10.12.2009

I'm Fighting a Futile War

The past few months have been quite a new experience for me. For one, I'm not in school for the first time in my life. The degree has been attained (Although I have a small balance with the university and haven't received it.) and there is no plan to return to the hallowed halls of learning with the exception of possibly teaching. That thought has started swimming in my mind. Molding the minds of the young has a bit of a diabolically sinister appeal to it... Not being able to find work has afforded me a lot of time to think of such things.

Secondly, I've begun to really pay attention to ants. I can't tell the difference between one ant species and the next, although red ones are pretty easy to point out. There's the new "raspberry" ant that I heard about early this year on some news special detailing their invasion of nearby areas and causing a ruckus. I'm not sure how they've become such a predicament or why they've chosen to attack me. What I do know is that I refuse to lose to an ant known as "raspberry".

My first skirmish was during a short week where the rest of my family were out of town. I went to heat up some water in the microwave and discovered a dozen ants running around inside AFTER running it for two minutes. Apparently, ants do not consist of enough water for the microwave to kill them. Science Fiction movies from the 1950s began to spring to mind images of 50-foot tall ants destroying the city thanks to the appliance hanging over the stove. I watched them scurry around for a minute or two, I swear they were running faster than normal ants and the mutations were beginning. Then I decided to wet a paper towel and scoop wipe them up into it. Then I slammed the microwave door shut and turned that fucker on. Through the door I could see the ants crawling about on the paper towel and then suddenly curling up in agony under the intense heat. It was almost as fun as burning the little bastards with a magnifying glass.

A month or six weeks later I was out tooling around in my car (Do kids still say "tooling" when referring to driving?) and while stopped at a light I opened up the center console between the seats to get some gum. When I closed everything back up I glanced into the cup holder adjacent and saw half a dozen ants roaming free and effecting my gas mileage with their microscopic weight. I quickly tried smashing them all with my fingers with a deadly poke and prod. One did evade me by escaping into a crevice that my meaty fingertip couldn't fit no matter how much I tried to force it in. Skip ahead to the next morning, and as I open up my car to run some errands I see dozens of ants running all along my running board. I think it's called a running board. It's the area that is perfectly covered by the door when in the "closed" position. Upon further inspection I found ants venturing into the car and finding bits of crumbs in the floorboards. Admittedly, I freaked out and used an entire can of bug spray in an attempt to kill them all. I let the bug spray marinate in the car for an entire day. I'm not entirely sure if sitting in the car with those fumes would have killed me, but I wasn't taking any chances. The next day I found another dozen ants sprinkled about my car, so I spent another can of spray and wasted another day marinating my car. This time, I got them all. At least I didn't see them boldly venturing forth into the open to face the wrath of my fingertips and aerosol weapons of mass destruction.

Last week we caught a trail of ants walking over the tires of the cars parked out front, but not going into the cars. They were walking around on the surface of the tires and the brakes in an attempt to create a new nesting area. The ants were carrying what looked like egg sacks, larvae, or whatever the hell you call that stage in their development. I can't remember freshman year biology from high school. So the hose and the bug spray came out to blast the shit out of the little maggots.

The latest encounter occurred just last evening. Ten or so ants were swarming my dogs rawhide bone and, thanks to my previous experiences, I knew that I had to discover the trail leading to their entry point. They lead back to the small bathroom next to the garage and into a small hole in the molding. I was expecting the grout around the toilet to have a gap that had failed to hold them at bay. They decided to focus their assault on the wood-front instead. I can't even imagine the encampments that they must have built and fortified amongst the walls. Their entry point in the bathroom isn't even on the wall shared by the garage. I had to wipe the image of their fortifications from my mind and get to the business of spraying these little shits with the water-based poisons at my disposal. It provided me with a strong blast and knocked the ant-bastards for a loop when hit directly. I also thought the poisonous liquid would travel back into the hole much better than it's misty counterpart. I killed all the ants that were in visible range.

Now I must be vigilant and wait for their next attack. I will attempt to locate the point of entry from the exterior, but due to the large diameter of the house and the heavily grassed areas it appears to be a truly daunting endeavor. The determination of these ants is a problem and I see no possible way to crush that. Their sheer numbers are also a force in and of itself. I don't know how I can hope to combat an enemy with numbers well into the millions, possibly billions. I just hope that the folks at Target don't get suspicious of the numerous trips and purchases of high-powered WMADs (Weapons of Mass Ant Destruction) and report me to the authorities for mass ant-icide.

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