So, I had the day off. I got started by making coffee for both Cora and me. She got up and went to work. I got up…you don’t expect me to do anything but sit on my butt until 8 in the morning, do you, especially on my day off? I got up and began to do the dishes and laundry. The cat had been whining and mewing all morning. He does this because he has forgotten he has food. He knows where his dish is, he simply does not remember if he has any food and is loathe to check on it. Most of the time you just walk toward his dish, he jumps up in anticipation and then finds, much to his surprise, that there is food already there! He honestly looks surprised! Only on rare occasions has Cora or I forgotten to check his food. Today his crying seemed a bit more persistent than normal. I ignored him anyway.
I began to clean house. I opened one of our armoires to put some potato chips away when I saw some ants. ( I know I have written about ants before. I intend to again. ) I raised the alarm! I began to search for their source, since they always come from somewhere. There were only a few in that spot…I looked and there…crawling up toward his food dish was a line of ants. His food dish resides on a shelf about 30 inches off the ground so the dogs don’t bother it. The line of ants stretched from the corner of where the counter meets the wall out in a diagonal line toward the corner of the shelf that his food is on. It then climbed vertically 30 inches (approximately 1.5 ant miles) strait up a relatively smooth surface. I immediately fell back for reinforcements.
I am an old hand at fighting ants. When I was young we had Red Ant piles all around the house. These red ants are usually about 3/8 of an inch long and possess a nifty little bite or sting…never stuck around long enough when they began biting or stinging. I have used numerous ways of combating them. A magnifying glass and the sun is a pleasantly gruesome death for small numbers of ants, but they run fast, so you must be steady with the magnifying glass. I have used shovels to open up their nests (I recommend an unblocked escape route). I have used water…desert ants get extremely confused when a deluge of water floods their compartments! And, my personal favorite, not necessarily recommended or supported by the EPA, OSHA, Department of Wildlife, or NASA, is gasoline…the lighted kind. You can see them wiggle and writhe in pain!! Ah, the horrid glory! I used to live for the smell of freshly burned Ant Hill in the morning.
My sister could probably tell you the story I am about to tell a little better than I since she was an interested observer, whilst I was a soon to be roasted participant. It was summer time. Red Ant season. There were several piles, but this one had for some reason warranted my attention. I had opted for gasoline and matches. The SOP was to poor gasoline on the pile and then throw a match on it. Watch the ants come out and die and then when it burnt out repeat the process. Gasoline was usually dispensed from any available container...from plastic cup to tin can. Today it was a glass Orange Crush bottle...you remember the thin styrofoam wrappers around them? Anyway, things were going splendid, several hundred ants had died, but the gasoline was still in my bottle. (Mind you this was the old style gasoline...remember the kind you could afford to burn up like that? Today, it is best to put your gallon of gasoline for the mower in a bank safety deposit box) I poored a little on this pile and lit it. Carrie watched from a distance, she had been participating, but it was my turn. I decided that the burn was not quite what I had anticipated (get it, ant-icipated) so, rather than waiting for it to go out, I simply poured strait from the bottle down onto the flames. Now, I KNEW the theory behind gasoline and how it would follow a dribble upwards, but apparently I had not studied the physics quite well enough. The properties of flame in gravity cause them to rise,and the pouring of liquids requires that the doaner be above the receiving parties premisise. The flame dutifully climbed the stream of gasoline, alighting (get it) at the mouth of the bottle. I stood for a moment and stared at this, then my fear struck and I tossed the bottle...remember it was still pouring? A stream of flaming gasoline flew from the bottle. We happened to be standing in DRY CHEATGRASS. The dry tinder lit immediately. I don't remember if my sister helped or just stood there laughing. I started stomping on the fire, and got it out. My beloved little sister had some things to say, though. I think we may also have been worried about how our parents would have handled a brush fire in the back yard.
Since these are ants in the house, I opted for a different weapon. I have used several weapons on the inside the house ones, too. I have used hammers, glasses, and other handy items to squish them, I have used water to drown them, and liquid soap to entomb them, but the old tried and true is Chemical Warfare. I am aware that NATO, UNICEF, and the WHO all frown on it and the Geneva Convention frankly bans it. I, personally, am not signator to any of those accords, so I freely unleashed a WMD (Weapon of Mass Destruction upon their little six legged asses!). It was a chemical weapons attack. I started at the food bowl. Then I hit the rear of the line, those in the middle were trapped, since we know that ants don’t travel outside the lines! Hah, it was shooting fish in a barrel. I made several runs until each one of them was dead.
A few weeks ago, I bought some Ant Barrier. If I sprinkled it around the border of the house it would keep them away from the house. After two applications, I still see lines of ants filing up the foundation. I called the 800 number and they will be refunding me my money. How nice. He also gave me another type that should work. He laughed when I offered to email him a picture of ants trailing past his product toward my foundation. Oh, well.
I also called my professor, who wanted to know when I wanted to take the test…ummm…never? Not an option. Because I really suggested that they just give me a degree and that way we would not have to bother with a test which would waste their time and mine…alas, I still have to read about a billion books. Why have I not been reading them? Well, I just have not felt the fire underneath my ass…trust me, it helps when you are like me. I will be unbearable to live with for the next couple months, but I should be able to get it done, if only I stress enough. I am a horrible student, and not much better as a teacher…or maybe I am too nice? Oh, well, does it matter? I still have to take an 8 hour written test on the Cold War and then sit in front of a committee and answer a bunch of questions…hmm, can’t I just have chosen something easy like a master’s in basket weaving?
So, with that in mind, what am I doing? Blogging. Figures.