I do not plan for the unexpected

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.

3 thoughts on “I do not plan for the unexpected

  1. Aren’t you glad you decided to carry the lunchbox to the kitchen that night, rather than waiting until school time to find it – and the teeny tiny ants? What an experience – what a mess.

    Reminds me of the night some months ago when I looked down to see a black streak on my carpet. When I returned with something to pick it up, it had moved – WAS moving – and that’s when I discovered the river of teeny tiny black ants – moving toward the wall where they had discovered some delicacy I had dropped without seeing it.

    Where did they come from, I wondered? They’re not spiders, but still………………. yuck.


  2. Oh yes. Teeny tiny California-style ants, instead of those enormous seventeen pound ants that seem to thrive in the pacific northwest. Slugs and ants come smaller in California. I think it’s the weather.


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