John having ants in the sink (RL38)

John got ants in the least likely place for ants to be in one’s home. He can understand ants in the kitchen or around the bathtub where you eat your sandwiches, but now he has ants in his bathroom sink and doesn’t understand what they are doing there. Are they eating skin flakes? Are they spying on him? John has been killing them with his thumb, creating an ant holocaust, a killing field where the ants that came later could see the thousands of skulls of the ants that came before. All the ants with college educations, wearing glasses: John has squashed them all!

John would think that the later ants would be scared away or go back to the queen and tell her that it was a bad scene up there. John is a bit like an insect Kurtz (Colonel Walter E. Kurtz from Apocalypse Now), but he is a great man, not a crazy man! The ants keep coming and for them to get to that sink on the second floor they would have to be in all the walls and in John’s drawers, there are ants in his pants and he is doing the Hula dance!

There are several books by E. O. Wilson that Merlin has not finished, including The Elements of Style (this is by William Strunk Jr.). Merlin is fascinated by ants and has a lot of respect for them. They get [sugar ants, sugar ants], these little tiny ones that you get when it rains, and his family has three very different feelings about ants. Merlin’s wife despises ants, Merlin is about halfway down the spectrum, it is like anchovies and ex-girlfriends, he just doesn’t like being surprised, but he is otherwise mostly okay with them, and their daughter loves the ants. She came to Merlin’s ant-ridden office and she let an ant crawl from her hand into his hand. She is a nature lover!

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