Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bugs in My Britches

The Ant by Ogden Nash
The ant has made himself illustrious/Through constant industry industrious.
So what?
Would you be calm and placid/If you were full of formic acid?

In a recent post, I wrote about being raised in New York City. People take from that that I’ve never seen a blade of grass or a tree. Lemme tell you, more than one tree grows in Brooklyn…
Seriously though, growing up in “the cement jungle,” where roaches were abundant (ick!), I never got very comfortable with bugs.
My antagonism presents a problem these days, because I’m a gardener. Not only do I care for the land around my house, but, my husband and I are so enthusiastic about gardening that we rent a public plot from the county parks department. 
When one rents a garden plot, much like renting anything else, one must adhere to certain rules regarding maintenance/upkeep. Recently we were notified that it was time to start cleanup and prep for the fall growing season.
This has been a tough year for us. As an at-home wife, one of my regular chores is tending to our garden plot, but I was unable to get there for more than a month this summer while recovering from surgery. Since Gary (aka “the husband”) was occupied with looking after me, he, too, was unavailable to weed, pick, water, etc.
Then a super-hot spell, which kept us away, was followed by heavy rain, prompting the weeds to really take off. When we finally got out there, we had a daunting task in front of us. But we enjoy the yield (This year we had peppers, melons, cucumbers, asparagus, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, fennel and tomatoes) so in spite of it all, we set to cleaning up. 
I’m suppose I’m kidding myself if I think gardening is going to be a bug-free activity, n’est-ce pas?
Case in point…
This morning, while weeding one of six beds, I disturbed a colony of ants. In short order, they were crawling on my shoes and, because I was wearing short socks (stupid, stupid, stupid!), making their way onto my legs where (with nothing else to do, I guess) they began stinging me.
I looked a bit like this minus the cute dress:

I can just see my niece and nephews’ reaction after I share this story with them. They’ll say to their friends, “Have we told you the one about the ants in our aunt’s pants?”


  1. I thought red ants were only in the south. Yikes! I know how bad those bites hurt.

    Very enjoyable story!

  2. Funny line in the end :) and the poem is great!

  3. Ouch! I hate red ants--that is never any fun!! I can just imagine the the ants in your pants dance!! I hope all is better no :)

  4. Yikes, I've had that happen too many times! No fun. BTW, very cool that you rent a public garden plot.

  5. Love it but am also wincing for you. I hate ants! Glad to hear the gardening is going well... it's always sad to have to clean it all up this time of year, isn't it?