I’m distracted by wondering how “dead ant, dead ant…” originally got associated with the theme song to The Pink Panther. Can anyone remember?

Anyway, I’m enjoying the distraction because I’ve spent several days building up muy & mucho bad karma by vacuuming up tiny ants in the rv.

I originally ignored the few that came at first. Then I investigated around the tires and hydraulic lifts of the motorhome and I thought I found how they were getting in.

Since I’m not back at Heathcote Community with my preferred herbs and powders for repelling them, I accepted our host’s offer of Raid, which I applied liberally (meaning well intentioned, making myself feel better but never seeing the whole picture and not really changing anything). But spraying Raid didn’t even slow the ever increasing trails of little black ants.

I remembered that at Heathcote, both in the springhouse where I first lived, and later at Hina Hanta, I had major ant events, beyond what my alternative knowledge could handle. Since Heathcote has a prohibition against insecticides in our land lease, I tried vacuuming them over several days.

It totally did the trick. That sucks.

You see, I am one of those unapologetic animal rights types who identifies with Bambi and doesn’t want to hurt a flea. So it wasn’t lightly that I took this step.

And the entire time that I pointed my suction want of death at row after cluster of scattering ants, I imagined a giant sucker lowering from space, gulping up humans as if we were fodder in a very sick video game.

I remembered Henry David Thoreau’s essay on watching ants at work under a tree at Walden Pond. He marveled at their industry. I wondered what I don’t know about ants and what it is like to be one as I watched them appear and disappear.

I guess I’ll find out in my next life, because I’ve totally committed ant genocide now. Trouble is, it worked again. This callous behavior has been reinforced again.

I remembered the scene in the movie Contact, where characters are discussing whether or not to trust technologically superior aliens. They compare aliens to humans killing ants, and noting that we don’t feel badly for long afterwards. And I notice that I don’t. Ants are not beings I identify with strongly, despite momentary curiosity about ant life and ongoing respect for their collective focus.

Sometimes nature is cooperation. Sometimes it is competition. My motorhome. Ants enter at your own risk.

I’ll see you next time around the wheel. Please don’t vacuum me…


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Direct Democracy Tour: The Dog Drives

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