Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Ant Wars


Ants in Minnesota are summertime pests. In the tropics, they are formidable foes. They are tiny, but adding their numbers together, they become a Goliath. I have learned to live with them as uninvited guests, sharing my body and whatever I am eating... Up to a point... I draw the line at my Skippy Peanut Butter. Some things are worth a war.

Up until a few days ago, the ants were winning. Nothing could keep them out of my peanut butter. I screwed the cap as hard as I could. Then I put the plastic jar inside airtight zip lock bags. Still when I opened the jar, they just wiggled their antennae at me in defiance as they roamed confidently over that oily, creamy, hydrogenated, emulsified, chemically treated, sticky, sweet stuff. So I did what any other rational person would do, I ate them. Then a much wiser Peace Corps Volunteer suggested I build a moat around my jar. A dish filled with water did the job. Voila, it worked!

Joseph Conrad, the author of Lord Jim, says every worthwhile story should have a moral. I guess this isn’t a worthwhile story, but there is a picture.

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