You know what? I’m not concerned about the spiders anymore. Forget the spiders. I want to talk about the ants.
Because they seem to be growing in number.
Now it’s just the one space in my kitchen, the counter facing the window specifically. When I first moved in and got my pad in order I noticed a few of them skittering around near the coffee maker and the sink. Little, tiny black ants.
I pointed them out to my Dad who was in town to help me move and after we checked the cabinets and drawers without finding a seething mass of life, he remarked that it was probably nothing to worry about.
But the number seems to be growing and now I’m worried.
One Saturday afternoon when hanging out with Allen and Mikey in my apartment after our podcast I went into the kitchen to crush three of them under my pointer finger while pouring a cup of coffee.
“Hey, Mikey?” I asked. “Yeah?” “How many ants must one have before one is considered to have a problem with ants?” He leaned over on the futon and squinted over his Ultimate Spiderman issue. “Why? How many ants are you seeing?”
I squished another one that had tried to dart from the safety of the sink to hide under my salt pig.
“It’s just like, between four and six everyday but it’s not something I want to get out of hand.” “Nah.” he turned back to his comic. “They’re just a reality here in the summer. Don’t worry about it. They’ll go away once the weather gets colder.”
It’s now September and things have only escalated. Incrementally, true, but now instead of my once a day finger inflicted murder spree before I start the coffee maker I’m seeing a new batch every time I go into the kitchen. A bigger batch.
It’s like they are respawing when my back is turned, like some kind of teeny weeny, mundane game of halo played on the Formica field of my counter top. Just a couple days ago I found that they had broken into my sugar bowl. My vacuum sealed with a rubber stopper sugar bowl.
I peered into it drunkenly when I came into the apartment to fetch another beer. I was drinking with my neighbor, Rachel at the time.
She looked up when I burst out of the front door with the bowl clutched in my hand.”Godfuckingdamnit!” I swore and upended the bowl over the second story railing. She took a drag on her cigarette and looked at me questioningly.
“The ants! The ants got into my sugar! How…how could they break the freshness seal! It’s a seal that implies ant-free freshness!”
“Oh, yeah. This complex get weird ant explosions sometimes.” She remarked as I banged the last sugared ant out on the rail and recapped the lid. “I get them in my place too. It seems to help if you vacuum a lot.”
But I do that. I’m not a slob. I’m not leaving food out. I’m not setting out a nightly potion of thawed meat covered in sugar with a sign on it that says, ‘Ants, please make yourselves at home and feast upon this delicacy I’ve prepared just for you!‘
I’ve checked high and low for where they could be coming from and to no avail. I grew briefly concerned that they had built their colony in the underside of my coffee maker,as that’s where many of them seem to be congregating but it looks like they are just using it as a secret bunker, or perhaps a gentleman’s club.
Things came to a head a few nights ago when once again I was sitting outside in the humid night air with Ben Coleman drinking PBR. I’d come in for another beer to find a scattered mass of widdle, yet threatening, black specks swarming my counter.
“No!” I howled. ” No!! Where are you coming from?!”
I then proceeded to pull out both the 409 kitchen cleaner and the Windex and nuke the countertop. I wiped the corpses with their twitching legs up with a paper towel. I turned to throw it in the trash, turned back and…
Only three, but that was becoming way above the acceptable number of ants.
I sprayed them, then set to work spraying the borders of the counter, the underneath, the side near the butchers block. I must have been at it for a little while because Ben Coleman stuck his head in the door to let me know he would be taking off.
“Huh? Oh, yeah that’s good that’s….I just have a thing I have to…Oh, what the fuuuuck?”
I had spotted an ant making it’s frantic way across the floor. I dropped to my knees and spritzed him with a righteous violence, whipped my head around to see another one waving his antennae at me from the inch long strip that runs along the counter. We stared at one another for a minute, then he too, fell to the fury of my Windex.
Now what I do is go into my kitchen, spray the ants on the counter and leave the small inert forms in puddles of caustic blue as a warning to the rest of the colony. Although I had to stop doing that because apparently once Windex dries it turns into a tasty sugar coating for ant corpses. I can’t say this for sure, but I think the live ants were snacking on the asphyxiated Windexed ones, which, super ew. I make salads on that countertop.
The weather is cooling down now so I’ve been seeing less and less of them. Maybe they are just getting seasonally sleepy or perhaps the constant blue murder rain has made its point.
I hope it’s the murder rain.