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Mr. Cicada

I hate summer in Japan.

Its supposed to be a wonderful season. Festivals, fireworks, the beach, girls in bikinis (oh my GOD, girls in bikinis…), and yes, all that stuff is nice. But it doesn’t make up for all the other stuff during summer that’s just absolutely shitty. The weather is of course a factor. I’m from California, and I even spent a few years living in the Mojave Desert (with a father who didn’t believe in air conditioning…try to wrap your heads around that one…), so I’m no stranger to hot weather. Japan, especially Kyoto where I live, is just humid and muggy, and that’s what makes it so miserable. Go outside past the confines of your air conditioner, and you will sweat buckets simply for existing.

But the heat is one thing. I could deal with the heat. What I cannot deal with…are the bugs.

In summer, every species of creepy crawly nasty motherfucker insect comes out of the woodwork. and plagues this tiny little island country with their pestilence. It sucks especially for me, because I don’t just get bitten by mosquitoes, I get fucking harvested by them. I never have just one bug bite, no. Just the other day I had 7…on one arm. My blood must be absolutely delicious. Bugs must be getting on the bug network about this or something…

Bug 1: Hey man, you gotta check this out. I’ve struck GOLD.
Bug 2: Eh? What’s up?
Bug 1: This is, like, the Grey Poupon of blood right here. This shit is scrumptious. I’m not even hungry anymore and I’m already on my third helping!
Bug 2: F’real? Allright, hold up, I’ll be right there!

An especially prevalent bug problem are cicadas. In the mornings especially, these things are louder than two girls cat-fighting over a loud speaker. They also tend to die and leave their festering corpses in the street. These bugs are HUGE (bug standard) and especially disgusting. I don’t care that they’re dead, its nasty and I hate it.

Sometimes, ones that are still alive can jump out at you too.

I was on the train heading somewhere, and as the train pulled into a station, stopped, and opened its doors, suddenly I heard the loud buzzing of the cicada. This time, it was 3x louder/more powerful than I’d ever heard it. What, had my train accidentally pulled into the Cicada Collective or something? Was there a Cicada Karaoke competition going on nearby? I look around and soon discovered why – just like any ordinary passenger, the cicada had boarded the train, and was now on the floor…directly next to me.

Other Japanese people sitting on the train also noticed our new passenger…but instead of getting up and running the fuck away as I thought they would…they just…sat there. I have to say that this was the absolute last reaction I would have expected. Especially remembering back to Ms. Butterfly’s reaction to a harmless little butterfly. Have you ever seen a Japanese girl go apeshit as an insect buzzes near her general vicinity? It truly is a thing of wonder to behold, and I suggest you all find a way to make this event happen so you can watch it at least once in your life.

I too tried to blow off the cicada. After all, I’m a big, black, scary gaijin. I can’t be running scared of no bugs. I tried to just ignore its presence…but I couldn’t. Who knows what this little terrorist was planning? Perhaps he was going to jump up on me when I let my guard down. I often sleep on the trains…what if I fell asleep and my mouth was hanging open, and this flagrant little bastard flew right up into my open mouth? That makes my stomach turn just thinking about it. I may skip dinner tonight.

So…I got up and changed train cars. And I could feel the watchful Japanese eyes on me as I did it. “Big black scary man is afraid of a little bug? FOR SHAME.”

……….FUCK YEAH I’m bothered by that nasty little hell spawn, why aren’t you? So butterflies then are nasty little creatures of evil but cicadas are a-ok? Who in the name of Foghorn Leghorn decided this nonsense?!

Now, I can anticipate in the comments many of you, feeling your e-penis throbbing to massive new lengths thanks to the viagra that is internet anonymity, will be saying something like “Wow Az, I didn’t know you were such a baby. It’s just a bug, right? Grow up and be a man.” To that, I can only say this. You know the myth of how elephants are afraid of mice? Doesn’t really make sense, does it? I mean, an elephant is like a bajillion times bigger than the itty bitty little mouse. All the elephant needs to do is raise a foot and stomp the mouse into oblivion. But for however much an elephant is terrified of mice (if the myth is true), it can and will not hesitate to stomp the shit out of a human. So, don’t tempt the elephant.

I fucking hate bugs. I always have and I always will. Everyone has their Achilles Heel, this is mine.


