Bye-bye Brood X, we hardly knew ye

See you in 2038

Jeffrey Denny
4 min readJul 2, 2021


Jeffrey Denny

Rest in peace, historic swarm of cicadas.

You made sweet sweet love with consenting cicadas (we assume) then died too soon like Romeo and Juliet in Shakespeare's “Romeo and Juliet.”

As their molted exoskeletons are swept into the dustbins of history and yard care professionals, let us all mourn Brood X and their apocalyptic infestation and devastation of our crops as the Old Testament foretold to account for our mortal sins, starting with gas-powered leaf blowers.

I’ll miss the cicadas’ ceaseless symphony of a billion tiny chainsaws, like the Philip Glass concert featuring minimalist repetitive phrases and shifting layers that once lulled me into a snoring sleep that compelled my concert date to depart from me then, there and forever.

I’ll also miss the shrill screaming of highly sensitive entomophobiacs like her who were “terrified” by the cicadas and tend to overuse “terrified” in a way that depletes word of its meaning. To me, “terrified” should be reserved for the feeling of being chased by a grizzly bear or an idiot Capitol insurrectionist patriot.

I’ll also miss dogs vomiting cicada shells like luxury cruise line guests discarding free buffet shrimp tails.

I’ll miss the bug guts on my windshield, sung to John Denver’s “Sunshine on My Shoulders.”

I’ll certainly miss the St. Vitus’s dance, also known as Sydenham’s Chorea, a disorder characterized by rapid, uncoordinated jerking movements primarily affecting the face, hands and feet.

Often demonstrated by uncles at niece weddings, this awkward dance occurred frequently as Brood X cicadas kamikazed onto our foreheads, down our cleavages and into our beers.

Disrespecting our personal agency wasn’t the cicadas’ fault. Many were suffering from a parasitic fungus that turned them into “horror-movie sex bots” and “single-minded sex machines — after causing their genitals to fall off,” according to Scientific American.

Mostly I’ll reminisce about how Brood X ushered in the beginning of the end of what future historians will call the “Trump Pandemic.

“This would-be American dictator killed hundreds of thousands of his most loyal people by denying the pandemic,” future “Jeopardy” contestants will be asked by a hologram of Alex Trebek to answer in the form of a question.

Yet as I look ahead to the return of Brood X in 2038, I brood about the world they will encounter:

Still few self-driving cars

After decades of fanfare, self-driving cars aren’t happening so much as you would notice.

While the Brood X revival may still get to see the Rolling Stones live, they need not worry about splashing their guts on the windshields of robot cars, even as the rare robot cars drive haphazardly like sex-bot cicadas crazed by a parasite.

By 2038 we’ll come to terms that self-driving cars will always be buggy. They’ll drive like the most clueless humans simply because they’re programmed by the most clueless humans, especially Myers-Briggs INTF computer wizards who lack any shred of emotional intelligence. They understand human behavior mostly from AI and machine learning and tend to hate cars and not own, drive or like driving cars.

It’s like a head chef who hates food designing tonight’s specials.

President Barron Trump

The prodigal son of 45th and 47th President Donald Trump and his third former wife Melania Knauss, this President Trump will transform the Republican Party with his winning campaign and inaugural address calling for honesty, decency, unity, equity, equality and mutual respect.

President Barron Trump will fight rather than fuel White supremacist hate, fear and resentment. He’ll recognize that America is no longer majority White, racially resentful and stupefied by right-wing media propaganda.

Trump ’36 will even pledge to advance a 28th amendment to the Constitution recognizing Critical Race Theory. Everyone cheered for the freedom to be honest about our history so we could make America even greater.

Fox’s Tucker Carlson, now 69 and still spouting whatever works in grasping for audience, ratings and money, will trumpet President Barron Trump’s “new American reality.” Tucker never needs a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

Climate change is still a liberal hoax

While rising seas have reduced Florida to the size of Mar-A-Lago, now a tiny offshore island kingdom known as Mar-a-Elba, there’s still no scientific proof that climate scientists are smarter than climate deniers dying from violent storms, flooding and wildfires.

Florida’s shrinkage meanwhile has sent its criminal billionaire Russian oligarchs, Arab oil royalty, Third World kleptocrats, celebrity plastic surgeons, hedge fund bros, and commercial real estate moguls that built collapsing high-rise seaside condo buildings to safer ground, far away from the coasts.

The new white flight unfortunately has begun to ruin the so-called “flyover” Midwestern states.

Northern Ohio’s Lake Erie shoreline, for example, is the new Hamptons playground for the filthy yet stylish rich. Toledo is the new Manhattan since nobody goes to Cleveland anymore because it’s too crowded there, to borrow from Yogi Berra. Detroit is the new Brooklyn being ruined by gentrifying hipsters.

The Pronoun Wars are over

After grammar sticklers suffered countless causalities dying on swords over proper usage, we agreed to use no gender-specific pronouns whatsoever, only nongender “I, it, its, or it’s.”

Now sticklers only huff over its versus it’s, as they should lest civilization collapse altogether.

Microsoft Word is still buggy

After decades of progress and trillions of dollars invested in advancing computer technology to vastly improve our lives, harnessing AI, data mining, machine learning, deep analytics of system behavior, artificial neural networks and other nerd-revenge stuff, Microsoft Word will still not let stupid writers like me format bullets the way we want.

I need a hollow bullet indented this much here, I say. Please, Microsoft Word, I’m on deadline and people are yelling at me. No, Microsoft Word says, like Hal in “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “I’m afraid that’s something I cannot allow to happen.”

Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer



Jeffrey Denny

A Pullet Surprise-winning writer who always appreciates free chicken.