Friday, November 20, 2009

A Bug's Life

NOTE: I know this is my second blog of the day. Some stories are just so funny, you've got to share them right away!

Today, I have become the family exterminator. I hate bugs and am terrified of going near them, but today I have killed a record number of them. But before I can share that story, you need a bit of background information. So let's go back to my childhood... Come with me, will you?
My mom has always said that fire ants will come from 5 counties away just to take a little nibble on my ankle. I've decided that there are several reasons for this.

1. When I was born, my parent's couldn't afford to pay the entire hospital bill so the doctor invoked the dreaded "Fire Ant Clause". This clause makes your sweet newborn simply irresistible to fire ants.
2. When I was a baby, my parents prayed that my family would love me - especially my aunt. God just got the aunts/ants mixed up.
3. My dad has always said I'm the sweetest thing this side of the Mississippi.
4. I am a blond. (This is no secret.) I am therefore oblivious to my surroundings 99.9% of the time.
5. I am always barefoot. I have been since about the age of 3. Seriously - I hate shoes and am always barefoot. Always. (Well, unless I'm about to walk out the door.)

Thus, when I was little I often got covered in fire ant bites. While my friend standing next to me would get one or two bites, I would walk away with hundreds. Seriously. Hundreds. Sometimes I sat in the ant bed. (Thanks mom! That was a great game you decided we should play!) Sometimes I ran through them. Sometimes I stood in them for a few minutes before I realized what was going on. I can remember no fewer than three times (in the same summer) when I couldn't wear a shoe because my foot was so swollen from the bites!

Now that you understand my history with fire ants, you can begin to understand my situation today.
I had just gotten dressed and was on my way out the door to Curve's. I was letting the dogs out one last time and stood on the patio in an attempt to stay dry and still make sure they did their business. Suddenly, I felt a stinging and crawling sensation on my ankles. I looked down to realize the patio was COVERED in ants and one shoe was already solid black from the ant colony! I screamed and kicked my shoes off right away. In an attempt to get them off my ankles, I managed to rip both socks on the pavement. I pulled them off, tossed them in the trash can, and attempted to rake the ants off of my tender skin. There are several things about fire ants you should know. First, they are covered with tiny little hairs that hold oxygen. Therefore, they rarely drown. This is why the rain didn't help me in my ant-ridding quest. It just got me wet. Second, they make super glue from the stuff on the bottom of an ant's feet. They will not let go. Never. You can't beat them off your shoes. You have to pick them off one by one.
Therefore, I found myself covered in bites on my ankles and hands. I'd ruined my socks and my shoes (as well as myself) were soaking wet. I attempted to cover myself in Benadryl, but discovered that a few ants had survived the incident and were, in fact, crawling up my pants - nibbling all the way. So I did what any decent person would do when you find yourself with literal ants in your pants. I stripped down naked and threw everything in the washer.

As I was working to get everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) in the washer and trying not to get any more bites, I discovered a cricket had made a home in the laundry basket. I hate crickets. They're one of God's more annoying critters, don't ya' think? So I'm standing in the laundry room (naked) and now I'm freaked out by the cricket. I managed to get the vacuum plugged in and sucked the booger up. However, I'm slightly paranoid about sucking up live bugs. I'm always convinced that they'll crawl back out of the vacuum and go on a rampage in my home.

So, the ant laundry is in the washer. The vacuum is in the garage. I've had a scalding hot shower to kill any remaining ants and I'm covered in Benadryl once again. Oh the joys of being home alone all day!

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