JUST IN CASE ANYONE THINKS I’M A BLEEDING-HEART LIBERAL
Since the beginning of time, man has ventured out into nature and attempted to beat it into submission. This is a reasonable urge because nature is pretty much a bad thing and will kill you the moment you turn your back.
Don’t believe me? Check this out: Just last week, two people wandered off into a patch of nature outside Texarkana to search for Indian artifacts. They got lost and died. So there. Nature is bad.
Lately I’ve been fighting my own battles with nature. My wife and I have realized our lifelong dreams of owning a little hunk of Arkansas. It’s located in Texarkana and it contains a house. We live in this house. I’m still having a hard time wrapping my mind around those few simple facts, but that’s a whole other column.
So we own a home and we have a deal between the two of us. She earns the money to pay the mortgage, and I agree to kill any non-primate living thing that tries to enter it. This usually involves stepping on spiders and spraying wasp nests with deadly chemicals.
But now our Little House on the Confederacy is still under attack by a force far more pernicious than a marauding Union army: locusts.
Now you can get into some trouble down here making fun of insects. Southerners are very proud of their bugs. At least that’s the impression I get. At any number of convenience stores, one may purchase a post card or t-shirt proclaiming the mosquito as the “State Bird of Arkansas.” Just down the street in Texas, one may purchase a shirt claiming the mosquito is the state bird of… wait for it… Texas. So insects, especially sucking insects are taken very seriously here.
But insects can also be the tool of a wrathful God, and now we’re back to the locusts that I was discussing two paragraphs ago before I got distracted by making fun of Texas and Arkansas. God smites people with locusts when he’s not happy. So he’s clearly mad with Texarkana. The place is awash with the chirping, jumping little monsters. And now they’ve invaded our home.
We keep our doors shut. Our windows are always closed. But still they find their way into our home. It will be late at night, and you’ll hear that chirping sound that means they have once again violated our sanctuary. So that means I’ve got to grab a shoe and start smacking things.
(In the interest of accuracy, Julie has noted that our home and yard and entire city are being invaded by crickets, not locusts. I’m sure there’s a difference, but they all look pretty much the same once you’ve smacked them with a shoe.)
So I’m spraying deadly chemicals about and running around with a shoe, but it doesn’t seem to be doing much good. Now a tribe of ants has joined the locusts in the assault on our home.
At night, I can see the carnage of the battle. Ants that crossed my line of death lay strewn across our bathroom floor. Empty cans of Raid litter our garage, while the smell of dead locusts (or crickets, whatever) befouls our back porch. It is not a pretty scene. But I feel all of this violence is for nothing. The bugs keep coming, and I don’t even get any satisfaction at their deaths.
So I’m calling upon the pest control industry to develop new technologies in the fight against bugs. Might I suggest two new products:
1) A spray that kills ants, but painfully. I’m not sure how this would be accomplished, but I’d feel a lot better knowing that the bugs suffered for daring to invade my home.
2) A spray that merely “roughs up” insects, and sends them on their way. As it stands now, some ant colony sends their troops into our home in search of food, or water, or just to piss me off. They’re killed by the deadly toxins I’ve sprayed around our home. So the queen ant is all, “What happened to that last batch of guys? Let’s send another wave of ants to find out.” This cycle of death repeats itself daily and never really ends because ants are stupid and have very tiny brains.
But what those ants came back to their hill with broken legs and concussions and afflictions like that? I imagine they’d probably stop sending their troops our way.
So I shall wait for that glorious day when I can put these new tools into action. Until then, I will live in constant fear and sleep with a shoe under my pillow.