01 August 2012

Ants: A Provisional Pre-Post

Haven't been blogging about ants much lately but don't think that means I've forgotten about 'em.

Really fascinating creatures when you get right down to it, getting to know them as individuals, dating their daughters, undergoing initiation to the salacious rituals that underpin their really quite peculiar lifestyle.  Not that there's anything wrong with it of course, ants will be people and all that, but there's just something slightly sub-human about the whole thing, I don't know how they live like that but hey that's just me, I'm not here to judge anybody.

Right, ants.  Totally relentless and there's no reasoning with 'em.

They certainly have a right to exist, that is not something you will hear me denying in these pages.  I'm all too happy to see them going about their doings with apparent diligence -- though whether the ants themselves regard their toil as rewarding or as drudgery is not obvious, I think it could go either way sometimes. They're an important if not critical part of the eco-system and as such, I certainly welcome their presence in many contexts.

However.

When the ants repeatedly and in the face of constant pleas and warnings incur into my home, pile up on my half-finished tiramisu and I was planning to eat that later, and run their sticky-footed columns across my living room floor, at some point I must say No, enough is enough, this is not an important aspect of my domestic ecosystem but an invasion, an infestation that is no longer tolerable to the civilized person.

Action must be taken and since they just won't listen, since it's clear that only by killing them back to their home, only by decimating their ranks with the same relentlessly insistent persistence (yes I get paid by the word) that they showed in decimating that empty beer can, can we ever hope to dream of beginning to contain their onward march.

Sometimes when I'm killing them -- and I only kill ants by hand, I think it's only fair to stand there and face em as individuals, I'll get right down and try to look each little bugger in the eye, I give him a last warning and a chance to retreat -- as I deliver the final death blow I'll declare to my victim: Go, and tell them who killed you.  Saying this results in a tremendous rush of personal power and at the same time is unfailingly efficacious in convincing them not to return for at least seven generations, which unfortunately is not very long but it does give you a little break now and again.

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