I’ve got ants in my pants and I need to talk to someone in Finance

On October 2, 2012 by Eden M. Kennedy

So, ants. I don’t know if it’s because we spent the previous 17 years living on the second floor and we’re new to this whole ground-floor business, but suddenly we seem to have ants just streaming through the house. What did we do? What do they want? To hoard delicious crystals of sugar (if Chris Van Allsburg is to be believed), and to have me slap the shit out of myself when I feel one crawling on my neck? Jack inadvertently discovered that ants hate Pledge, so he keeps spraying the lip of the garbage can under the sink with Pledge, and every time I take out a full bag to replace it I’m newly surprised that my hands are slick and lemon-scented. I recently realized that I have Alzheimer’s disease on BOTH sides of my family (my dad’s brother, Harry, and my mom, who I was told had dementia but whose doctor wrote Alzheimer’s on her death certificate, which suggests to me that the two are interchangeable? I must remember to Google that when I’m feeling less vulnerable). So while I’m trying to take care of my brain health, I’m also trying to accept that I’ll be hiding my own Easter eggs sooner or later, and I’m working to be okay with that. It’s a pretty awful thing to try to accept, though. To the people of the future who might read this and wonder how all these words came out of the angry, withered husk drooling under a moth-eaten lap robe sitting before you: maybe playing some Elvis Costello will calm me down? Try anything from Taking Liberties or Get Happy! and I will probably stop yelling at you.

Recently I had to go to our storage locker to look for my tax stuff because our taxes are due October 15 and I always like to do important things at the last minute. We got an extension instead of filing in April, and when we moved I’m sure I did something clever with my W-2s and my 1099s (“I know, I’ll put them here in this special place I will have completely forgotten about in six months”) (the one thing that consoles me about losing my mind is a quote from Meryl Streep I read once where she said that when she hit 50 she became unable to memorize scripts anymore, so either this memory bullshit is a normal part of aging or I have Streep’s disease, in which case I will become progressively blonder and be offered amazing roles as a sign of Hollywood’s shift toward featuring more mature women HA HA HA HA HA). But while I was digging through our storage locker, looking for tax stuff, I happened to find another box that I’d been looking for for seven years:

Yay, old photos! That is my kindergarten class, helmed by the lovely Miss Jackson. I did not name my son after her but it would not be weird if I did, as I remember her as a wonderful teacher who once helped me put an Archies 45″ (which I’d cut out of the back of a cereal box) onto the classroom record player, and then laughed when I did the Mashed Potato to “Sugar Sugar.” I have clear memories of at least half the kids in this picture, thanks to the fact that a lot of them continued at the same schools with me for the next ten years. (For example, the boy on the left side of the front row in the blue sweater’s name was Bobby and his father played for the New York Jets. The girl on the far right side of the second row was named Phyllis, but the boys called her Waffles. :-( Sorry, Phyllis.)

Anyway, I ended up finding my receipts in our garage, in a box supporting a table saw (?), and then I spent half of yesterday begging various freelance agencies to go back through their records and e-mail/fax me the rest of what I needed. I’m already planning on hiding next year’s 1099s in an empty Comet can under the sink. Financial time capsule!

How to be a fan of problematic things

I’ve been Popcorn Whispering again.

Barack Obama can swear like a motherf*cker.



24 Responses to “I’ve got ants in my pants and I need to talk to someone in Finance”

  • There are many different flavors of dementia. One of them is Alzeheimer’s. Don’t google unless absolutely necessary.

  • Hiding your own Easter eggs. Snort.

    The truth is, we’re probably all going to lose our minds. Maybe I need to do some sort of “In case of Alzheimers” directive, like “If I forget my child’s name, take me out in the woods and set me free with an iPod and a family-sized bag of Cheetos.”

  • You guys know how to make me feel better.

  • I am envious of the girl with the gingerbread-man dress.

  • Wow. That dude in the second row, third from the left, is totally Ralphie from A Christmas Story. Where were you the day that other kid got his tongue stuck to the flag pole?

  • you know, I would kind of love to be called “Waffles.”

  • I know how you feel – 3 of my 4 grandparents had some form of dementia so I guess the odds aren’t too good, right? I just know I’m going to be the type of person that takes my pants off in public.

  • Hey! I think I cut up that same cereal box!

