Ants, Uncle Milton, and tea parties

I loved my ant farm, or I should say my many ant farms, because I had to keep replacing them when the ants died. This, I assumed, was my fault – maybe I hadn’t followed Uncle Milton’s instructions carefully enough; maybe I just needed to try again, do everything exactly right this time, so the ants would have more ants and I could keep watching them forever.

It was so thrilling when they first arrived, the thought that I could just sit there and watch my ants busily burrowing their tunnels, keeping house – The Borrowers, albeit less evolved, come to life; and it was so wrenching when they died, curled up in tunnels their still-living brothers avoided.

Now I learn, from Uncle Milton’s obituary of all places, that it wasn’t my fault at all, but the basic concept. There was no Queen. Why? Because, for some very obscure reason, our Federal Government doesn’t allow Queen Ants in the mail.

And now I feel even worse about all those dead ants, working and working in their tunnels for no purpose. Maybe they died of broken hearts.

It’s enough to make me want to join the Tea Party.

This entry was posted in Cultural stuff, Life's purpose, My so-called-life and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Ants, Uncle Milton, and tea parties

  1. terrymarotta says:

    How can we not here turn to Robert Frost who gave us the most exact portrait of ‘antdom’ we humans will ever have!

    An ant on the tablecloth
    Ran into a dormant moth
    Of many times his size.
    He showed not the least surprise.
    His business wasn’t with such.
    He gave it scarcely a touch,
    And was off on his duty run.
    Yet if he encountered one
    Of the hive’s enquiry squad
    Whose work is to find out God
    And the nature of time and space,
    He would put him onto the case.
    Ants are a curious race;
    One crossing with hurried tread
    The body of one of their dead
    Isn’t given a moment’s arrest-
    Seems not even impressed.
    But he no doubt reports to any
    With whom he crosses antennae,
    And they no doubt report
    To the higher-up at court.
    Then word goes forth in Formic:
    “Death’s come to Jerry McCormic,
    Our selfless forager Jerry.
    Will the special Janizary
    Whose office it is to bury
    The dead of the commissary
    Go bring him home to his people.
    Lay him in state on a sepal.
    Wrap him for shroud in a petal.
    Embalm him with ichor of nettle.
    This is the word of your Queen.”
    And presently on the scene
    Appears a solemn mortician;
    And taking formal position,
    With feelers calmly atwiddle,
    Seizes the dead by the middle,
    And heaving him high in air,
    Carries him out of there.
    No one stands round to stare.
    It is nobody else’s affair

    It couldn’t be called ungentle
    But how thoroughly departmental

  2. Tammy McLeod says:

    That is so funny. I also blogged about Uncle Milton and said that I learned about the queen from his obit. Yes, it’s definitely a case for the institute for Justice.

    • Bobbie says:

      Hi Tammy! and here’s yet another reader brought to you by “ant farm.”

      My top searches, btw, are “Sam Parnia” (who’s doing research on out of body experiences on the operating table) and “Sagittarius.”

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