Article Category: Judy Forney Leave a Comment
ANTS IN MY… PANTIES By Judy Forney As some of you out there know, I’m a sci-fi movie nut, especially if the story was filmed in black and white in the 1950s. My husband and I have been collecting old retro flicks for years. The only thing that would make our showcase collection of DVDs, (yes, DVDs) more awesome would be if the films could be yanked from their plastic cases and rewound on old 8-mm reels. Then we could enjoy the action on screen in the way the filmmakers intended. Add Wavy Lays and a glass of Chardonnay to the entertainment and I’d be over the moons of Altair 4. It’s one of the reasons I like living where we do in Florida. Satellite Beach is a strange and wondrous place. I mean, duh, it’s part of the Space Coast. Shuttles launch. Rockets blast off. Plus, around here we’ve got all kinds of weird creatures, like three-foot tall birds stalking fishermen on the beach and giant turtles swimming just off shore. Coming from eastern Washington State, it’s all rather otherworldly, and I love it. Anyway, one of my all-time favorite science fiction titles is, “THEM.” It’s about a small New Mexico town that’s infested with huge, irradiated, man-noshing ants and the small police force that finds itself in an epic fight against the hideous creatures. And just like those poor desperate desert folks, I too recently had to battle back an attacking army of antennaed renegades. It started in the far and barely civilized reaches of my bedroom on the dry, hot and barren landscape of my iron. A few days before the invasion, I’d almost used the object soon to spew forth doom, but then promptly thought of 352 million better ways to pass the time than pressing shirts. Seriously, who chooses ironing? And the board? Now really. Everyone realizes those things are best utilized as storage planks! I mean I don’t even know why the contraptions have springs that allow a person to fold them flat for storage. But back to the point of my story, this is a cautionary tale. If only I’d known then that in three days time… It was mid-morning on the fateful day and I couldn’t put chores off any longer. I’d just plugged in my Rowenta when I spotted the invading ant scouts. They scurried across the temperature control, and down the front of the heating plate. Looking closer, I saw that the water reservoir was crawling with critters and that two lines of wiggling troops had already begun their creep, creep, creep across my counter. Oh my gosh! The first battalion had reached their objective: my Flintstones vitamins! I grabbed the bottle, swiped members of the family Formicidae to the floor, and then peeked inside. The contents wriggled and crawled with little black bodies but, thank heaven, they hadn’t turned into super bugs yet. I’d caught the marauders in time. I mean, they could have morphed into — as the blurb on the back of the DVD box says — “A horde so horrifying no word could describe: THEM.” I know, I know. In the old movie the mutants munched their way through a vat of underground uranium or some such radioactive agent that caused their metamorphosis, but my vitamins are Flintstones Complete — pediatricians’ number-one choice and packed with nutrients. There’s also a picture of Fred on the front. Who knows? Maybe the ants figured that after crawling inside they’d be able to answer that age-old debate: “Who’s hotter, Wilma or Betty?” Not quite the argument it’d be over Ginger vs. Mary Ann, but I don’t think any of the castaways ever lent their images to supplements. And speaking of hot… or the better word might be warm, or maybe temperate.. so, speaking of temperate, the second offensive repelled from the counter’s cliff and then, on solid footing again, marched towards my not-everyday-underwear drawer. My “fancy pants,” you might say. I’ve also got… umm… “bath” oils in there. I was horrified. Really, a girl can launder satin and silk, but she certainly doesn’t want pests in her Kama Sutra products… well, beside the one she’s married to. “Man, you little monsters better not be running ’round in my good things!” I hollered, yanking the drawer from its slide. Shouting seemed to startle the bugs. Troops disassembled and began to wander aimlessly. Luckily I’d been in time to avert disaster! Relieved, I sat the drawer down out of reach of the army and surveyed the battlefield. I swear I could hear insects crooning up at me, as if in apology, in little Cyndi Lauper-like voices, “Ants just want to have f-u u-n.” The crafty devils were trying to trick me into some kind of truce! I ran for my vacuum. Like I said before, this is a strange place, and I love the Space Coast. Antennae and all. But in choosing to live the Florida lifestyle there’s one thing everyone should remember: forget about watching the sky. Keep an eye on your small appliances instead. Trust me. You don’t want an ant invasion. Especially in your panty drawer.