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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Back to Nature

One day on my way back to work after lunch, a lizard fell on my head. 

It was one of those clear blue sky meets reality moments.  And while I was somewhat startled, and the lizard showed definite signs of disapproval, we were out of the city limits in the pastoral scenery of the country and that sort of thing is to be expected.  Falling lizards one day, dive-bombing sparrows the next.  Country life is very near to nature, an Old English word that means “creepy things that live outside.”

Once we even found a frog in the bathroom, perched cleverly on the sink like a picturesque soap dispenser. The mosquitoes had their own Air Force battalion complete with Black Ops Special Forces.  We didn’t necessarily all get along, but we agreed that I had the right to seizures when they advanced on my territory.   Eventually I said farewell to Animal Kingdom and moved to the city.

Where I was overrun by ants.

I thought city life would involve theatre, dinners out, and late night discussions over coffee and exotic desserts I couldn’t pronounce.  Perhaps I should have moved to a city with more than two stoplights.  But I like my little town, and the fact that passersby are comfortable stopping their cars to remind me to water my ferns comforts me.  That’s my idea of public assistance.

I set up my home office in a sunny window overlooking a bush I’m pretty sure is supposed to be there.  Sometimes I have a little trouble differentiating Keepers from Weeds.  Generally speaking, weeds are the ones I can grow.

Lounging at my desk one day, I made an observation.  Lounging is a word that means “Working Very Hard While Looking at Funny Pictures of Cats.”  I observed an ant running across my keyboard.  This happened every day for a week, so I did what any responsible person would do.

I Googled Ants.

Everybody has their favorite way of getting rid of ants.  My favorite way is to ask them politely to leave.

The Internet suggested I squash them individually.

Years of technical pioneering and know-how came together for this. For fifty gazillion dollars you can get a degree to master the bits and bites and nanojibbits involved in helping to advance technology and developing a world-wide electronic communication system that allows you to learn how to smush bugs with your finger. 

MIT must be so proud.

It occurred to me that perhaps the Internet had a few bugs of their own to get rid of, so for now I’m going to remain calm.

But I'm going to Google for an image of that bush.  I think it just ate my cat.


Carolee said...

Ants! I hate ants. They're everywhere right now! Yech. Oh, by the way. Water your fern! = )

Amy Mullis said...

Turns out you have to water those things EVERY week. Who knew!?

Val said...

Well, this information will be superfluous now that you have consulted everybody's BFF, Google. My mom used TERRO Ant Killer. It was a tiny bottle of transparent liquid. One drop was placed on a piece of cardboard, and put in the ant trail.

The best thing about TERRO was the aftermath. I suppose the ants carried the poison back to their buddies to kill the whole colony. But some always kept drinking. After a day or so, there was a solidified puddle. Clear, man-made amber, with a fringe of dead overindulgers all around. Like a paralyzed paramecium, with ant-body cilia.

Amy Mullis said...

I might have to go for the puddle of bodies. We're up to three ants at a time now. They won't come back as Zombie Ants with Computer-Eating superpowers will they?