It occurred to me that little boys, for some odd reason, have a fascination with bugs. I wasn’t so twisted – I hated them from the start. I liked cars, jet planes, robots, robots that could transform into cars and jet planes, and women (I got started early on that). Fuck bugs.

This concerns me, because I will be having kids someday in the near future (if my wife had her way; yesterday), and if I have boys and somehow fail in their upbringing, there is a chance that little Az Junior will come home with some sort of bug discovery he’s made…with the specimen alive or even dead.

If this ever happened…the kid would be grounded so hard, by the time he saw sunlight again North and South Korea would be a unified country. The DMZ would have been turned into a McDonalds FunHouse.

Drugs, sex, stealing things, fist fights, whatever, I’ll deal with it. Bring home a bug? Nuh-uh, no way, dame, niet, es muy bad, no. My boy would learn then and there that there are several things in this world that one simply cannot do…walk into Mordor, tempt the Dark Side, and bring insects into my life. Aside from being grounded until the world sees peace, I’d probably lock myself up in a room to contemplate my complete and utter failure as a parent.

Now, if I have daughters, girls usually tend to be grossed out by bugs so this isn’t a problem. I think though, when one is dealing with daughters, the level of potential parental failure gets kicked up a few notches. Like, if boys are playing with firecrackers, girls are playing with nuclear missiles. As far as Ultimate Parental Failure as far as daughters are concerned goes, I think the scale goes something like this –

— She becomes a slut.
— She becomes a bitch.
— She becomes a bitchy slut.
— She has that annoying loud laugh where she has to gasp for breath every 2 seconds.
— She becomes a gold digger.
— She becomes a crack whore.
— She becomes an actual whore.
— She starts to mimic/idolize the behaviors of Paris Hilton, Nicole Ritchie, Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, or Amy Winehouse, except without the money.
— She becomes a street-walker prostitute.
— She does a few amateur porns.
— She becomes a porn star.
— She becomes a major porn star.
— She does porn that includes fucked up shit, like scat or bukkake.
— You have two daughters/twins, both of whom do porn.
— Both girls do fucked up porn.
— Your daughters/twins do lesbian sister/twin incest porn together.

If there is a failure harder than that…I just can’t think of it.

Now, this is why only fools are (internet) heroes – because you never know when some lunatic will come along with a sadistic choice. I can already anticipate someone asking me – “Az, which would be worse? Your two daughters doing incest porn together, or your son bringing home a half-dead cicada?” …Don’t make me choose between such horrible options, you sick fuck. On one hand, you have the complete and utter fail of not only having one of your daughters become a porn star…but both of them…and not only do you have two daughters in the business, they partake in one of the unholiest of all taboos…but then you also have those nasty, disgusting, awful, menacing cicadas. Don’t make me think about which hell I would prefer, for they are both full of misery and torment.

Yes, that is how much I hate bugs. I hate bugs and I will make no apologies for it. If you asked me to take on a wild bear I could do it with a little mental prep and some light armor, but if you ask me to stomp on a spider, I’m coming back with a huge can of Raid and I’m going biological warfare on his ass. And when itsy bitsy spider chokes on the nerve gas I’m going to scoop him up with the most powerful vacuum cleaner I can find from maximum distance away, and then take the waste bag to the nearest incinerator and fry that sumbitch into oblivion. And then go home and shower 3 or 4 times.

Man, I’ll be glad when it’s winter and all these creepy-crawlies are finally dead.

Categories: Gaijin Smash
  1. Amy
    December 10, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Dude. Stumbled across your blog yesterday and have been steadily reading through it (backwards..). I have to say it is an awesome way to kill time. I live waaay up in the mountains in Shimane-ken and now it’s getting cold there is literally nothing to do (not that there was much before mind you), so am happy to have found this here blog.

    I’m assuming you know this already seeing as you’ve lived here for years, so I’m going to ask did you ever understand WHY Japanese children go out and catch stag beetles and KEEP THEM AS PETS?!?!?!! Like, is that not just the most foul, disgusting pet a kid could ever get? I mean, I had any number of cute cuddly fluffy pets as a kid, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, dogs etc. But STAG BEETLES?!?!

    You can’t HUG a stag beetle!!! You can’t even pet it! You’ll get stagged by its stag!

    Actually that sounds kind of wrong. Hm. Who knew you could make bugs sound dirty.

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