A Lighter View… Houseguests…the six-legged kind

A Lighter View… Houseguests…the six-legged kind

By By Karen M. Morris, Freelance Writer

Last weekend, some uninvited guests barged in on us with their families. So Wayne did what any host would do. He hosed them down in the driveway before they could get in the door and start reproducing. Wayne pelted them with enough water pressure to wipe out a storm drain, but they rallied. Unable to drown the wily rascals, I suggested we buy some poison and kill them. Wayne said that was crazy talk we still had ant traps left over from last year’s visit.

Every summer, hordes of ants make our house their favorite vacation get-away destination. Our front door looks like the entrance to Disneyland, with ants lined up for blocks trying to get in. It’s like living in the “small, small world” of insects.

And these aren’t your usual ants. The kind that are happy just to hang out on your sidewalk or patio furniture. Nope, these are hi-tech cowboys. Using detailed schematic drawings, heat scanners, infrared scopes and bug detectors, they managed to breach our security system and squeeze through a gaping hole in the screen. Then, they brazenly marched across the kitchen, forming a convoy to the bathroom. Apparently, they wanted to freshen up before gorging themselves on the culinary delights they expected to find in my cupboards.

Well, they’d have more luck at Mother Hubbard’s place. My boys had already stripped the kitchen of anything edible. Even non-consumable items had been consumed. Yesterday, Morry wolfed down all the salmon-flavored cat food treats (he thought they were those fish-shaped pretzels), and Leo ate two drawer knobs before realizing they weren’t gumballs. They’ve eaten flour, raw potatoes, uncooked pasta, and jelly right out of the jar…the boys, not the ants.

From personal experience, I can testify that ants make horrible houseguests. They walk on the ceiling, scale your walls, and can survive a ride in the garbage disposal. They are fond of showing off and will dance across your table when the pastor is over for dinner. For laughs, they pretend to be dead and float around in your bath water. Or they crawl out of the toilet after you’ve flushed them down twice.

And they love to screw with your mind. I lie in bed at night, scratching all over…knowing that they’re running around the sheets like a tag team. When I turn the lights on, they disappear quicker than money at the track. When I turn the lights off, they sneak back and start doing cartwheels on my nose. My lights flickered so much one night my neighbors thought I was trying to signal for help.

I watched as Wayne set out ant traps with giant warning labels plastered all over them. I shook my head in disbelief. Doesn’t he realize we are dealing with “super ants” capable of reading? How else can you explain why they’ll crawl into anything but the trap? They stop…look at it…and then detour around it. Occasionally, one will hop on top of the trap, start dancing, and beat his chest as if to say, “I’m king of the world”, but he wouldn’t be caught dead inside. Think about it, have you ever seen an ant smoking cigarettes? My point exactly…they can read.

I set out a bowl of sugar water, hoping it would draw them to their deaths. It didn’t. I found them doing miniature butterfly-strokes in a synchronized swim. Wayne started swatting the ants with a dish towel, leaving little ant carcasses all over. And then, we started attacking each other.

I saw one of Wayne’s freckles move and thought it was an ant. When I tried to beat the freckle to death, Wayne yelped, “Are you out of your mind!” (See section on screwing with your mind.)

“It’s sleep deprivation,” I cried, collapsing into a chair. “Don’t you see? Our situation is hopeless. We’re outnumbered.” Wayne went to the basement and returned with a rusted can of ANT KILLER SPRAY. “You can’t use that,” I said, brushing an ant corpse off the table. “The fumes will kill us.”

“We can go out to eat,” Wayne smiled, “and when we get back, the ants and the vapors will be history.”

“And so will the cats. What are they supposed to do? Go to the mall?”

“I can see you’re not a team player,” Wayne scowled. “Maybe we should put poodle skirts and saddle shoes on the ants, and they could dance themselves to death.”

“That’s pure genius, dear,” I smiled, batting my eyes. “But I have a simpler solution. We starve them out…which shouldn’t take too long with Morry and Leo around.

“Those boys are ruthless,” Wayne nodded. “The ants won’t have a prayer.”

“Exactly. Now, if I could only figure out a way for the boys to get rid of the aphids on my hibiscus.”

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