I realized it has been far too long since I have shared one of Murphy’s attacks on me. And we must remedy that right away. I have already shared with you the story of the flood. So it seems appropriate that we move on to the next plague of biblical proportions. The pestilence.
I was living in Orlando at the time—in the same apartment where the flood occurred, and later a fire happened. But that’s another story. If you’ve ever lived in Florida you know that dealing with bugs takes on a whole new level of challenge in that warm state. It’s the place where I first learned about storing your sugar in the freezer so that you wouldn’t wake up to find a spoonful of ants instead of sugar in your morning coffee.
It began gradually—the invasion of the ants. There were the normal five or six you might find who had snuck in under the door frames. But soon I was noticing a lot more ants than normal. They were coming in through the side of my front door—apparently there was a large enough opening around the door for the disgusting creatures to scuttle through. And from there they made a beeline to my kitchen.
If you’ve ever watched ants travel you’ve probably marveled at the way they move in a single file line like a small army bent on taking over our world. Soon I was watching this tiny army march from my front door, across the wall, into the kitchen, along the counters, and into my cupboards. There were thousands of them—disgusting, tiny, black beasts. They were everywhere—in my sink, in the pantry, even inside the dishes.
I tried contacting the apartment office and requesting pest control. They came out, sprayed, and left behind an army of unphased ants. I kept calling the maintenance line. The ants kept multiplying.
And then one morning it happened. I poured water in the coffee pot, put in a filter and coffee, and switched it on. As the inside heated up, suddenly ants started climbing out of the machine! Hundreds of them! Marching in that infuriating single file line out of my coffee pot! I freaked out, to say the least. And I hadn’t even had my morning cup of coffee!
I called the apartment office and received the same standard “We’ll send the pest control guy out next week.” Clearly they didn’t understand the severity of the situation. I tried to explain that someone needed to come out immediately. They said “We’ll see what we can do.” When I got home that night, it was clear “what they could do” was nothing. The next morning I grabbed a garbage bag, put the coffee pot in it, and tied it up. Then I went to the office, walked in, and set the trash bag on the manager’s desk. When I untied it, the army of ants began swarming out all over the place. Now it was her turn to freak out. “Put that back!! Get that out of here!!” she began screaming. I think I made my point.
The next day pest control came out and did some intensive work at my apartment. Most of the ants died that day, never to be seen again. I thought I was rid of them until several weeks later I opened the cupboard to make some tea. I took out my stash of special Ugandan tea and discovered where the little monsters had been hiding. Apparently they have a taste for Ugandan tea.