I was working last night and headed toward the kitchen for a drink of water. I detoured through the living room to grab 13-year old Zach’s lunchbox so I could leave it in the kitchen. I’m forever doing that . . . moving items in small increments toward their ultimate destinations.
Standing in the darkened living room, I pulled the lunchbox from his backpack. Curious to see if he’d eaten his whole lunch, I unzipped the lunchbox and found a swarm of teeny tiny ants.
I believe I yelled. I know that I raced through the house with the buggy lunchbox. I was heading to the kitchen, then realized that was a bad idea and instead I went out the back door.
I dropped the lunchbox on the patio as far from the house as possible.
Then I grabbed the plastic containers that had held his sandwich and cantaloupe. They were both dotted with teeny tiny ants, moving in their aimless busy paths.
I washed the ants down the drain with soap and hot water while smashing as many with my fingers as I could.
Immediate crisis over, I realized I should check the backpack and there I found more teeny tiny ants.
I checked his cleats. More teeny tiny ants.
Teeny tiny ants on the living room chair where I’d rested the backpack.
Teeny tiny ants on the kitchen floor where I emptied the backpack.
Teeny tiny ants here, there and everywhere.
I knelt on the tile floor and smashed ants with my bare fingers. They were so teeny tiny that I couldn’t feel them. (Later, however, I would feel phantom ants on my skin and itch all night long.)
After I’d smashed all the teeny tiny ants and assured myself that the ants were eliminated, I went upstairs to mention this to my son.
I told him to be sure to close the plastic containers after lunch so ants wouldn’t be attracted to his lunchbox.
He said maybe he shouldn’t have left his backpack containing his lunchbox on the ground near a trashcan during football practice.
I said please close the food containers when you’re done eating.
Then I scratched myself and wondered if I’d get teeny tiny ants in my granulated sugar.
Today he was ant-free. But I’m still itchy and twitchy.