The Pandemic Ants of Terror


I do not dwell in the irrational fears of childhood. With one exception.

Jerry, our virile, wild-eyed camp counselor paced menacingly around the evening’s pyre. We ten-year-old boys and girls, circled around, sat on logs, seduced by the flame’s intense heat and smokey smell. On that cold evening, we laughed and shook, as Jerry told the completely true story of… “The Red Aunts.”

He spread it out; 15 minutes that felt like 30. His voice at the end, a deafening screech.

Here, I’ll make it quick. 

The boy had a headache. He scratched but nothing would relieve the itch.  Finally, he scratched so hard, that he ripped his head open and out swarmed hundreds of red ants. The end.

The girls mostly screamed. The boys mostly laughed. We were 10 and 11. That’s what you do.

Fast forward 55 years. Jean calls me into our brand-new living room. “Daniel, we have ants crawling all over. Do something!” So, I place a box of “Terro” ant and roach remover by the prime infestation. It works by appealing to ants’ appetites. They consume the poison, share it with their brethren, and presto, everyone dies in the walls of your home.

Result:  the next morning, no ants.  Only downside?  For some reason, my head feels itchy.

4 thoughts on “The Pandemic Ants of Terror

  1. I assure you, this was pre-sexual. Marcie was bespectacled, tall and smart. I don’t remember her as being pretty or not pretty. Just intelligent with a balanced mien. Melanie was small and cute and I knew she was capable of the girl/boy thing, but for me just the talking and smiling was totally sufficient. Not sure I was a wannabe at that stage. More curious than desiring, if that makes any sense.

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    1. oh wait… Stephen, you were commenting on a previous post, not the “ants” one. I messed up and inadvertently done an entry I had already done… then replaced it with the “ants” post.

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