Friday, March 30, 2007

In March, The Ants Come Marching In

Ants have an ingenius way of finding food in a house. They send a "scout" first. If the ant comes back carrying a crumb, his friends and relatives file into the house single file.

By "the" house, I mean our house.

Who knows why they pick us every year. It could be because our walls are painted with peanut butter. Or because our floors are waxed with Kool-aid. Or because I'm the only person in our house who knows how to use a dishrag in a kitchen setting. Other family members use them to check the oil in the car or blow their noses.

Whatever the reason, ants visit our house every spring. We're like Daytona Beach to ants. They drink Tequila under our tables; they dance on our countertops. But when the Ants Gone Wild cameramen showed up last year, I drew the line.

This year, I scoured our house the first time I saw an ant. Parties over. No more crumbs.

And no mercy either. I used to think, well, it's just one. I don't want to be a jerk and kill him while he's out walking around. No more.

You see, I've done my research on these guys. I've read the children's book "Are You an Ant?" Ever heard of it? Well if you have, then you're not an ant. Ants don't read.

Another point I learned was that ants by themselves are casing the joint. Now that I know that every ant I see is a spy or whatever, he's dead.

And that's how I discovered a hitch in their "scout" system.

If I squash one ant, they just send another. One by one, they come walking in like there's no possible danger involved.

I can just imagine their conversation back at the camp.

"Did Eddie ever come back from that house?" asks Janet.

"No, he's probably gorging himself on frozen pizza crumbs. I'll go check it out," says Alan.

An hour later.

"Now, Alan's missing," says Janet.

"I'll go after him," says Gary.

An hour later.

Janet says, "Gary isn't back yet. I'm going to check it out."

A half hour later.

Sue says, "This is strange. Now Janet is gone, too. I'll go investigate."

And on and on.

It never occurs to them that maybe something bad happened to their ant friends. That maybe those two-legged mammals who hate them and are 50 million times bigger than them and live in houses were somehow involved. And maybe they should try a different house.

Talk about dumb.

But guess who, by July, will be winning the battle between me and the ants? The ants. We will squash them, and they'll return. We'll spray for them, and it will wash away. They will conquer our kitchen and colonize our countertops.

As I squash them I can almost hear them laugh.

"There's more of me where I come from," they say.


Anonymous pvandyke said...

Thanks Bridget,

Now I know who sent them to our house...and I don't even have any kids leaving crumbs just a husband!

1:26 PM  
Anonymous mom said...

i followed their trail once and sprayed the whole thing and got them. Bay leaves on the window sill help if that's their entrance. I was going to get you an ant farm for the boys, so "no?"

6:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knew ants had first names, but never thought one would be named Alan?

8:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love the names! Great "office" type names. we have them, too...saw a couple over the weekend and paniced.

9:27 AM  

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