Messing Up Ant Pheromones

Lying on the floor reading several days ago, I noticed a tiny ant traipsing along, proudly waving some kind of delectable twice its size overhead like a banner. Then I saw another...and another...and...good grief, they were everywhere, scurrying to and fro, carrying unidentifiable forms of ant food. Apparently they've established an outpost in my living room, and the carpet in my workspace is heavily trafficked. They're so small and the carpet camouflages them so well that I never realized how many there really are.

So today I got down to business. I began by vacuuming the carpet thoroughly with my Hoover vacuum cleaner, which is powerful enough to ingest anything within three feet of it that isn't bolted to the floor--but no, not good enough. In short order the ants were back, parading their foodstuff in triumph.

This could not be allowed to continue. After researching about ant control online, I misted the carpet with white vinegar, which messes up the ants' pheromone trails so they don't know which way they're headed and they lose all sense of meaning and purpose in life. Many grow depressed. It's a weird thing to hear scores of despondent ants weeping, the sound of their lamentations drifting up faintly from the floor.

The carpet now smelled like a giant foot, but that was a small price to pay for messing with an ant colony's pheromones. Now for my next step. I headed to the store and purchased ant spray, borax, and a bag of diatomaceous earth, a powder so fine that it sifts inside an ant's exoskeleton, slices it up, and desiccates the ant. Picture hundreds upon hundreds of wee little mummified ants. Or don't. It's up to you.

Back home, I took the can of ant spray and sprayed all around the baseboard and door frame inside, and outside along the patio. Then, following the directions on the bag of diatomaceous earth, I sprinkled handfuls of the stuff all over the carpet in the ant-infested area. Heh, heh! I thought. This ought to sort the little buggers. I just, according to the directions, needed to work the powder into the carpet with a broom.

Did you know that diatomaceous earth is so incredibly, almost molecularly, fine that it acts like mud even when it's dry? It doesn't "work into the carpet"; what it does is sort of smear all over the place in big white blotches and streaks that do not, no matter how hard and long you sweep, go gently into that good nap. Nope. Once those blotches are there, by golly, there they are. Only time and repeated vacuuming will make them go bye-bye.

Ah, well. The ants are in for a time of it, anyway. Now to complete the job by mixing up a paste of borax and corn syrup. Supposedly ants love the stuff, and they'll cart it back to their nest, where it will slowly poison the whole colony.

Ant spray, diatomaceous earth, and borax--three-pronged hell descends on the ants in my living room. This better work, that's all I can say. Gadz, the carpet looks like a disaster.

A Bottle of Kolsch

Two nights ago I bought a kolsch-style beer at Mega-Bev, figuring to drink it at home while watching a movie. Then I went to another store, and when I returned to the car and opened the door, the kolsch slipped out of its bag on the car seat and exploded--exploded! foooosh! foam all over the place--on the pavement.

Since I had my heart set on a kolsch, I went back to Mega-Bev and bought another, and when I got home, as is my wont with warm beer, I stuck it in the freezer to chill it quickly.

Last night, upon opening the freezer door to remove a packet of chicken, I discovered my bottle of kolsch, which I had forgotten all about the night before while watching the movie.

Naturally the beer was frozen solid and had expanded wondrously. But rather than fracturing the bottle, it had simply forced its way out past the cap. Turns out there was still plenty left.

So of course I did the logical thing and filled the sink with hot water and thawed out the beer. Then I poured it into a mug--but oh, no! No foam! None, not so much as a bubble. The beer was flatter than my checking account after the bills have been paid. You'd have to be a pretty desperate kind of fool to drink beer that flat.

Actually, flat kolsch doesn't taste half bad. A darn sight better than other flat beers I've drunk.

Reflections on . . . Oh, Never Mind. Just Read It and You’ll See.

It's here at last: election day 2016. I voted, as I'm sure you did too, and so, as we sit here awaiting the results this election eve, naturally my thoughts turn to vomit.
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By this I don't mean they are becoming said substance; I mean they are focusing on it as a matter of contemplation. I suppose it's only fitting that they should, given the particularly nauseating nature of this election cycle, but in fact, the election has nothing to do with the matter. So forget about it. Forget I said anything about the election. No election—we never had that conversation. Just remember the vomit part. That's very important, very germane to the following discussion. And to set the stage, I offer the following highly relevant lead-in:
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I need to get a new sax case. Badly. My present case is more than thirty years old and is falling apart. So last night I searched for one online, and now suddenly I'm getting inundated with ads for saxophone cases. They're everywhere—my sidebars are crawling with the bloody things.
 
This business of information scraping has gotten me to thinking. You know how you do a Google search, and, with the constancy of an atomic clock, an ad appears that promises the "best source for [whatever it is you're looking for]"? (Just say you know what I'm talking about, okay?) What you're looking for could be anything. Anything. As a nature lover with a penchant for wetlands, I've frequently encountered ads promising optimal deals on bogs, which leads me to wonder how the supplier manages shipping and handling. I mean, two hundred acres of dripping peat replete with tamarack trees has got to be a challenge. It's rich food for speculation, but we'll let it pass. Because the point I want to make is, I seem to have hit the limit for what such ads will offer.
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I just conducted a search on vomit. I wanted to see whether I'd be met with the promise of a best supplier. I felt sure I'd find a topnotch vendor who could provide buckets of barf—the best, freshest chunky gunk at rock-bottom prices. Imagine my disappointment when no such supplier stepped in. To whom now shall I turn?
 
Not that ads involving the word vomit don't abound. My search results are still in front of me, and first in order is the Genuine Joe Vomit Absorber. You can buy a 24-pack of 16-ounce bottles for $58.74. That should last you a while, I'd think. Plus, with Christmas just around the corner, one quick purchase solves the question of what to buy for stocking stuffers.
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Next in line, and sure to enhance the ambience at any party, is the Loftus Giant Vomit. The ad promises that "each vomitous mat is specially crafted so no two are alike." Just think: your very own custom-designed rubber puke sheet. "It's big," the ad enthuses. "It's real big. Sprinkle a few drops of water on it for the wet look." By all means, do. Win your date's undying admiration with your wacky sense of humor.
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But let us not dwell on fake barf overlong, for awaiting us is an offer for the literary minded: Vomit, a novel that taps into the full potential of the word visceral. In the words of the descriptive copy, "Der Romantitel 'Vomit' ist lateinischer Herkunft, kommt aber auch in englischer Sprache vor und assoziiert an Bulimie unter der die Hauptprotagonistin Victoria leidet. Die junge Romanschriftstellerin Marlene Holzer ist ein Meisterwerk gelungen!"
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One can only hope it's true. We are left to guess, for the Medical Action Industries Vomit and Urine Bag entices us to investigate its wonders. Perhaps "entices" is the wrong word, but let it stand; it cannot be too far off in describing this product, whose "wide opening is fully supported by a rigid plastic ring to help ensure unobstructed access to the containment bag while providing a circular grasping surface for secure grip." We can agree that a wide opening, unobstructed access, and a secure grip are all very good things to have in such an item.
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My search has turned up plenty of other equally compelling commodities: the Smelleze Eco Vomit Absorbent. The Mastodon Vomit Sweatshirt. The 25th Anniversary Psychedelic Vomit Guitar. Oh, and so much more, gobs upon gobs more—truly a never-ending supply of vomit.
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Which, come to think of it on this election eve, sounds a lot like the presidential campaign we're emerging from.