Once or twice a year someone e-mails Cicada Mania asking if we know where to
find the cicada keychain — you know, “the one that buzzes”. Although there
are many keychains which feature
cicadas (e.g. trapped in amber),
I’ve never found the cicada keychain online.
I haven’t found these in stores since Clinton was in office. Back in the day,
you could find them in mall stores like “The Nature Company”, “The Science Nook”
and “The Planet Store”. Once, in the late 90’s I asked the manager of one of these
stores about the these
keychains and she said: “we don’t carry them any more, the last batch was defective”.
She seemed angry that I even asked her about them. I wish I knew more. Maybe these
stores lost so much money because of these defective key chains that they all went
out of business? Or maybe they didn’t sell enough whale song CDs, glow-in-the-dark
moon stickers, or mystical crystals to pay the rent?
I’ve spent way too much time looking for these keychain online, and I’ve
pretty much given up hope.
I’ve searched numerous online stores that specialize in novelties and keychains.
I’ve e-mailed these stores requesting that they stock these keychains — but I get no response.
I’ve searched ebay.
I’ve spend hours doing Google searches.
There are two problems with searching for stuff like this online:
Search engines have a hard time indexing online stores (for technical reasons
I won’t waste your time with), and…
Who knows how people would describe these things?
Are they keychains, key chains, keyrings, or key rings? Are they cicadas, locusts,
insects or bugs? Do they buzz, chirp, scream, or beep?
It’s 2011 in Australia now, so I’m wishing everyone a Happy New Year, particularly for those folks in Australia effected by flooding.
There should be a lot of interesting cicada news in 2011, particularly the emergence of Brood XIX 13-year Magicicadas in Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
I spent about 24 hours over the past two weeks cleaning up the naming of cicadas on the site, updating Tibicen names, fixing typos, etc. I ended up with a new site map organized by Genera and species. Now it should be easier to find the cicadas you’re looking for, especially species outside of North America.