: Junior. Gorgeous, and I swear, he looks exactly like Bones did. Sigh.

3:51 PM  
Blogger Tina said...

Now I don't know about eating cicadas, but when I lived in New Orleans, I sure did love me some crawdads. A big platter of spicy crawdads, an icy cold pitcher of beer, a table of friends to enjoy the feast with, and some smooth blues playing in the background... but I guess if the sound of cicadas were humming along in the background, that would be okay, too.

5:01 PM  
Blogger Peacechick Mary said...

Just think, if you have leftovers, you can make a cicada sandwich the next day. Put that in your lunchbox and hope someone steals it.

6:50 PM  
Blogger PTCruiser said...

Still picturing Junior "massaging" that jacket in front of the guests. You can't buy better entertainment than that, Rory. Hilarious.

6:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jr was definitely a handsome guy! I got one here that lives for the thrill of snapping any flying insect, he's not picky. Caught him with a grasshopper hanging out of his mouth the other day. thanks, rory, but I'll skip trying cicadas myself. Can't take the dog's recommendation after seeing all the shit he snorffles. But that platter of crawdads sounds good, Tina. -- D.K.

7:21 PM  
Blogger Rory Shock said...

Junior indeed was a handsome fella ... re: the hum, I read that it can reach 100 decibels ... hearing protection territory ... tina while I never lived in the crescent city, I have eaten a belly full of fine crawdads washed down with some cold Abita amber while there when times were happier ... peacechick, a cicada salad sandwich might be tasty ... pt indeed it was hilarious ... I think my gut still hurts from the laughter ... I made a brief attempt to take it away from him 'cause the jackets owner was a little worried at first, but junior was havin' none of that ... I think it's the only time he came close to biting the hand ... he was definitely in lust ... we figured the dude deserved to have his jacket violated for wearing plastic, which at the time was not necessarily thought to be cool ... or it was thought to be cool, but funny at the same time, or something ... anyhow, I have a feeling that the audience might have been slightly stoned, if I recall accurately, dk ... the little guy with his snoot in the cup at the end of the post dined on a wounded butterfly the other day (it had already lost most of its wings and had its abdomen pinched at the beak of bird though it was still slightly alive and moving which is what excited the predator in the little doggie) and he seemed to like it quite a bit ... was a seriously tattered zebra swallow tail ... re: the cicadas ... good to know they're there if times get tougher, yuh nevuh know, we might all be stalkin' the wild cicada some day ...

7:52 PM  
Blogger JBlue said...


Hey, my cat ate two moths last night. Should I be worried? Since you know about these things....

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rory, i meant to include your current canine in the handsome comment. From what I can see (he seems a bit shy about a full facial), he looks every bit as debonair as Junior (and by extension, Diva's Bones). My guy would be like their ugly brother, good heart & fun to know, but not a hit with the ladies (or naugahyde).

Jublue, my cats loved moths! Incorrigble hunters, the only thing one of them ever had a verifiable reaction to was an encounter with a poisonous lizard. No idea exactly what species, but that's what the vet said when I rushed him in for excessive slobbering. If it's gonna cause probs, I think you would know by now. The fact she ate TWO sounds like they tasted OK. Cats are much more wary than dogs about swallowing something they're not sure of. Rory should know if there are any poisonous moths, huh. D.K.

12:30 PM  
Blogger sumo said...

Have not had a chance to ingest the insects...maybe someday. Loved the doggie tales...oh the leather!

1:46 PM  
Blogger Keir said...

Oscar (1980-1997) was an overweight and loving husky bitch pleased to live with my family for all of her seventeen years. She ate cicadas nonstop. Even though I don't like insects I like this site and will visit again.

1:17 AM  
Blogger Rory Shock said...

hey jublue ... rory, after consultation with his council of advisors, knows of no studies linking moth ingestion to any serious feline health problems ... however, some say that certain moth species have hallucinogenic properties that cause cats to hear the voice of god calling them to insect jihad ... dk, yeah, the current canine owner of rory is handsome and sweet, albeit diminutive ... vinnie is his name-o ... sumo, I'll save you a portion of the sweet and sour cicada stir fry that I plan to make ... keir rory welcomes you and the memory of junior's kindred cicada-eatin' canine spirit, oscar

5:40 AM  
Blogger gugon said...

Great post - I did not know cicadas were such a delicacy.

When I think about eating insects, I just can't get past the idea of crunching through the hard shell and having the inner goop squirt out into my mouth. I've eaten some things many would consider scary, but I just can't bring myself to eat insects with large abdomens.

I think cicadas are really cool though. Sometimes you find the empty husks of the larval cicadas clinging to trees - left behind after the transformation. They have little hooked crablike claws and you can hang them from your shirt as decorations.

5:47 AM  
Blogger Rory Shock said...

roger that gugon, I love finding them, I read that some think that the best time to collect them for eating is right after the new adult molts ... almost like soft-shell cicadas ...

8:24 AM  
Blogger Tina said...

Rory... ya have to come to Fuzzy and Blue... you are the centerpiece of my top post for Thursday the 24th.

2:25 PM  
Blogger enigma4ever said...

wow...I love Junior...he would have loved my old Bassatt- Abby- they would have dined together- she used to chase bugs all around the yard...and she got her snout stuck in MANY a mug...hmm the trick with the coat- my what a friendly fella...and good of him to entertain your friends...sigh....you are such a story teller Rory....we love ya and your ol dog...

3:25 PM  
Blogger a rose is a rose said...

i HATE cicadas. hate hate hate 'em. i hate ALL bugs except lady bugs. well not so much hate, as phobic. but that too is another story

junior sure was a handsome dude i must say. and your son does have his father's artistic bent, judging from the artfully cropped photo.

i was lucky enough to once live with a cat, jean - paul (he was named after the first pope jean-paul because we didn't think he'd live longer than 33 days. PLUS jean-paul, the cat, thought he was a dog). anyway, jean-paul loved to catch bees and eat 'em. the first time we freaked and rushed him to the vet because we saw pauvre jean-paul with wicked swollen cat lips. turned out it was because of a bee. any way, i sure do miss him

2:16 PM  
Blogger Helen Wheels said...

Awwww! I love your old dog! I love your new dog, who likes coffee rather than cicadas!

I grew up with cicadas. They are LOUD. And cool-looking. But stinky. I don't think I could eat one.

I love that you had a doggy version of Jack Kerouac. He must've really enjoyed life. Sigh.

My own doggie is 7 so I'm hoping she's around for MANY more years. She is the most adorable & cuddly 70 lbs goin'.

4:53 PM  

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