Alert! Alert! The ants are back! My kitchen counter where the sink is and my coffee maker and drain mat are daily the most used portion of the kitchen. (how about the oven? well, you just don't know me very well, do you?) I have turned into the likes of one of the Borgias during the Eye-talian Renaissance when it comes to those teeny infiltrators. Some mornings I find hundreds, nay thousands, of ants traveling from under the switch plate across the paneling back of the double sink to the edge near the coffee maker. Thousands. Legions. Little invaders. And so I have placed in strategic position a couple of little cardboard squares with liquid ant poison on them. The purpose, according to the directions, is a shrewd, cruel one: the little beings will carry that poison on their tiny feet back to their home, where the entire village will partake as in a weird communion service, and then all die. The ant version of Kool-Aid delivered by Jim Jones to the multitudes.
As it turns out, the poison is more like an addictive drug, as each day the little rascals return for more of the stuff. How do I know these aren't a new crew each time? Well, I'm no amateur. In the spirit of scientific research, I have tagged a little leg of each ant before they go back home carrying the potion to their compatriots. I think only the Queen Herself is intelligent enough to stay on the wagon and refuse the offers of the deadly cocktails. I have not seen her among the hoi poloi.
In reading about ants, I have learned that the only ones who come to our kitchen are the workers or soldiers. The nobility, as it were, have short lives if they are male. It's a matriarchal system at its best. Once these soldier workers complete their tasks of supplying Her Majesty with food and shelter and protection, they are retired from service and go to Florida for the rest of their short lives. It is a plutocracy of the worst sort, and enough for me to take pity on them and form all of the workers into unions so that they can approach their Queen with demands for better working conditions. After a few visits to our kitchen gathering the toxic but addictive pool of poison, they have earned retirement. I have called a meeting of their leaders for this evening in order to see how matters are going for them so far. So Queenie, if you are reading this, give these loyal followers a cask of the poison drug and passports to the island of their choice to form a new society. You can afford it.