  • Oh! Ants AND taxes?
    First of all, my friend Ginna used to say “Ants can’t cross a cinnamon line,” which is true, also you have to say it in a southern accent. The trouble is, it’s freaky to surround things with rings of cinnamon. However, those disc-shaped traps are surprisingly effective.
    As for dementia, it seems to me that it’s always something you aren’t expecting that gets you, comes up and bites you on the ass, as it were. Not that that’s so reassuring really. Except that: it is never good to look ahead. Gee. I am filled with depressing things. What I really mean to say is: I loved reading this. So nice to see your post today!

  • Quick, learn a new language! Learn three!

    I thought I heard somewhere that Alzheimer’s isn’t genetic. I probably read that off of one of the flyers that fill the shopping cart I wheel around the neighborhood while shouting at pigeons. It’s not my fault they won’t listen to me.

  • If your ants are like our ants, they couldn’t care less about sugar. Our ants are actually carnivorous zombie ants, which will swarm instantly over any small iota of meat (including chicken and fish), but will disdain that slice of pie until it shrivels up on the counter (although I’ve eaten it by then). Also, there are more ants in our garage and backyard alone than there are residents of California (give or take 20 or so; they move around a lot when you try to count them). Our best approach with the ants is to try to cede certain areas to them (backyard yes; we are currently planning a siege on the garage, however), and to guiltily defend our sacrosanct areas with ant chalk, which is available at dubious flea markets and in many Chinatown markets, provided you or a friend speak Mandarin or can otherwise convince the shopowners to dig behind the counter for this product. Cinnamon, cayenne, and all the other non-toxic remedies we’ve tried have no impact on these ants. They are currently running gleefully over and through two different brands of ant trap that have been in the garage for a week. But ant chalk will slaughter them so much, you’ll be completely amazed, and inappropriately gleeful. And no, I don’t want to know what is in it. As a professional environmentalist, I have already determined that ant chalk will probably be used to draw the circle of hell I end up in, but when you’ve tried everything and there are still multitudes of them invading your bathtub, kitchen, and trash, then sometimes you go to that atavistic killing place where ideals and ants are likewise slain.

  • Oh, and I see I used the word “gleeful” twice in the same paragraph, but that’s because I’m pushing fifty and I can’t remember what I just wrote ten words ago.

  • Alice, Darby, Marcia, Everyone: I can’t thank you enough. The fact that we’re all creeping toward annihilation together is a great consolation.

  • Ants also give up at a baking soda line, but I find that nontoxic (and safe around food, pets, perhaps all other bugs except ants) bug spray with orange oil in it works better than the line. And everything smells nice after you spray.

  • I want to be called “Waffles” so bad now.

  • I’ve got Alzheimer’s in the family too, but then I saw this last week, and I’m hoping maybe it’s true: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/25/bittman-is-alzheimers-type-3-diabetes/

    ALSO saw a CBS Sunday Morning this week about how much more of our brains are constantly “on” now because of web/smartphone technology, with brain scans and everything, and the researcher specifically said they taught “old people” how to use Google, left them to play with it for a while, and were shocked at the elevated levels of gray matter they were using when they checked them again. If that’s all true, we children of the internet should see a decline in dementia levels, right? Unless that’s offset by the rise in Type 3 diabetes we’ll get from sitting at the computer with a family-sized bag of Cheetos.

    Ants: borax.

  • Thank you for the ant control suggestions! Andrew, that link is terrific.

    I’m really liking the possibility of reclaiming the name “Waffles” and turning it into something that reflects the true magnificence of Sunday brunch.

  • Dementia is a symptom, Alzheimer’s is a disease

    • It appears that Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia, and dementia is an umbrella term for severe mental decline, and now I’m going to go learn another language and do 1,000,000 crossword puzzles, and maybe run a marathon.

  • This is the only stuff that worked for us during the Great Ant Invasion of ’09.
    They take it back to the nest (colony? condo?) and wreak havoc on the rest of the…colony, that’s it. I knew those crossword puzzles with French subtitles would pay off!

  • Grant’s Ant Stakes also work here (and not in some other places, to my chagrin), even though they don’t have arsenic in them, any more. When they had arsenic in them they worked GREAT. Anyway, they’re sort of encapsulated so it’s slightly harder for pets to get into them, which has to be a concern I guess.

  • At least the moth-eaten lap robe will give the ants holes to run in and out of. So, bright side.

  • I read a remedy for ants in Mother Earth News back in the 70s that absolutely works. First, ants are very intelligent. In order to get rid of them, you have to kill some of them and leave the bodies for the following ants to find. They are so horrified by this, they do not come back! I swear this works, but you do need to be tolerant enough to leave the dead bodies for a few days for the word to get back to the clan.