Monday, August 23, 2004
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Clayton News Daily
When I went to pick up my car a few weeks ago from the shop I paid the good man, cranked the engine and floored it out of the lot and on down the highway, sun setting behind me and all that. My transmission was fixed and my car shifted down the road with the greatest of ease. I had my car back and I felt like a prisoner freed from his cell. But. And you know there had to be a "but," or a "when all of the sudden" to dampen the mood we had going here thus far. So like I said, I was driving along, (dramatic pause for three seconds here) when all of the sudden I saw the ants. They were all over the car, crawling, colonizing, marching in line, being ants.
Since then I have waged war against the ants, hunting them out in dark corners and spaces of my vehicle that I did not know existed, or at least were accessible. I followed their trail around the car to their massive staging area beneath the carpet, below the rear seats. I quickly drenched them in an excessive stream of ant killer chemistry and vacuumed the poor devils up. I thought I killed the sorry lot of them on the first round but they have since come back, albeit in small numbers on the dashboard and the driver's side door. Strays I suppose, or perhaps the women and children who where saved from the first go round.
So who's to blame? The repair shop? The evil ants? The best answer would probably be the potato chip crumbs, French fry stubs, and other nasty little bits of food I have let fall between the seats. I believe the cliche is, "You've made your bed now lie in it." So I've made a mess of my car, now I must get behind the wheel and drive. And responsibly I will do so from now on, with a firm rule of no eating or drinking (which by the way I've already broken twice). I don't think I need to be that harsh on myself so long as I don't let whole French fries and bits of chocolate candy take up permanent residence below the seats. That would guarantee another extended stay for the ants.
The poor devils, they had no concern for my car, my daily life, my needs, hopes and desires. Nor I for theirs. From their point of view I was probably crashing their party. And after all it was my food that led them up the tires, through the space in the door where only they could pass, hunting for lost crumb treasure between the seats. I'll chalk it up to a lesson in the perils of neglecting self-responsibility, lest I lead others into the jaws of hell.
Zach Porter is a photographer with the News Daily. He can be reached at 770-478-5753 ex.248 or email@example.com .