keenchick

Stories and thoughts about family and life

The ants go marching. . .

on March 18, 2013

It was a nice quiet, ordinary morning at our office.  I came in and started my day by grabbing my breakfast and a Dr. Pepper (I don’t drink coffee).  I had been working at my desk for about an hour when Kim arrived.  The phone had just started ringing as she walked by and I picked it up to answer it.  As I was speaking, I heard her yell my name.  It was more the “oh my gosh” way she said it that really got my attention.  I whirled around and looked toward her, as she picked up the candy basket off her desk.  The basket held an assortment of leftover candies and gum from the past couple of months, and a regular source of company sugar fixes.  Yet, today, I would have sworn watching Kim left the basket that one of the kids had poured soda into the basket and it was now pouring out of the bottom.

As I continued my phone call, staring in complete amazement at the basket, it never registered to me that the soda wasn’t splashing onto the desk.  I just kept thinking how I couldn’t believe one of the kids could have made such a mess and not said anything.  That’s when I heard Kim finally say “ANTS!” and grab her trashcan and throw the whole thing in.  The “soda” I saw literally POURING down from the basket to her desk was a pile of ants!  I finished my phone call and Kim was already on the move, having gathered up the trash bag with ants, basket, candy and all inside and taken it out onto the sidewalk outside.  She was now armed with the bottle of Fabuloso from under the kitchen sink and a handful of paper towel.  As I carried in the roll, she was diligently spraying around her desktop and I began to wipe the cleaner now laced with ant bodies up off the desk space.

Ants make me crazy.  They make my skin crawl and make me swear I’m covered in them.  I don’t know why.  I don’t know if it’s just the thought that they might be, but I could barely stand still at her desk, looking at the still seemingly endless supply of ant bodies everywhere.  When Kim reached her copy stand and lifted it up to find another pile of ants under it.  I had to literally back away.  We both shuddered and laughed at how crazy we must have looked, literally spraying Fabuloso like it was a lifeline of ant killer and sweeping piles of ants into the trashcan at her desk.  You would have thought we had a grocery store aisle worth of candy on that desk to see the number of ants (of course, I’m exaggerating, but only a bit).  Once the immediate supply of ants was stopped at the window, I decided to call Rick.  Rick is my personal pest control guy.  He started his own company after leaving another pest control company a few years ago.  Rick is wonderful and I’m very loyal to wonderful people.  So, I followed him.  I give his number out religiously, and as far as I’m concerned there is no problem Rick can’t handle.  He even makes small home repairs, which was handy when we had a bee infestation which broke through the ceiling in our garage.  Rick did such a fantastic job repairing it all, you can’t even tell where it was unless I point out it.  But, I digress.  I picked up my cell, and asked Rick if he was planning on being in west Little Rock today, and if he might come by and help us.  As I’m on the phone with him, Kim proceeded to pick up the stack of papers from her desk.  I had moved it into the chair so we could better access the desktop to clean it.  The one thing I apparently didn’t notice is that it was also full of ants.

As I’m talking to Rick, Kim has thrown the stack of papers into the floor and stomped madly around on it.  When satisfied the ants were primarily gone, she picked up the stack as nonchalantly as possible and tipped it into the trash can so all the little ant bodies could be disposed.   Rick promises to be there in an hour or so, which is great news since Kim then discovered that the floor under her desk is “crawling.”  She notices this as she realizes there is a flower petal on the floor which is now moving.  As she reaches down to pick it up, she realizes the whole carpet appears to be in motion.  Again, we both shudder.  Kim opens the window next to her desk so we can remove the now overwhelming smell of Fabuloso, and we proceed to “take a break” outside, where we can dispose of the ant-filled trash bag and catch our breath.

We were very happy to see Rick arrive sooner than we expected, and only shortly after we finished our break and returned to our ant-filled room.  As badly as I feel for Kim having to deal with the ants on her desk, I was enjoying the fact that my desk is on the opposite side of the room, and that the ants apparently didn’t find anything they might like on my desk.  I was amused watching Kim as we waited for Rick to arrive.  She would work for a few minutes and kill a couple of ants.  Work for a few minutes and kill a few more ants.  As she was killing them, she was apologizing to them for sending them to where their brothers had gone, but that she wasn’t sharing her desk.

Rick arrived and in usual Rick fashion, solved the problem.  He figured out where they were coming from and treated the area.    He was very understanding (and somewhat flattered) when I told him that our building has a pest control contract and that their person comes around regularly, but that I don’t like that guy as much as I like Rick.  Guys like Rick just appear and solve problems when they’re called.  The regular guy just talks to us like we’re stupid and then squirts some chemicals around on the floor.  We were in the midst of an ant crisis, and we needed a major superhero.  🙂  We also got a little chemistry lesson and some ant biology, which was an added bonus.  That ant biology is what led me to my question of the afternoon:  what do you think the ants were thinking as they were pouring out of the candy basket and hitting the hard desk and then probably bouncing onto the hard floor?  For an ant, that would have been the equivalent of you or me jumping off probably the top of Mount Everest–twice.    Oh, and do ants scream?  Yeah, I don’t really care either.

 

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