There is no way to beat around the bush, so I'll just get this out: we have ants.
Gawd I hate the bastards.
And these are a different type of ant than the old fashion ants. The are "crazy" ants. You know how regular ants form a line from the nest to the food source? Well with crazy ants - and I am being totally serious - they just scurry wherever their bodies will take them. No rhyme or reason.
According to the pest company, the other problem with crazy ants is that they will swarm.
Now I keep a clean house, so these crazy ants are driving me insane. And not even Terro - my standard fall back for ant issues - will work here.
Enter the pest company.
In Ohio we had to call on a pest company twice in 30 years.
In the hot and sweaty mid-Atlantic, its an annual thing. If it too wet out, the ants want to be dry. If it too wet out, the ants want inside to find moisture. Like your Jewish mother, they are never happy.
So out comes the Pest Company and the guy who owns it is a talker. Jesus. Yap, yap, yap. And because you have to stay with them during the instruction, this guy is yap, yap, yap. "Great house, going finish this basement, they don't build them like they used to, my mother would have loved a big kitchen like this, yap, yap, yap."
So I ask him if what he is putting down is going to kill these sons of bitches and he says: "Well, they are going to track through this, and they are going to carry it back to the nest, and after a couple days their nest mates are going to feel so great, and the next day, a little worse, and the next..."
"Dead?" I ask hopefully.
"Well you want a long term kill, and with new ants hatching you want the colony to get sick, then collapse..."
And I am like "Whoa,"
And he's like "Huh?"
And I'm like "Flashback..."
And then he says "Acid will do that to you..."
I've never done acid, but the flash back was very real.
About 20 years ago, my Uncle Lou died. Uncle Lou was our favorite Uncle because everything he did was magical. He had married one of my father's sisters, made a fortune, then made a bigger one, but they had never had any children, so he doted on us.
Back in the 1960s, his house a top Bel Air had push button everything when no one else's house had push button anything.
My mother saw a keypad next to my aunt and uncles bed in the 1950s and asked what it was for.
"This," my aunt Betty said pointing to the red button controls "operates every light in the house. The blue buttons are the intercom to every room in the house. I can even open and close the garage door from here." This, was James Bond super agent coolness.
But as he got older, this grew tough for him and Betty. Betty died, and then he married Betty's sister (and my father's sister) Evelyn who had been widowed for decades. And the two of them lived in the Bel Air House overlooking Los Angeles. But Lou's health kept getting worse, and one day I got the call.
"Lou's dead," said my father.
So I asked when the funeral was and my yappy stepmonster gets on the extension and says that Aunt "Evelyn wants him buried in California."
"But Aunt Betty is buried here, in Ohio."
"Yes, but we told Evelyn we thought it was a good idea for him to be buried out there."
They thought it was a good idea for him not to be buried with my Aunt Betty? He met her when they were five, and they were inseparable for the next 70 years, and Stepmonster thinks it would be a better idea for him to be buried 3,000 miles away?
"Why is this such a good idea?"
"Well," my father starts, "your Aunt Nan doesn't know he's dead, and were not going to tell her right away."
Nan was my father's other surviving sister. A little bit screwy, but, that was Nan. And Nan and Betty and Evelyn had all been close to one and other. But my stepmother, not wanting to deal with high drama, decided that not telling her was the bets tact to take.
I pointed out that Nan was going to find out. And she was going be hurt, and pissed.
"We think the best way to tell her is to tell her that Lou caught a cold, and week later we'll tell her that he's still feeling not so great. And then we'll let he know that he's get checked out at the hospital, maybe a fever will set in. Then we'll let he know that he's in the hospital. Little by little and then he'll pass away."
Hold it. "You're going to make him suffer, in theory, and make her worry about him and..."
"It'll be easier on her."
Lying to her?
"Don't accuse me of being a liar, Cookie."
I didn't need to accuse her of that. We know she was liar. She was also a whore. But this was beyond was cruel.
And Nan didn't take it well. In fact she worried that Lou was on the way out and wanted to fly to California to visit him. That lead to me lies, and then Lou didn't "die". He got better to so they could head Nan's off from a trip. Meanwhile, Evelyn had been told that Nan was too busy to speak with her. So I have one Aunt mourning the loss of her husband, and another Aunt who had no idea that he beloved brother in law - Mr. Wonderful as she used to call him - had been dead six weeks.
When the charade of the slow painful death came apart, so did Nan's will to live. A month later, she was dead, too.
And now, my ants were going to endure a slow painful death instead of a merciful colony execution.
All I want is for the ants to go, and quickly.
But now I live with the guilty knowledge that today they feel a little off, and tomorrow, they'll feel a little bit worse and so forth and so on.
Would they, like my Aunt Nan, be told of an expected rally to stave off the inevitable. Or would they, in their little ant way, call out for Doctor Kevorkian like Aunt Nan did as she sped towards her ending, hoping not to linger as Uncle Lou had, and Unlce Lou had not.