Every day during the month of July, I wipe ants from my countertops.
They blend right in.
I can’t tell they’re there until I lean against the sink to get a mug and step back covered in swarming black dots.
They come seeking water, food, and small children. They queue for trashcans, sinks, dirty laundry, and whatever’s in the bottom of the pet cage. I have seen them carry a fat dead spider up a wall and take it to pieces so it will fit into their minuscule lunch boxes.
We try to keep them at bay with swipes and vacuum hoses and occasional squirts of lethal canned chemicals until they retreat once again to the great outdoors.
I may have continued to tolerate this yearly tradition if they had remained in camouflaged seclusion.
But they crossed the line.
At 3:34am precisely, I woke from a dead sleep to dance around the bedroom while smacking myself in the head.
With wild enthusiasm.
This is not my normal routine.
An ant had crawled into my ear.
Go ahead and take a minute to imagine a wretched tickling sensation, followed by the realization that this ant was going directly into my brain to lay eggs.
Hey, it was 3:30 in the morning.
Ants defy gravity. The harder I tried to shake it out, the further into my head it crawled.
Now if it had crawled up my nose, no problem.
But how do you blow your ear?
Hubby watched, bleary-eyed from beneath the bed quilt, as I shrieked, “Get out! Get out! Get out!”
No way was he getting involved in an obvious Voodoo ritual.
I ran into the bathroom, flipped on the light, and aimed my ear at it. Bugs go towards light, right?
I felt it wander along my ear canal, tiny legs slithering through earwax and creeping upside down toward it’s doom.
With one last almighty left hook, the ant was history.
I don’t really remember staggering back to bed but I must’ve because when I woke up in the morning, drooling into my mattress, all I could think of was ants. And tea. Now.
Dragging myself into the kitchen, I reached for the kettle. The black kettle. The electric one on the counter. I grabbed a handle covered in ants.
They were swimming in my kettle water.
I watched one dive from the spout shouting “Bonsai!”
I pulled out my secret weapon.
Instead of looking up cute little crafts and hairdos, you need to search for the real home decorating tips: “ant” “destruction” “toxic” and “lethal” will do it.
Much like French Braiding, I already knew how to make ant bait.
But Pinterest adds just a little pizzazz to the event.
I pulled my Karo syrup out from the back of the cupboard. I only use it every five years to make pecan pies, so it’s expendable. I braved the black widows in the garage depths and found some Borax powder.
With a plastic fork on festive purple plastic margarine lids, I mixed up the little cocktail and served it to our ants.
I served up enough for a block party.
I set them in convenient celebratory locations and placed tiny paper umbrellas on the side, as a nod to Pinterest.
Drink up, you little horde of horrors.
May we all rest in peace.