Monday, September 10, 2012

how to make a small problem larger

On Monday I had a small problem with a single ant wandering around my kitchen. No sooner had I carefully picked it up and put it out the window (being a believer in Chaos and not wanting to damage anything that would chaotically impact me) then it would appear again in the kitchen wandering aimlessly around. On Tuesday I discovered that this was not a single incredibly persistent ant, but a whole army of incredibly persistent ants. I discovered this after having the good fortune to have spilt an incredibly cheap imitation of expensive single-malt Whiskey on the kitchen table the night before and finding a whole army of drunken ants making merry on my kitchen table in the morning. I carefully noted this observation down with the intention of informing the Natural Zoological society on my findings after I had cleared up.

Clearly I was cohabiting with a nest of alcoholic ants with low standards.

I decided to consult the internet to seek advice on how to tackle my problem. After three hours of careful searching I homed in on a mine of valuable information. The user group I found pointed out, among other things, that the most humane way to get rid of ants would be to encourage a natural predator which would cause the ants to seek a less hostile environment to settle in. Among the huge list of natural predators (I did not realise that politicians were voracious predators of ants) I selected the simplest: the ant-eater. Clearly, such an animal should have no problem encouraging the pests to move on. 

I followed the advice of the user group and phoned the local zoo pretending to be the headmaster of a primary school interested in showing their children some live, but harmless, exotic animals. The zoo dutifully dropped off a mid-sized, very hungry ant-eater on Wednesday morning. I opened the box and aimed the surprisingly strong solution at the source of ants ( a small hole just under the sink u-bend in the kitchen. It's little eyes detected live food and it rushed as fast as it could towards the u-bend. 

One thing I did not realise, and the user group neglected to point out, is that ant-eaters have incredibly sharp claws. It made short work of the cheap plasterboard wall and rammed its head into the enlarged hole hoovering up the ants with apparent glee. 

I neglected to warn the ant-eater that not only the ants were in the hole, but a toxic combination of whiskey-laced ant powder, whiskey-laced bleach and some bovril. None of these items had any effect on the ants who had insisted on thumbing their noses at me by walking around my apartment leaving small bovril-whiskey-bleach stains everywhere. The concoction may have not had any effect on the ants, but it did appear to have an effect on the ant-eater which retracted it's head from the hole, turned around in a circle and expired.

It's now Wednesday late afternoon and I am left with a large hole, a large number of live ants and a dead ant-eater.

After I have sent an addendum to the user-group regarding things to avoid when deploying the ant-eater I will search the internet for a way to get rid of an expired ant-eater and how to patch-up an ant-eater's excavation. As for the ants I have also found that a hostile environment also deters ants. The user group points out that the most effective hostile environment, apparently, are reality TV shows. I will have to book a weekend away and turn the TV onto a 24hour reality TV channel. I only hope that my neighbours will forgive me. 

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