We never use our punch bowl. Well, once in a blue moon we remember we have a punch bowl and get enthusiastic enough to throw fruit, ice and whatever juice, soda pop and alcohol we have about into it. Everyone then fills the dinky glass cups with the dinky ladle and tells each other how refreshing it is and how we should make it more often…and then we put it away again for two more years.
Now I remember my mother’s sage warnings as a child about leaving sugary things about on the floor.
“That’s how you get ants.” She would say.
Yesterday I went into what we call our “spare room”. We do not like going into our “spare room”.
It is a separate brick room at the back of our garage and it is where unwanted domestic items go to die.
Now I had a vague recollection that in one of the cupboards there lurked a Bakelite fishing tackle box that I particularly wanted and so I waded across the sea of suitcases, boxes of papers, golf clubs and one Thonet bentwood café chair to the cupboard and looked inside. While intently searching the top shelf I began to feel strange crawling sensations up my legs.
I looked down…
Cascading from the cupboard like a black Niagra Falls were thousands of ants. The lower shelves of the cupboard were absolutely awash with them and when I opened the cupboard next door millions more poured out and made a beeline for my trousers.
Madly crying out for fly spray, I yanked out the contents of the cupboards trying to locate the source of the infestation. The ants had completely infiltrated a game of “Connect Four” and a box of medieval table games. Chinese checkers was ruined and the Homer Simpson version of “Operation” looked like a scene from a B-Grade horror flick. My Lord of the Rings version of “Risk” looked like it had been overrun with tiny orcs and the camping kit was practically crawling out of its shelf.
And then there was the PUNCH BOWL.
No sooner had I touched the box when it practically exploded with ants. Literally trillions of ants carrying ant eggs. Obviously realising that their primary place of residence had been demolished, they staged a mass migration from the box covering the floor of the room like an ever growing ominous shadow.
Losing all sense of self control, I sprayed an entire can of bug spray randomly about the room, practically asphyxiating myself in the process while wading about in the sea of expiring ants as my nearest and dearest lugged away the ant-ridden items and flung them in the garden.
I lost all sense of shame and tore off my clothes and ran around the yard naked, to remove the more tenacious of the ants, possibly damaging for life my neighbour who was pruning his fig tree at the time.
So another Monday comes around where I find myself mentally scarred and a physical wreck after a “relaxing” Sunday.
We at last broke into the punch bowl box to find the nest, which had obviously started after a careless punch drinker had left some residue of a particularly sugary punch in one of the cups several years ago.
“And that’s how you get ants…”