Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ant Bastards, Barbra Streisand, and Chicken Noodle Soup. In That Order.

Once upon a time, in 2004, actually, I wrote an email to my friend with the following news: "THERE ARE NO PLANTS in my veg. garden. Totally barren. Some animal bastards ate everything."

My friend has never let me forget my use of the term "bastard" with regard to the innocent bunny or whatever who ate our broccoli. And she has reminded me to apply it to other Unhelpful Wildlife, such as the Raccoon Who Ate the Koi in Our Pond (and left a bloody mess/crime scene, I might add). And then she had a similar experience. Raccoon Bastards!

So, while these vermin may not be producing parentless progeny, the moniker "bastard" has been apt, and it's added a little comic relief to otherwise Really Annoying Experiences (note: I am trying not to use worse words than "bastard" in this post).

Let's talk about ANT BASTARDS. Tiny little relentless devils who have entered our home through so many orifices IT ISN'T FUNNY. IT ISN'T FUNNY to find one's kitchen overrun by Ant Bastards Twice in One Week. I AM NOT AMUSED after spending 1.5 hours chasing ants. I am so throwing in the paper towel.

This is where Barbra Streisand comes in. Because, I am not a HandyWoman. Nor is my husband, who can probably build himself a sailboat from scratch but cannot operate the microwave. Nor know which resource to call when Pests need Control (hint, hint).

But I digress. Back to Barbra. My main line of defense in my little old falling-apart bungalow home is to, frankly, Caulk it Together. We buy caulk regularly. So after I sprayed the streams of ants marching mindlessly into my unsuspecting home with something like Windex (and Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Countertop Spray, alternately), I began staring at the spots in my house that were Entry Points for Ants. Watching for those little F&%$#@+s and then caulking the seams. And humming, to the melody of one of the showtunes on Barbra's Broadway Album, "Caulking (Putting) it Together," because this is how I've handled recent household disasters, like the Huge Canyon that has appeared where our tile meets the bathtub (some helpful people suggest our house is "settling." Huh. At what age does one "settle," anyway? This house is going on 70 years old!). And the baseboards in our kitchen that are suddenly not aligned at the corners, like something is sinking. That something BEING OUR HOUSE.

So I just caulk these spots, feeling good that At The Very Least There Is a Barrier Between Us and the Animal Bastards. We're going through a lot of caulk, which I am pretty sure I am not using appropriately. I am "Caulking it together, piece by piece...bit by bit..." (and yes, I also have Neil Diamond, John Denver, and The Carpenters on my iPod. It's my upbringing; I can't help it).

Tonight, when I had (finally) successfully cleaned off the kitchen counters and sprayed One Million Ants down the drain, as well as bathed my two children and made dinner (i.e., heated it up), Daughter #1 spilled her bowl of chicken noodle soup All Over The Kitchen Floor. And as my friend--the one from the beginning of this tale--was so kind to point out, "I am pretty sure ants like chicken noodle soup."

(I need to add that another Dear Friend offered to leave her house this evening and head out to buy us Ant Traps that worked for her family...THANK YOU!)

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