I read this recently and loved it….
“In this house we are real. We make mistakes. We say I’m sorry. We give second chances. We have fun. We give hugs and forgive. We do really loud. We are patient. We love.”
That is until the day came when my second chances, fun, hugs, forgiveness, and patience diminished rapidly as referenced in response to a targeted group of aggressive critters. And I scored zero on the multidimensional sense of humor scale. I get the usual deliveries of newspapers, mail, and Thai takeout. So getting the unexpected delivery of the great ant invasion of 2013, happily helping themselves to my kitchen contents as if they were overindulging at the Home Town Buffet, was not exactly a moment of cheer. I became tantamount to torture and a bio-terroristic attack. I got extremely loud yelling at them to leave the premises. And everyone thinks Muslim nations are startling the US.
The ants came marching one by one onto my parmigiana, waah, waah! Then they were prepared to settle on my saltines and peaches, ready to raise a few million more family members. Apparently they had mistaken me for someone who runs the local food bank facility. Now it would normally occur to me to floss before having guests. So you can understand the rather pallid look on my face when entering my kitchen to see an uninvited hoard of the Formicidae family making themselves at home in every nook, cranny, wall cubbyhole, cupboard, even leading up my fridge, into my fridge, and hiking the freezer. One has to wonder how such a teensy tiny little thing can open a monster upright side by side door that excretes a drafty coldness in order to confiscate my freezer favorites. Herculean came to mind. When they stumbled across my treasured tangerine gelati, then they had some real s’plaining to do. Sweet snatchers always put me in the spirit of annihilating someone. My blood pressure rose even more when I discovered I was dangerously low on bombs. It was time to use my own superhuman strength, or at least that of an Orkin ecologist.
The exterminator must have detoured for lunch and a movie somewhere. So I had to brush aside my longing to do laundry to seize the moment. I’ll betcha all those people on Air France 447 didn’t seize the moment and passed up the Barquette of Shrimps a la Parisienne on their fateful flight. Nonetheless, I needed to take possession of a forklift to scoop the gazillion little buggers out the door. Then again, they would just come back in for a return foraging feast fest. Securing my position as an ant murderer, the promise of clean cupboards and countertops became a priority, along with an appointment with a psychiatrist. I didn’t want to go down on record as being a slayer. Not even of the exoskeleton kind.
But the kitchen draped in many trailed brown blobs got to me. I figured if Dexter did a good job of destroying menaces, maybe I could as well. Torching my house was a possibility, but I loved the wallpaper too much. I saturated every area with my poison of choice, then wiped down with an entire pallet of Costco paper towels. I began feeling a little like Hannibal Lecter on a mission. Because both of us I’m sure, on occasion, have completely devoured these predatory individuals chocolate covered cousins. The Science Advisory Board reassured me that entomophagy (bug eating) is acceptable, although I won’t be rushing to audition for Fear Factor. Unlike Hannibal, I’m not into cannibalism. If I find one moving creature in my stew, I’m seriously taking strict action. I can rest easier if I watch the wee ramblers convalesce into a coma, then fall into a very deep sleep.
Now that the scavengers were dead and buried (because everyone knows that a few would come noticeably crawling out if I left them on life support like an open trash can), I began my career in organizational management. I packaged every single thing in secure containers while throwing out gobs of food. It pained me to discard boxes of cereal at those prices. I have a hard time throwing out leftovers let alone a months worth of costly eatables. But nothing exudes the personal warmth that comes with clean cabinets, other than a beer in my belly when it was all done.
Home invaders like me. But I don’t like them. I do like hair, mostly the mini mane on a baby’s head, and beard stubbles. But not when it backs a varmint. “Egads” was not even close to the exclamation I used when spotting the tarantula making his way through my living room on another scary occasion. And I usually wander around in my bare feet. The thought of a creepy crawler becoming bosom buddies with me in my sleep sends quivers down my spine. In preparation for battle, I ran like heck. I positioned myself in a place where I patiently watched him entertain me by doing the limbo when he decided to exit the screen door. When I finally climbed down from the top of the refrigerator, I went shopping for sonic plug-in repellers. I haven’t seen hide nor hair of him since.
We all need that special someone to share the couch with for a movie, the sunrise, a sunset, or a cheesy Crostini. But I don’t want that special someone to be an ant and his entire army of an extended family, or anything else mimicking an arachnid. I LOVE that my kitchen got a good cleansing. I would have been a bit more chipper if they apologized for invading my space. I’m applying PATIENCE in understanding why bugs harass. Not that I will be able to HUG and FORGIVE the next one that crawls along. But I’m working on that.