Got home just a couple minutes before the editorial meeting, only to discover a line of ants in my bathroom. Which I followed back, and up the wall, and over the door, and across, and into the bathtub—where there were hundreds of them, all over the tub.
This tub doesn't drain very well, so I've been showering in the shower stall in the other bathroom, figuring sooner or later I'd either clear out the drain or get someone to do it for me. Now I'm wondering if ants are what's been clogging the drain.
'Cause I ran the tub for a while, and wiped down all available surfaces with soap and water (I don't have any Murphy's Oil Soap, nor any diatomaceous earth), and then I shut off the tap to let the tub drain, and a swarm of ants came up from behind a metal plate in the tub that I assume is the overflow drain.
All through this process I kept thinking about an entomologist I heard on NPR a while back, who when asked what he would recommend if someone found ants in their kitchen, said he would recommend putting a dish of sugar on the floor and watching them, 'cause they're fascinating. I guess I don't have any actual compelling reason to kill these ants, and I usually try to avoid killing anything without a good reason. But I did it anyway.
'Sfunny, one of the side effects of renting where I've been renting for the past six years is that I've almost never had to deal with crawling insects of any kind—I suspect the apartment managers have the outdoors area of that complex heavily poisoned, but I never asked about it 'cause it was such a relief not to have to deal with ants and (ugh) cockroaches. Flies, sure, and a fair number of little spiders lived in various places in my apartment, but no creepy-crawly critters. (Somehow I got imprinted early with the notion that spiders are our friends, so they don't count as creepy-crawly for me.)
You probably think that by "a thousand" I just mean "a lot," but no, that was my actual (very rough) estimate for the number of ants that were floating in my tub a few minutes ago. And that was the second batch; probably at least as many drowned in the first deluge.
So I have the blood of a thousand ants on my hands. Do ants have blood?
Perhaps the ant-bards will write songs about the noble deeds of all those who perished in the great floods. (And now the phrase "a thousand ants" is trying to turn itself, using my brain as a transformative agent, into a filk of Fred Small's "Cranes Over Hiroshima," and with a title like "Ants Over Hiroshima" it's got to be a monster-movie song. I'm trying to resist.)
Tomorrow, mixed in with everything else I gotta do, I'll try and remember to pick up some diatomaceous earth.