Night of the Living Ant
One of the perks of being a big-time celebrity cartoonist involves using a vacuum cleaner to get rid of ants in the kitchen. Before I made it big, I couldn’t afford a vacuum cleaner. I had to shout at the ants to scare them away. In retrospect, I don’t think ants have ears, because yelling never worked. Sometimes I had to keep my snacks in a wooden bowl floating in the bathtub. Eventually, when the ant army built up to the point where they could lift me in my sleep – but before they could get me down the ant hole – I would give notice on my apartment and find another.
Now I can afford high tech vacuum weaponry. It’s sweet. I’m not allowed to use the “good” vacuum cleaner obviously. That one is only for the carpet. I use the one that no longer stays locked in the upright position. So I suck up a few ants, then the vacuum cleaner falls over and impales my thigh. I curse, return the vacuum to its unlocked upright position and repeat. Suck-ow-%$&*#. Suck-ow-%$&*#. Suck-ow-%$&*#. Someday I hope to buy a new vacuum cleaner exclusively for ants.
Eradicating ants in the kitchen is exactly like being attacked by zombies, except the zombies are very small, and the worst thing they can do is walk on your crackers. As you know, when zombies attack, you can kill several hundred of them with your automatic weapons and flame throwers and stabby things, but additional zombies keep on coming as if they hadn’t noticed. Ants are just like that. They really aren’t good at pattern recognition. You can vacuum six hundred ants in a straight line and yet ant 601 won’t see it coming. He’ll be all “Hey, why am I suddenly in this bag full of dust? Carl, is that you?”
I get a perverse pleasure out of every ant that goes down the hose. It would bother me if they screamed in pain or begged for their lives, but they don’t, so it’s all good. Every time a new ant appears on the cabinet door, I delight in sending him to dustbag heaven. Ahhh, good times.
The only other household chore I enjoy as much as ant eradication is cleaning the cat box. It’s like panning for gold, except the gold is cat poop. That inconvenient fact doesn’t detract from the thrill of the find as much as you’d think. There’s something in our basic DNA that likes to find free stuff, even if the stuff is turds. Arguably, I paid for the cat food, so the nuggets aren’t really free. But as long as there’s some time lag between the paying and the prospecting, it’s still a low grade thrill.
Monday, June 19, 2006
If you have ever wondered...
If you have ever wondered from what sort of mind Dilbert comes from, here it is: