Columnist for Monday, 1/29 - Sun Ra

Bugged

Howdy. Today's column was going to be about copy protection and the WTO and the idiocy of today's left wing fringe, but I got all foamy-mouthed and went off down tangents that left me so far from the point I was trying to reach that I felt like Columbus might have had he a flash of preternatural insight ("Wait - I'm the asshole on the wrong continent!"), so I've tossed that column back into the mill pond of my psyche and written this one instead. It's much less foamy and argot-encrusted. This one's about bugs.

Now, I generally don't have strong feelings about bugs. If they annoy me, I slay them, generally to my satisfaction. And yes, I have occasionally eaten them, when certain very strange friends of mine have conspired to place me in a situation where eating bugs was, well, the thing to do.

Now, I'm not talking about eating sidewalk earthworms. These bugs were all cooked, often in conjunction with sugar or breading of some sort, so don't go thinking I'm some sort of Renfield-esque nutcase. No, I said don't think that. I'm not. No.

Anyhow, my current problem is that the bugs with which I am currently having difficulties are ants. And, as is common with ants, they have taken the special ability "Always more of us", so killing them in any normal (read: involving a blunt object) fashion is really rather moot. They just look at me with their sad ant eyes, and know as they die that there are eighteen zillion clones just like them, all with little numbers, watching the tiny "now serving" sign slowly scrolling under my sink. Or my cabinet, or wherever the little fuckers queue up.

As a silver lining, the ants here in LA are definitely the most inoffensive ants I have ever seen. They are tiny, smaller than the formica ants I am familiar with, and could easily nest inside the large Sierra Nevada ants that I encounter camping. They look like nothing so much as little-ant shaped eyeglass screws. Itsy-bitsy ain't the half of it.

Of course, I know that that is entirely irrelevant, given their numbers, and I live in dread that one morning I will awaken to find a thick trail of them climbing a calcified streamer of drool up to my cheek and disappearing up my nose. Yeah, you think about that for a minute. Now tell me you don't worry about ants. Zombies aren't the only things that eat brains.

Yes, I've tried poison. From where I am sitting, I can see at least two 'Grant's Kills Ants' stakes, and several of those little plastic combat ant poison dispensers. The ants use them for hoedowns, I suppose, because they certainly aren't eating the poison. At least, I like to think that they aren't eating the poison, because if they are, it's not affecting them. And that means that they are damn near unstoppable.

So, I'm coping in the only way I can, by keeping all my dishes clean, taking out the garbage before it becomes too interesting, and avoiding food waste anywhere in the apartment. It works, mostly, though they occasionally venture out of my bathroom sink and evince interest in the toothpaste residue on my electric toothbrush. Maybe it's the antidote for all that poison they eat.


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