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3 posts from May 2010


Gawd, save the queen!

Hi, my name is Samuel Clodhopper Ant MMMMMMMMMMMMMDCLXIII.

You can just call me Scant, though.  Uncle Sting came up with that one 'cause I'm smaller than most of the guys (you call us Carpenter Ants) in the nest.

By the way, that's not me you're looking at above.  That's Mom, the Queen.  Boy did she give me lots of sisters; so many I've lost count.

Maybe that's why my own mother doesn't act like she even knows I'm alive.

But she will today.  I'm heading back through the wall to the colony as fast as I can with a very special treat for her.  But I'm getting a little ahead of myself.

If you've been to Larry and Suellen's house the last couple of days, you may have seen me scurrying along the trail from just to the left of the cook-top, past the coffee pot (Boy, that guy can really drink some Joe) and along the sink. 

I probably would have never gotten out of the nest, but good ol' Uncle Sting put in a word to Mom.  So two human days ago, which is, like, forever for me, I joined the trail to bring back food.

My position:  17 ants behind Sting.  That's me just in front of Louie.  "Come on, Louie, move your antennae!"  Too bad there's not an ant fast-food joint along the way;  "587,000 lettuce bits to go, please, and a droplet of water.  Let's go crazy!" 

Wait, maybe there is.  What's that shiny black thing behind the wooden chicken by the sink?  That wasn't there last trip.  It looks like a modern ant sanctuary.  You humans would call it a roadside park, except this whatever it is looks way too clean.

And it smells -- how can I describe it -- sweet!  That's it, sweet.  "See you later, fellas, I'm taking a super-sized helping of this golden nectar back to Mom!"

Just back inside the wall now.  My legs are so tired from hurrying with this heavy load that I can barely go on.  And I'm nervous.  I feel like I have two left feet.  Wait, I do have two left feet.  Three, in fact.

Almost there now.  "Out of my way, girls.  My name is Sam Clodhopper Ant the 8,000 and, oh, whatever, and I've got lunch for the queen!

"Mom, uh Your Majesty, I've only been on the trail for two days.  But I found this sweet-smelling nectar in a shiny black cathedral with surprisingly easy access on every side.  I lugged this special treat all the way back here just for you, Mom.  I didn't even take a bite." 

Queen Ant, eating:  "Oh, Scant.  You don't have to tell me who you are.  I knew you'd take (cough) your rightful (gag) place in (gasping for breath ... more gasping) the nest (huge wheeze) some da........"

(The queen expires; six legs and a huge larvae bag up.  Suddenly it's mayhem in a panicked nest of millions.)

Scant:  What? ... WHAT?

(Photo courtesy:  alexanderwild.com)


What the fork?

Fork200use Like every good citizen of Planet Earth, I get involved in vital issues that concern us all.

Damn the consequences.  When someone must speak out when no one else will, I am there, my friend.

So here goes:

What's going on with all the disappearing forks? 

You know that plastic thing in the kitchen drawer where the silverware goes?  Ours is white.  The color of yours may vary according to taste and/or if you took the cheap route and picked a light gray flimsy one at the Dollar Store, Everything's a Dollar or the 99 Cent Store (which should be running the other two stores out of business, but never seems to).

Here's the deal.  We do the dishes and fill all the little slots in that plastic holder with spoons (two sizes), knives, dinner forks and salad forks.

So far so good.  But the next time I'm in dire need of a good fork, or any fork, really, the pronged silverware slot is mysteriously empty.

We know there are gremlins in the house, despite a costly alarm system (which, come to think of it, might be blocking a gremlin exit at night).

Be that as it may, my theory is that the Sock Gremlins, which have broken up more good pairs than a cheap divorce attorney, have formed an alliance with the Fork Gremlins.

Laughing, they must be, as they make off with forks; perhaps stuffing stolen socks (one, never both from a matching duo) as cushion to silence the movement to a secret storage place behind a wall somewhere.

Why?  Why us?  Or, more specifically, why me?  I didn't do anything to them.  I just want the silverware to be there when I need it.

What the fork?


We should never weigh ourselves naked


Nothing even remotely positive can come out of it.  That's why.

Scale200use I've been dieting lately.  That means no more Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream (right out of the half- gallon container) in front of the TV at night (or in the morning, or, what the heck, around noon).

No more Milk Duds at the movies.  No more yada, yada, yada.  You know the drill.

Now, just when the stretch-marks appear to be going in the right direction (Don't kid yourself, you know what I mean), a new problem pops up.

Weighing yourself naked only leads to despair.

Take my so-called life (Please!) as an example:

Several events occurred in my life in rapid succession that set this diet misery in motion.  Like the split-second difference between a baseball player's foot thud on first base and the pop of the ball arriving in the first baseman's glove.

Or like this:  My blood pressure went up ... I was feeling lousy ... It was necessary to check the weight limit on a ladder before changing the air conditioner filter in the attic ... Shortness of breath ... Longness of ice cream sessions (See Blue Bell mention above) and this:

The B-word, bequeath, was mentioned in my own home.  It was quite innocently uttered.  Since my grandparents are long gone and my parents have moved on to their reward as well, I had no choice other than to realize that the B-word had some kind of connection to me.

I don't have much mind you, so I was flattered that I own something someone else deems important enough to want.  But I don't plan on doing any major bequeathing for a long time.

So, I went to the doctor for my first annual physical in about a dozen years and found out what I already knew.  Lose some weight, buddy, if you want to hang around on the planet for a while.

That first rattle of the doctor's scale weight -- sliding, sliding; add next counterweight, sliding, sliding -- made me mad.  Even then, I couldn't help thinking about my brother's favorite weight scale joke:  "One at a time, please."

That brings us to the never weigh yourself without clothes observation.  Since I was visiting my doctor every couple of weeks for a while, I got serious about my diet.

Bright and early every Sunday morning I weighed myself ... naked.  I was making good progress, too, except for one thing.  Being weighed by the doctor's assistant (scale weight rattle; sliding, sliding ...) presented a problem.

Polite society does not allow weighing in the buff in public.  Not even in the name of science.

It does, however, allow for us to weigh between three and six pounds more when fully clothed.

Bummer.  But at least the view's (somewhat) less disturbing.

My weight goal?

Let's just say it has something to do with seeing my feet.

(Man on scale cartoon courtesy of Clipartof.com)