So, we finally got our ants. (I don’t want to say how, exactly. Just know that sometimes it’s good to have a friend who works in a comic book store.) The 50 or so ants flew cross-country from California and arrived in our mailbox this Monday. And what a fantastic surprise that was. Second only to getting a back payment letter from the IRS or a package from Ted Kaczynski, really.
The instructions from Uncle Marvin Industries told us that the very first thing we needed to do was put the test tube of ants in the refrigerator for an hour. Maybe because their eyes were puffy after the flight or the humidity was making them schvitz…who the hell knows. They’re ants.
After they’d had a chance to just chillax for a while and catch up on their reading, Jack and I gingerly poured the lot of them into their new ant farm home, then sat back and waited for the magic to happen.
It was like watching the fall pledge drive on PBS, only without the implicit thrill of a tote bag.
Finally, we gave up and put the farm outside. (I’m a nice mom, but not nice enough to set them up in the guest room with fancy hand soap and monogrammed towels. Please.) (Plus, judging from our pantry, we were already at full ant occupancy, anyway.)
Unfortunately, that night happened to be a really cold one, so the next morning, our herd of ants wasn’t moving very much. Or at all. Sighing, I turned to Jack and very gently said, “I think they’re just sleeping, honey.”
He looked back at me with his big, blue eyes and screamed, “NO, THEY’RE NOT! THEY’RE DEAD!!! (long pause) AWE—SOME!!!”
Well, OK then. Fine by me. Just wish I’d known a few weeks ago that my kid was so cool with dead things, because then I could have scraped some old flies off of the back deck and saved everyone the trouble. Or just put a flattened frog in a jar and called it an educational toy. Who knew?
So RIP, ants. You came, you saw, you bought the damn farm. Poor bastards. But, really, I think you’re in a better place, now. Trust me on this.