Saturday 03 Dec 2016

Ants
Jennifer Flaten

Ah! It's an invasion! No, no don't grab the armament-yet. It is a small invasion, truly small. An army of ants and other insects are attempting to colonize my home.

Why, just today, I saw them plant a little tiny ant flag on the front porch. Oh yeah, just for the record I don't care if the ant is an insect or not, so don't bother correcting me.

Right now, the only thing I care about is our rank in the 2010 bug tourist guide as a top ten-summer destination. With the swarm of ants laying siege to my home, it is either that or an ad on the ant version of Craigslist is encouraging the insect world to crash at our pad.

Now, this doesn't mean I don't like insects I like them fine. Just not in my home. They belong outside not in my kitchen looking over my good china.

I especially don't like finding both a spider and an ant in close proximity to one another in my house. At the very least, the spider should be eating the ant, not discussing world affairs with him. I mean I am under the impression ants and spiders are like the Sharks and the Jets, from West Side story. Not that I expect them to break out into a snappy musical number or anything, although that would be cool and maybe then I wouldn't want to squash them.

I have no idea why the bugs chose our house. Perhaps our house is the easy access choice. Perhaps, the crumbs and sweet things, which litter our home, is the attraction.

I keep a tidy house. I do. Come visit me five minutes, but no more, after I put the cleaning supplies away.

Alas, this tidiness lasts until the children come home from school or if they are home, eat another snack.

Oh yeah, FYI for those of you without children, they are like humming birds constantly in need of sugary sustenance.

I accept that know that having small children means having crumbs, unless you attach a vacuum cleaner to each child. Don't think I haven't thought about it. That's a salable idea.

I have a dog, but it turns out that the dog is less helpful then you would think. After years of snarfing up whatever dropped from kid or table, before it hit the ground, the dog now acts like a reviewer for the Zagat restaurant guide.

He ambles over and inspects every item that falls to the floor before deciding if he will ingest it. He also appears to have a size limit-slice of pizza, yes. Small blobs of mashed potato he passes, always.

I tried several natural home remedies to scare off ants; one such remedy entailed sprinkling cinnamon across the threshold. All this did was make the ants smell like cinnamon.

Let's face it; nothing gets rid of ants like good old-fashioned toxic chemicals or an anteater, which sadly was out of my budget.

After investing my retirement fund into special ant deterrents, which we strategically placed around the perimeter of our home, the ants have slowly abated.

Occasionally, some ant manages to miss the Bates Motel sign flashing around our border and blunders into the house. At which, point a child will spot him and scream "ant" at the top of their lungs, while flailing around beating the carpet, attempting the squash the intruder, but somehow managing to miss the ant entirely.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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