Ants. Little black ants that march all over the house, very importantly, as if they are doing a job that requires respect. They help themselves to the honey and the corn cereal and the graham crackers with an air of entitlement. Not just that, but they spread the word and not only take and devour what they want, they invite friends. Hundreds and hundreds of them. Which just aren’t good manners, in my opinion.

I see a couple, deep in love, strolling over my pant leg as I sit on the couch typing to you, dear reader. I see them in the bathrooms, all of them, going for a jog around the rim of the sinks. One place they regard as Mecca is a particular plant in the master bath. He is a smallish quiet plant, not much to proclaim. Minds his own business and just, you know, grows at his own pace. He whispered to me that he had no designs of grandeur and was not initially inclined to receive the ants accolades, yet felt pressured to become Great on their behalf seeing as the greatness was not up to him to assign to himself but was instead to be graciously accepted. However, he asked to be taken outside due to the fact that the ants had created large caverns throughout his root system and had begun to set in motion plans to procreate on a larger scale than our home had ever seen. We acquiesced.

After the loss of our plant, and after finding out that some of the ant armies had taken up marching around my camera and headphones, which was a clear intention of war seeing as how there was no food to be had inside the electronics, so it was not for sustenance on any front but instead a clear call to the line drawn in the sand and could be taken no other way, I was forced to call The Exterminator.

He showed up, sniffling and sneezing due to allergies he said, but I think we all know you can’t work with poison all day for years and not have it cause some kind of affect. Which brings me to his blue, wild eyes that remind me I’m glad to have locks on the door late in the evening. Here is a picture by Edward Gorey, which effectively shows his look:


The Exterminator went through the house, swooshing poison into the power outlets and behind the furniture at random. He asked us how we had enjoyed the Reagan Library that afternoon, which is a clear indication of how lacking in judgment he truly was for we had not been there. Also (and I use this purely as an illustration of his lack in brain power because I’m not complaining, per se, because I, in fact, benefited from the result and hate to stare a gift horse in the mouth) he gave us the senior citizen discount.

Happy to see him leave, we stood at the door and waved, hoping that the still wet poison along the floorboards wouldn’t cause us too much distress and wished him well in finding a good pair of sunglasses to cover the glare of his eyes and also a fresh prescription of Claritin.

In conclusion, I must confess that I’m torn in my opinion of using poison in the house, seeing as it is POISON but also how the ants are gone and I can leave a bowl of popcorn on the side table for 10 minutes while watching I Heart Huckabees and not have it carried away by ants en masse. It isn’t my first choice to obliterate an entire insect family (which actually remains to be seen and there may be an unplanned sequel to this story) and I feel sad about that. But, and this is a plea to the ants themselves, please stay outside and we will come and have picnics at your place next time.

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  1. Hee. I was torn in a similar way last summer over some mice who had taken up residence in my garage. Also, some ants once moved into my surge protector–one of those flat roundish ones. They laid 89 gazillion eggs under the power button and were quite prolific there until my cat discovered them and tried to eat the surge protector. Ah, nature.

  2. When we lived in SoCal we had the same problem. We had the house exterminated the first time and then after that, once a month, a very nice man came and sprayed outside the house around the foundation. Never saw another ant in the house again. They marched like little soldiers on the retaining wall between us and our neighbors but never got near the house. Worth every penny we paid the exterminator!

  3. Isn’t there something you can spray around the edges of the house or apartment building? That prevents ants from even entering?

    Slash that is one ***** up Santa Clause.

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